Mishcon de Reya has become the latest firm to embrace innovation in legal tech, today (16 January) launching an incubator programme for tech start-ups in the legal industry.
Launched in conjunction with start-up and tech investment fund L Marks, MDR LAB seeks to promote legal-minded technology that will benefit both lawyers and their clients. The scheme will see the firm welcome a number of start-up companies into the business for 10 weeks this summer.
Specifically, Mishcon is interested in innovations that assist with the administration of various areas of its legal practice. The firm has placed extra value on technology that can streamline its litigation and transactional law services, but will also welcome ‘wildcard’ innovations that do not conform to these prerequisites.
Applications for the programme close 12 March, with a demo day for the successful companies scheduled for 14 July.
Nick West, chief strategy officer at Mishcon, commented: ‘MDR LAB is part of our broader technology strategy and is one of a number of R&D projects designed to help us better understand and embrace new technologies. Innovation is happening across our industry and we want to be at the forefront of it. We are looking forward to hearing from the disruptors.’
Mishcon’s hire of West from New Law pioneer Axiom a year ago was the start of a clear strategic push into the legal tech arena. 2016 saw the launch of Mishcon Discover, making the firm the first in the UK to provide e-discovery services in partnership with a technology provider.
The launch of MDR LAB is in step with a growing trend for firms to invest in new legal technology. In 2015, Dentons’ NextLaw Labs signed a deal with ROSS Intelligence to develop a legal adviser app powered by IBM Watson. NextLaw Labs also invested in legal tech start-up Apperio in March 2016 and backed two startups, Libryo and Clause, as part of an initial co-investment worth around €200,000 towards the end of last year.
For more on Mishcon, read ‘The USP – What is Mishcon’s secret formula?’