Written by Patrick Moorcroft • Published 18th May 2020 • 3 minute read
Alongside a cup of tea, our predisposition to queueing and our ever-reliable British common sense, the legal sector is one of the UK’s oldest held pillars and best-known exports. This longevity has produced an industry that is immensely well established here in the UK and well-respected in the global sphere.
The industry has long been dominated by established, trusted players with well-practiced and entrenched ways of working. However, while an open collared shirt might still be somewhat of a unicorn in most legal offices around the UK. The industry now finds itself on the precipice of real change, following a similar trajectory to that which has been pioneered within the financial services and insurance sectors.
A new generation of legal tech disruptors have emerged that are driving innovation and efficiency within the industry. These businesses are disrupting not only the processes that lawyers have been following for so long, but also the way consumers and businesses interact with the law. We look at five legal tech businesses leading the disruption of the law industry.
Traditionally one of life’s most challenging and stressful processes, amicable are using technology to make the process of divorce that bit easier. Founded with a mission to help couples separate and divorce on amicable terms. The business offers a service that can help couples navigate the separation process quickly and easily, without spending thousands of pounds on lawyer fees.
Typically, divorcing through amicable is more than ten times cheaper than going to court and a third of the cost of using a lawyer. The digital platform simplifies the whole process, removing the financial and practical obstacles in order to allow couples to focus on their families and shoring up a positive future following their separation.
While ‘death tech’ might be a term that is new to a lot of us, Farewill is another business that is using technology to simplify another of life’s most difficult times. Founded in 2015, the business allows users to create a legally binding will, apply for probate and arrange a cremation, all through one digital platform.
Recipients of a vast array of awards in recent times as well as accolades such as TrustPilot’s best rated ‘death experts’, the past few months have been particularly busy for Dan Garrett and his team who have offered their support to many friends and families who have been unable to carry out traditional send-offs for their loved ones.
While this Covid-19 related boom will hopefully reduce in time, the broader rise in demand for simplified legal services is one of the biggest drivers of the sector’s innovation and Farewill are very much at the forefront of this.
The first international entrant on our list, with offices spanning the UK, North America, and India, ContractPodAI are leaders in the contract management space. Working with large corporations around the world, the business uses AI to help in-house legal teams digitise the entire contract process.
Designed by a team of expert lawyers in partnership with IBM Watson’s market-leading AI, the firm’s technology gives corporate legal departments the tools to rapidly analyse contracts at scale, as well as automating each stage of the contract process, from initial request through to the final signature. Businesses can access this contract data anytime anywhere from a central repository, freeing up in-house legal departments to add value elsewhere.
Combining the legal and technological expertise of Co-Founders Daniel van Binsbergen and Chris O’Sullivan, Lexoo was founded in 2014 aiming to tear up an outdated model and help businesses and legal teams connect with the right lawyer for them.
Lexoo’s marketplace is unique in that it is geared towards the needs of businesses rather than the partners at established law firms. They use data to help businesses connect with vetted, specialist and cost-effective lawyers from their international network of experts. The lawyers within the network are all vetted by Lexoo’s own legal team and typically have senior experience at some of the world’s most prestigious law firms.
These expert lawyers have usually now started their own smaller practices and are consequently available at a much more competitive rate, making the process not only more cost-effective for clients but much more transparent.
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