Mishcon incubator backs “ambitious” global lawtech startups


West: tech companies want firm to help them on journey

The technology incubator of London law firm and alternative business structure Mishcon de Reya has chosen six lawtech companies for backing from a shortlist of 19 that pitched last month.

The MDR LAB was launched in January in conjuction with innovation specialists and investor L Marks.

The chosen six range in the development of their products from from concept to revenue generating. Pitches covered five categories: transactional law, real estate, family law, business law, and litigation.

Two of the six are based in the UK, with the remainder coming from Germany, the US, and India. They began working with the incubator last Monday for 10 weeks.

All have access to the firm’s lawyers and other business experts for advice and mentorship. The participating companies are also supported by SeedLegals, an app which assists lawtech founders with advice on carrying out funding rounds.

The companies chosen are:

  • Everchron, a US-based company that Mishcon said produces “collaborative litigation management software” that includes “[an] intuitive search interface, dynamic key document chronologies, and automatically generated witness files” that enable lawyers to “quickly find relevant information and communicate it to team members wherever and whenever they need it”.
  • Orbital Witness, a concept-stage real estate application that uses satellite imagery to provide historical images of a site and “can automatically scour cloud-based imagery from commercial satellite operators and space agencies, and use machine learning techniques to analyse the imagery in conjunction with existing real estate datasets to solve clients’ queries”.
  • Ping, founded last year in the US, which automates timekeeping for lawyers. The solution “eliminates the need for lawyers to keep track of time. This ensures that firms capture more billable hours and can capitalise on the accurate data that it collects”.
  • SaltDNA, a four-year-old Belfast-based company, which employs 17 people. It “provides a fully enterprise-managed software solution that enables absolute privacy in mobile communications”, using “multi-layered encryption techniques to meet the highest of security standards”.
  • Surakam, founded in India in 2015, which has 12 staff. It is an artificial intelligence-powered contract management solution whose platform “is based on the principle of predictive analysis, and can assist in automation of contract extraction, redlining contracts and deviation analysis”.
  • Synergist, a two-year-old Berlin-based company that “provides a secure cloud service to automate the negotiation of contract terms, allowing customers to draft, negotiate and sign contracts without redlines or email”. Mishcon said the app, which is preparing to launch the first enterprise version of its contract automation platform, “shortens deal cycles by automating contract workflow, and intelligently guides users through contract negotiations”.

Nick West, Mishcon’s chief strategy officer, told Legal Futures: “They’re all ambitious, early stage companies targeting the legal space who feel that our MDR LAB programme – the intense focused feedback and mentorship from people inside and outside Mishcon – will help them along their journey…

“MDR LAB is a place where we can nurture companies who are trying to change the legal industry and to do it in a way that is visible throughout our firm, so that we truly become a tech-enabled law firm.”

Stuart Marks, chairman of L Marks, added: “MDR LAB has seen and met with legal tech talent from around the world, and been impressed with the quality of this growing sector. These start-ups have an unparalleled opportunity to refine their solutions with Mishcon de Reya’s team and we are confident that they will all rise to the challenge.”

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