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‘Unprecedented applications in the legal industry’: Dentons’ Nextlaw backs two legal tech startups with funding and training

Nextlaw Labs, the legal tech platform launched by Dentons last year, has invested in two legal startups, alongside venture funding company Seedcamp.

The pair are backing two startups, Libryo and Clause, as part of an initial co-investment worth around €200,000. The partnership will also offer future training and mentoring from lawyers at Dentons to develop the products.

The investment comes after Nextlaw teamed up with Seedcamp in June this year. More than 80 start-ups from five continents applied for the funding and training programme and were selected by a panel of judges from Seedcamp, Nextlaw and Dentons.

Libryo is a London-based software-as-a-service platform that provides solutions to regulatory issues, using a dashboard that explains the legal obligations of its users in a variety of scenarios.

Clause is a New York-based startup contract-building platform ‘for the next generation of automated and data-integrated contracts for enterprise’. The company claims its platform will manage its first ‘autonomous contracts’ later this year, and the platform can automatically update contract variables, such as pricing, in response to changing conditions and data.

The initial investments from the Nextlaw and Seedcamp partnership will offer up to €100,000 to each company for 9% of equity, with Nextlaw and Seedcamp contributing half the investment each.

Nextlaw global chair and Dentons partner John Fernandez said: ‘Both Libryo and Clause have unprecedented applications in the legal industry that can be unlocked within Dentons as a global testing ground.’

Recent investments from Dentons’ tech venture have included funding in Apperio, a tool that enables clients to monitor the amount of partner/associate time spent on each transaction or case. The company also worked with artificial intelligence company RAVN for a Brexit contracts system this summer.

Dentons launched Palo Alto-based Nextlaw Labs in May last year, led by chief executive Dan Jansen. The firm also finalised its new free-to-use legal referral network earlier this month. The Nextlaw Global Referral Network signed up 283 member firms and 18,600 lawyers, with 13 UK firms joining.