Road trip seeks out top European lawtech start-ups


Legal Geek campervan: road trip aims to find cool startups

Nextlaw Labs – the tech venture launched by global law firm Dentons – has joined with London lawtech community Legal Geek to tour European capitals in search of the best legal technology.

So far, a team of lawyers and technologists has visited Amsterdam and Berlin, and will visit Brussels this week and Paris next week, before returning to London’s Canary Wharf.

During the road trip, lawtech start-ups will pitch their ideas to Legal Geek founder Jimmy Vestbirk and Dentons personnel, with the 20 most promising founders selected to speak at the Legal Geek 2017 conference later this year.

Start-ups chosen from the Amsterdam visit included Visual Contracts, a user-friendly contracts platform, billable hours tracking app TIQ, and Clocktimizer, a business intelligence tool that aims to help legal professionals build fee quotes and manage projects.

Successful start-ups selected in Berlin included Nalanda Technology, a company with offices in London, Glasgow and Amsterdam, which produces Nalytics – software designed to explore documents and data through search, analysis and what it calls “advanced digital redaction and semantic enhancements” to find information hidden in a firm’s data.

Also chosen after pitching in Berlin was tech&law, which styles itself “Israel’s first legal tech community”. Among other things, the community – created by Israeli legal marketing firm Robus – seeks to back Israeli start-ups attempting to establish themselves in the UK and the US markets.

Nextlaw Labs will provide the 20 founders with travel grants to come to the London conference on 17 October.

Nextlaw’s chief executive, Dan Jansen, told Legal Futures: “The European legal technology ecosystem is visibly becoming more mature. By partnering with Legal Geek on this road trip, we’re contributing to its continued development at a grassroots level. 

“As Dentons has offices in each of the five countries, it’s also a great opportunity for the firm’s lawyers to provide direct feedback to start-ups while improving their familiarity with and shaping the evolution of the market.”

Mr Vestbirk said: “We will be touring Europe’s legal tech hot spots in a VW [camper] van to find the coolest start-ups on the market.

“This road trip is about bringing together the start-up ecosystem and the legal sector, in a laid-back, come-as-you-are style.”

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