the legal tech industry will not slow down in 2019.

This online blog is dedicated to sharing knowledge, developments and insights within legal tech. This blog is an initiative of the Legal Tech Studio. From online DIY legal documents and signing tools to fighting parking tickets via a mobile app and AI-tools that help structure contractual information. Together with a group of curated legal tech industry experts we create content shared on this page. Wendy Bogers, founder of Ligo, is a member of our legal tech Advisory Board and shares her views on the current boost in legal tech investments and the role of AI in legal tech.

The legal industry, widely seen as conservative and traditional, currently enters a phase of deep technological transformation. Cutting edge technologies disrupt the once reluctant profession yet also make justice more accessible to everyone. 2018 witnessed a sudden and explosive growth in legal tech investments. With a 713% increase, most investments were made in developing tools to find relevant information about lawsuits and investigations – in short: legal research. With so many investments made, the legal tech industry will not slow down in 2019. The market is waiting for the first venture investments and the first legal tech company to launch their IPO.

Wendy started her career as a lawyer at the international law firm Baker & McKenzie. After working in the legal profession for eight years, she founded Ligo in 2015 with the mission to transform the legal industry. Ligo started with giving any business easy access to high quality legal services. She won the Dutch Legal Challenge Award in 2016 and raised investments from private investors to further develop and grow the platform. Recently she ranked number 39 in the Forbes list of 100 Female Founders in Europe to Follow. Today thousands of SME businesses and enterprises use Ligo daily to create, negotiate, sign and manage their legal documents.

What do you think pushed the growth in legal tech investments in 2018?

I believe it is caused by an increase in the number of legal tech companies that develop software for law firms. It took the legal market way longer than other markets to make use of new technologies. Partly this is due to lawyers being skeptical about adopting technology to help them work faster and better. For a long time, lawyers still believed legal work is best done by human beings. Inefficiency in the legal industry was thus maintained by the well-known practice of bill by the hour. Today you see lawyers slowly embracing the concept of automation. Hence the increase in demand for legal tech solutions.

Which legal tech start-up or scale up has the potential to become an unicorn company?

The law firm Atrium is very interesting, as it is a combination of providing services whilst making use of new technologies. The challenge will be scaling up, but they are backed by an impressive team. They were able to raise a lot of funding on the market and I am very curious about their growth in the nearby future and their latest developments.

"There are still so many businesses who create, sign and manage their legal documents manually and it is exciting to see how much our CLM product impacts an organisation"

You’ve received an investment yourself in 2018. What will be your focus in 2019?

This year we focus on the growth of our new product for corporates: Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software. There are still so many businesses who create, sign and manage their legal documents manually and it is exciting to see how much our CLM product impacts an organisation. By automating these processes with our CLM solution we help businesses increase productivity, optimise collaboration and increase revenue.

Could you tell us more about machine learning and AI as tools for automation of your product?

Both AI and machine learning are booming. You see that the largest part of investments in the legal tech industry ends up with companies using these technologies. More and more it is applied to contract management as well. Both AI and machine learning help classify and structure contractual information. As a result, specific clauses or potential risks are automatically detected. Big investments have been made in companies that use AI and machine learning to analyze case law. I expect there are many more opportunities for companies that implement those technologies to analyze legal documents.

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