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LegalTech Soapbox: Plexus.

Our LegalTech SoapBox series is where we put the spotlight on #LegalTech vendors that are benefiting the legal fraternity and the broader network with their game-changing Legal Technology. 

Under the spotlight in episode 4 is Plexus, a global contract and matter management platform. CEO, Andrew Mellett gives us insights into everything Plexus in this Q&A. 

1. Hi Andrew, can you tell us the story behind Plexus?

Plexus is on a mission to transform legal value. 

Through advanced technology and flexible access to world-class talent, Plexus powers the world’s legal teams to deliver more with less, and freeing lawyers to focus on higher value strategic work.

When we started Plexus in 2011, we were struck by our observations of the hugely negative sentiment playing out in the Legal sector. Strikingly low levels of client satisfaction with law firms, low levels of meaningful innovation or technological advancement, and a profession with higher levels of depression than any other. It was truly an environment in need of transformation, and frankly still is.

It is our belief that Lawyers have the potential and desire to have far greater impact. Lawyers want their intellectual curiosity stirred and their capacity to positively impact the world magnified. At the same time organisations are under increasing pressure to reduce costs and drive productivity. They are demanding new ways of thinking and operating, with a clear mandate for demonstrable value creation from every function.

We started by thinking about ‘what does the law firm of the future look like’? From there we branched into legal technology to help power legal departments and their businesses to execute legal work more efficiently.

Today Plexus Gateway is used by in-house legal teams at over 200 of the world’s largest organisations including L'Oréal, Samsung, Woolworths, Unilever, General Mills, Coca Cola and General Motors.

In May 2019, we raised A$4.65 million in Series-A funding led by KPMG, with whom we have also formed a strategic partnership and we're only just getting started.

2. What are the services/products that Plexus provides? 

Plexus is on a mission to transform legal value and we do this in a few different ways. Our business started with our Plexus Engage service providing flexible, top tier legal talent to Australia's best legal teams. 

In 2014 we launched our Legal Automation platform.  It integrates automation, workflow, contract & matter management in one integrated platform.

The modular platform solves some of the biggest time lags and pain points for in-house legal teams.

Clients can choose to start with one module and often find themselves working towards expanding Legal to be a competitive advantage for the business through utilising the complete Plexus Gateway suite.

3. How does Plexus help optimise the daily operations of an in-house legal team?

On a daily basis we are helping in-house legal teams to scale their legal support and risk management across the business. 

By automating the administrative legal processes, Plexus Gateway reduces admin, improves compliance, accelerates execution, and frees everyone up to focus on the important stuff. Our workflow automation, matter management and contract management modules help in-house lawyers to deliver legal tasks faster, more consistently and more cost effectively. 

Additionally, our Plexus Engage lawyers help in-house legal departments respond to the fluctuating capacity and capability requirements of their businesses.

4. What do you believe will be the most significant change in how in-house legal teams use technology in the next 10 years? 

One might think after the turbulence of the past two years it would be naive to make predictions about the year ahead. As the saying goes ‘forecasting is difficult; particularly when forecasting the future’. 

However the truth is that the extraordinary events of the past two years only accelerated the trend lines that were reshaping in-house legal functions back in 2019.  In the past two years these trends have now become so entrenched that they are now the top priorities of legal leaders.

Unquestionably, in this rapidly changing operating environment it is those executives who can best predict and respond to future trends that will position their organisations for prosperity. 

The next 10 years will see most in-house legal teams move away from law firm reliance and bring most of the budget and support in-house. 

Agile legal resourcing will become the norm as GCs will move away from siloed, static, and slow modes of operation to more dynamic, automated and fast models of legal delivery, and legal automation will become a natural member of the standard in-house legal team. 

Today’s law graduates will barely know what it was like to physically sign contracts, and the admin and time lag around couriering documents to all counterparties for execution.

What’s more, we predict Legal A.I will crawl out of what Gartner calls ‘the trough of disillusionment’. We’ve said previously ‘in the short term A.I will disappoint, in the long term it will blow you away’. Legal A.I. is still not the first investment we would advise our clients to make...but the next 10 years look promising.

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