Startup Watch: 2016 Legaltech & Beyond

With Legaltech New York 2016 opening Tuesday at the New York Hilton Midtown, it seemed like a good time to poll a broad cross-section of CodeXistas and ask them what startups they are watching in 2016. And it’s also an opportunity to remind everybody that on Thursday (Feb.4) CodeX will be presenting two panels at 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., moderated by CodeX Executive Director Roland Vogl. Also: The CodeX Pavilion will feature demonstrations and information. We hope to see you there!

Notes & caveats: Some remarks have been trimmed for space. LTNY CodeX presenters are ID’d with a star*. Several contributors overtly/subtly tried to hype their own dog food. Nice try : )

> Daniel Lewis, CEO and co-founder, Ravel suggests that you keep an eye on Hotshot. Founders Chris Wedgeworth and Ian Nelson have experience in legal, having come from Practical Law, and are stepping into the important area of creating new, modern ways for lawyers to learn skills on the job. They are already working with firms, and I’m excited about their progress.

> David Lat, Managing Editor, Above The Law, said he attended the recent University of Pennsylania’s Legal Startups Pitch Night in New York City,  sponsored by Bloomberg BNA.

Startup Watch 2
Alma Asay

His favorites from that batch:
Allegory Law (Alma Asay, Founder & CEO)
• *Casetext  (*Jake Heller, CEO)
eBrevia (Ned Gammon, CEO)
• *LitIQ (*Gurinder “Gary” Sangha, Founder & CEO)

> Nicole Black, Legal Technology Evangelist at, also cites Allegory Law. The intuitive software connects all relevant information that a litigation team needs as a case moves toward trial. It simplifies complex litigation and helps teams easily share thoughts and analysis as they review evidence and prepare the case. And it was founded by a woman—a rarity in the tech world, especially legal tech.

>*Gurinder ‘Gary’ Sanga: Another vote for Allegory Law. Compelling technology but more important than that, they actually have traction (ie they’ve figured out their business model and are actually making money). Very, very few legal tech startups can claim that. (Sanga is the founder of *Lit IQ).

> Joshua Lenon, Lawyer in Residence, Clio: Upcoming advances in blockchain technology and artificial intelligence will be amazing, but they’re not impacting the average lawyer in 2016. So I recommend *Concord, a cloud-based contract management system that moves beyond standard features of online collaboration. From drafting, through negotiation, to contract life cycle management, Concord makes contracts a resource, rather than a burden, for companies and law firms. API integration into major corporate services, such as Salesforce, shows that it is a modern tool for business that legal departments can seize. While there are other contract management systems out there, Concord is getting it right re:  features, pricing and integration in a way other systems do not. *Co-founder & CEO: Matt Lhoumeau.

Startup Watch: 2016 Legaltech & Beyond
D. Casey Flaherty

> D. Casey Flaherty, principal at Procertas: Legal Decoder deploys hundreds of algorithms, including customizable billing guidelines, to help users analyze invoices. The in-house reviewer presents color-coded invoices  and individual entries; and explanations of why specific entries were flagged (e.g., repeat entry, skills mismatch, block billing). It aggregates spending and flags by timekeeper, firm, matter type, etc. to support scorecarding and alternative fee arrangments. Viewabill delivers real-time tracking, changing how inside counsel approach matter management and outside counsel approach project management. Budget alerts, time-entry discipline, utilization, etc. are all pieces that help users have conversations and course corrections in real time. (Joseph Tianto Jr. Founder and CEO)

> Jon Kerry-Tyerman, Vice President of Business Development at Everlaw:
Hire an Esquire is focused on modernizing the antiquated world of legal recruiting and staffing. 2016 might be the year that legal employers begin to embrace this tech-forward approach. • ModusP: Take the crowd-sourcing of Casetext, the visualization of Ravel, and the deep data analysis of Judicata, and you have the ModusP legal research system. 2016 should be the first public look at this exciting technology. Co-founders: Nimrod Gliksman, Tom Bar-Yacov, Osnat Persky.

> Aron Solomon, Head of LegalX at Toronto-based MaRS: If I found a couple of $100,000 bills in the couch cushions, here are two of the LegalX companies I’d definitely invest in:
Knomos : The Vancouver-based startup is a visual knowledge network for legal research, education and collaboration. It leverages data visualization and deep machine learning technology to bridge the legal knowledge gap for everyone. Public beta scheduled for summer 2016, in partnerships with DataBC, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Canada Media Fund, LegalX at MaRS and Microsoft Ventures. CEO:  Adam La France.
• Miralaw: This Ottawa-based startup is helping people get divorced with a simple, easy to use application. With 70 percent of divorcees self-representing, Miralaw provides tools and data to help clients make smart decisions with the power of artificial intelligence. The Miralaw engine predicts outcomes of divorce cases, intelligently builds contracts and helps people organize their information to go to court. Founder and CEO: Samuel Witherspoon.

What startups (other than your own) do you think will be important in 2016? Send me a paragraph:

Want to Learn More About CodeX at LTNY:
• “CodeX Cover Story, ‘Shark Bait,’ on Feb. Legaltech News.
“Legaltech NY Kicks Off Tuesday: Geta a CodeX Discount”
“Startup Snapshot: Steven Kane—ArbiClaims*”
• “The Circuit: Legaltech New York 2016” on Above The Law.

Monica Bay retired last year from her 17-year post as Editor-in-Chief of ALM’s Law Technology News. She now is a Fellow at CodeX and a columnist at Above The Law; a freelance journalist for Bloomberg BNA Big Law Business and a special consultant to The Cowen Group.

3 Responses to Startup Watch: 2016 Legaltech & Beyond
  1. Very interesting times, legal technology is coming along. The most exciting company I have recently seen is Premonition, who are the first to truly measure legal performance.

  2. It’s great to see Concord on the list. We’re honored.

    For anyone attending LegalTech, feel free to stop by our booth – 1711 – to see how our esignature and contract management platform works.

  3. Interesting times indeed. One of the companies I’m watching is Foxwordy. They appear to be doing something big where others have tried and failed. And I’m watching Ross to see what comes of that.

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