By Lucy Endel Bassli

Former Deputy General Counsel at Snowflake Inc.

The legal technology (legaltech) space has continued to mature this year, with more capital being invested, more willingness among customers in the legal industry to adopt technological solutions, and more awareness of the need for LegalAI (Artificial Intelligence). Legal teams have become partners in the strategy of their companies, and more interested in adopting tools and technologies  that will increase their speed and responsiveness to internal business clients. The coming of age of legal operations has yielded a class of experts proficient in the pain points of their legal colleagues and knowing where and when to apply technology solutions. 


Although some companies outsource part of their tasks, an increasing number are leveraging tools to help them insource, realizing that technological advances empower them to expand their capabilities while keeping costs in check. Finally, law firms have adopted legaltech, going beyond traditional document management to tools to help automate lawyering. This helps them accelerate the work while still keeping clients happy. Automation eliminates low-level work, leading to greater revenue opportunities and reducing competitive risk. 

Mergers and Acquisitions

As expected, the legaltech industry continues to see vendor changes. Legal AI and prop tech pioneer, Leverton, has been bought by MRI Software. Thomson Reuters’ (TR) announced its acquisition of legal data sharing platform HighQ. SimpleLegal, the spend management pioneer, which Artificial Lawyer only recently profiled, has been bought by Onit. And finally, EY acquired the Pangea3 Legal Managed Services (LMS) business from Thomson Reuters.


Choosing Legal Tech

During my time as in-house counsel at Microsoft and Snowflake, I found that the process of choosing and purchasing legal technology has only gotten more complicated over time. Even sophisticated buyers continue to be overwhelmed by the choices available. Complicating the picture are continually changing developments such as privacy concerns (e.g. GDPR) and security requirements. 

The Legal Tech Buyer’s Guide 2019 Edition discusses these major developments and gives practical advice on how to evaluate and buy legaltech. Now online, the fully updated and revised guide features nn categories of legal technology, from contract drafting to eDiscovery, and Contract Review Automation, to Legal Analytics. We hope this updated guide and downloadable resources provide a useful starting point and insights for the assessment of your legal tech needs.