Clifford Chance is one of five major law firms to launch a platform aimed at simplifying the adoption of advanced legal technology by filtering out products that are unproven, inefficient, or insecure.
The magic circle firm, one of two co-chairs of a 19-member consortium known as Reynen Court, will trial the platform, which offers curated access to over 90 legal apps.
It claims to “make it easy for law firms and legal departments to run applications either on-premises or within virtual private clouds”.
If the beta launch is successful, further “trials or full deployments” will follow later this year, involving other consortium firms and corporate legal departments.
The move bears out a prediction made earlier this year by a leading US academic that the legal tech industry would consolidate, with a small number of “app stores” accelerating take-up of technology like artificial intelligence (AI) by setting standards for the apps and sorting through a bewildering landscape of products on behalf of buyers.
The other firms involved in the launch are US-based global giants Latham & Watkins – also consortium co-chair – White & Case, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, and Orrick.
The consortium’s goal is “to accelerate the adoption of technology in the legal industry and thus bring about fundamental improvements in the costs and quality of services for the benefit of firms, clients and society”.
Users are presented with a control panel through which they can manage subscriptions and view a variety of metrics providing, for example, data on usage and the costs of the software applications deployed.
By curating and centralising the sources of apps available through the platform, the consortium helps guarantee their efficiency, security, compliance, vendor viability, and so on.
Paul Greenwood, Clifford Chance’s chief information officer (CIO), said the platform’s development was ahead of schedule and suggested it would “deliver huge benefits to everyone engaged in the legal tech market”.
Reynen Court revealed that four product managers and 14 engineers built the platform and a “team of domain and security experts” tested the products and their vendors.
White & Case’s CIO, Tony Cordeiro, said the platform would reduce the time it took to bring a new technology online, adding: “Our rapid adoption of stable, secure and functionally rich applications will enable our lawyers to deliver better comprehensive service to our clients.”
Ken Heaps, Latham & Watkins’ CIO said its vision was “to accelerate the safe, easy and efficient adoption of a wide range of innovative legal tech”.
Orrick’s chief innovation officer, Wendy Butler Curtis, said technology was “transforming every aspect of legal service delivery” and the platform would “make it easier for clients and law firms to collaborate in using the exciting technologies on the market and under development today”.