There has been a lot of activity in the ‘alternative’ legal ecosystem recently with some interesting deals being done in recent months. And there’s a lot more activity to come. The growth of investment and acquisitions is a strong signal that the alternative ecosystem is becoming increasingly normalized and mature with demonstrated business models, established market demand and proven value to consumers. We’ve set out some of those deals along with some noteworthy commentaries. We thought we’d add our insights on what this all means from our perspective as well.
‘Any publicity is good publicity’
Whatever the outcome, this flurry of activity provides great exposure, much needed publicity and validation to an ever-growing alternative legal service provider marketplace. Some will win, some will lose. But the end goal should see better value and outcomes for clients.
‘Consolidation is inevitable’
This spike in activity will be a pre-cursor to more consolidation in the legal ecosystem which will see traditional law firms, Big 4, NewLaw, LegalTech firms and legal process outsourcers or managed legal services providers consolidate to create a truly integrated legal service model. There’s also no reason why clients cannot participate.
‘Investors will support the law company’
In a previous post with my reflections on Legal Geek 2017, it was noted by venture capital firms that the time wasn’t quite ripe for LegalTech investment, but that it was nigh. 2018 has been a game-changer for investment in legal technology. The first month of 2018 alone saw US$49 million flow into the sector, and US$64 million by the end of the first quarter. With Legal Geek 2018 a couple of months away, it will be interesting to see where the investor barometer sits now.
‘Importance of focus, execution and choosing the right partner’
With all the hype, it’s important to stay focused on the plan and execute well. The deals may be done, but the proof will be in the post-integration pudding. We have seen that fall apart with Deloitte’s investment into Conduit Law in Canada after only 18 months. So there you go – our thoughts as one fish in a dynamic ocean…. Now let’s take a look at the deals and commentaries.
Acquisition of Riverview Law by EY
- What does the EY Riverview Law deal mean for EY, Riverview, law department customers, Elevate and law firms?
- EY’s announcement that they are acquiring Riverview Law could accelerate the pace of change in the legal industry.
- Kim Technologies Signs 10 Year Contract with Riverview Law
There has been a few more interesting deals in the market recently, such as:
- Investment in LegalZoom, an online platform connecting small business owners to legal services
- Legaler Raised $1.5M to build blockchain to help bridge gaps in access to justice
- Lawyers On Demand (LOD) has secured new private equity backing by Buyout house Bowmark Capital who comes in place of parent Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP)
- HighQ acquired Legal Anywhere, a North American software and technology company
- Legal AI company Seal Software bought out US-based contract analytics business, Apogee Legal
- Goldman Sachs + Temasek backing Eigen Technologies, a London startup that uses AI to read complex legal documents
As we have so far seen, today’s legal ecosystem is more dynamic than ever and KorumLegal is thrilled to be spearheading this journey. Stay tuned!
Titus is the founder of KorumLegal. He has a keen interest in technology and innovation.