Legal Business Blogs

Slaughters confirms highly-symbolic legal tech incubator launch as another start-up secures $13m investment

The burgeoning legal technology scene has seen Slaughter and May confirm it will launch a legal technology incubator in the next year, while highly-rated start-up Tessian raises £9m.

In a highly symbolic move for the industry, Magic Circle firm Slaughters has confirmed the launch of a law tech programme it flagged earlier this year, to sit alongside its existing Fast Forward fintech incubator.

The new incubator will focus on developing legal tech and is expected to open by mid-2019, joining the lengthening list of law firms with similar initiatives. Slaughters holds a 5% stake in legal tech darling Luminance, but the firm does not expect to take further equity stakes in start-ups through the new initiative.

Slaughters head of technology Rob Sumroy told Legal Business: ‘We are now firmly on the path of designing a second incubator, which will be based on the first one, but will be more focused towards legal tech. When we created fintech Fast Forward, we were open to legal tech applicants, but some of the legal tech start-ups have shied away from applying to it.’

Magic Circle counterpart Allen & Overy has its own legal tech space called Fuse while Mishcon De Reya and Dentons have similar ventures. Earlier this year, banking giant Barclays entered the legal tech space through its Eagle Labs programme.

Elsewhere, email security artificial intelligence (AI) company Tessian has announced a new funding round of £9m. The company helps prevent sensitive emails being sent to the wrong person, and has more than 70 UK law firm clients. Balderton Capital led the round with existing investors Accel, Amadeus Capital Partners, Crane, LocalGlobe, Winton Ventures and Walking Ventures.

The latest funding means the company has raised about £12m since its founding in 2013. Tessian, formerly known as CheckRecipient, has expanded its team from 13 to 50 people in that time. As part of the latest investment, Balderton partner Suranga Chandratillake and Accel partner Luciana Lixandru will join the board.

Tessian chief executive Tim Sadler commented: ‘It’s human nature to fear scary things like hackers or malware, but we often don’t think twice about the dangers behind something as familiar and ingrained as sending an email. In reality that’s where an overwhelming threat lies.’

Rounding up a busy few days for technology announcements, cloud-based legal spend management and analytics start-up Apperio has secured mobile-only bank Monzo as a client. With a customer base of over 700,000, Monzo will be another key client for Apperio who already count Dentons, Network Rail and Deliveroo as clients.

Headed up by chief executive Nicholas D’Adhemar, Apperio focuses its offering on in-house legal teams and has raised £3.4m in investment, with the company looking towards expanding its team size in the future.