This month saw the inaugural launch of TechTorget in Oslo. The event was brought together by Peter van Dam, Chief Digital Officer at Simonsen Vogt Wiig, and Erik Ødegaard, with the full support and collaboration of the Norwegian Bar Association.
The event aims to provide the legal sector with an overview of legal tech solutions that are proven and available to legal practitioners to implement right now.
“We saw the legal sector and vendors using enormous amounts of time to meet each other. So we created a sort of marketplace for them.”
Spending just 2-3 hours at the event, says van Dam, can help lawyers to stay informed on the many vendors they would otherwise be unaware of in the market who are providing some great solutions.
What’s more, the event makes future legal tech concrete. It can really demonstrate how, through small steps and investing in real solutions, the legal industry has nothing to fear as it prepares for that future.
The 10th and final QV Forum was held in Stockholm this year. Its central theme was Law 2.0 – an exploration of the potential disruption of the legal market.
Nordic Legal Tech was there, with a provocative presentation, “Software Is Eating the World”. CEO Nicholas Hawtin warned:
“The next generation of solution builders are focused on users and their problems. The solutions they are building are built on solving the user’s problems as intuitively and simply as possible. They are focused on the task the user is trying to perform, not on the legal issue related to that task. The resulting solutions integrate seamlessly and are often invisible.
“This may sound straightforward, but it is very hard to do – and it is not something law firms do well. Their processes do not support it. Their business model directly hinders it. Eventually, their inability to master it will cost them lots of jobs and massive revenue. And ‘eventually’ is coming faster than many of them understand.”
Nordic Legal Tech couldn’t make LegalGeek London this year but we have one of our trusty members reporting on this increasingly important event. Torsten Torpe, head of Legal Tech Innovation at Bech-Bruun, gives us a run down of Bech-Bruun’s presentation at the conference and some comments on the gig generally.
Discussing best practice for AI adoption at LegalGeek
At this year’s LegalGeek conference, we were invited by Luminance (an AI software provider) to talk about how you actually get started using Artificial Intelligence. Being among the early adopting law firms of AI, we were asked to share our experience and pinpoint the dos and don’ts.
Although vendors and technologists often tend to claim the opposite, getting started with AI and technology in general isn’t easy. Our vast experience shows that it requires a strong buy-in from the top management. A point that is as surprising as it is constructive. We discussed what strong management buy-in means in Bech-Bruun and how we have succeeded in establishing a legal tech innovation unit with direct report to the top management.
We extend a warm welcome to our third legal tech provider member, Risma Systems.
“At RISMA Systems we create IT solutions that help companies save resources and simplify the many complex Governance, Risk & Compliance tasks. Our solutions are designed to make it easier to identify risks and secure compliance by translating legal requirements into practical tasks and procedures, while always ensuring cross-organisational collaboration. Our vision is to create a compliance culture and it is our pleasure to work towards that vision together with Nordic Legal Tech.” Søren Kirketerp, Channel Partner Director
The business association for Danish law firms, Danske Advokater, and Danish law firm, Schultz Legal, have come together to provide a new platform for lawyers to access and search for legal information. The new product will compete with the only service currently on the market and offered by Karnov.
The partners expect to launch their product in September 2020 and are hoping the collaboration will ensure competition in the legal information search market.
The pelting rain didn’t hold us back at this year’s Tech BBQ. Nor did it stop the many legal tech enthusiasts who came to our two standing room-only panel debates at the Dive-In stage at Øksnehallen.
The first panel was an insightful discussion on ‘What Startups Can Teach Law Firms – and the Consultancy Industry’ with digital consulting house, Nine, law firm Synch, a serial fintech entrepreneur and panel moderator, Nordic Legal Tech CEO, Nicholas Hawtin.
And startups have plenty to teach, it seems! It was clear from this debate that if law firms and traditional consultancies are to avoid their “Kodak moment”, they need to create value for their customers. Just like startups, they should start working with value propositions and building products their customers actually demand. This means building agile teams with entrepreneurial mindsets.
The second panel was a lively discussion with a customer-centric design expert, a research fellow from Stanford University, a professor of law at the University of Copenhagen, an entrepreneur and panel chair, Nicholas Hawtin, on the vexed question: ‘Can Technology Build Trust?’
What we took from the discussion was that we need to collectively engage with and agree upon how we can strike a balance between technology, innovation and the regulation needed to hold tech companies accountable.
We expect we’ll continue to discuss these massive topics at future tech events!
We held an event to gauge the views on whether technology can build trust. The topic obviously interests many, as the gig was one of the first to sell out and had to be moved to a larger venue.
Dr. Alexandra Andhov, Sarah Barslund Lauridsen and our CEO, Nicholas Hawtin, each gave brief presentations to introduce the subject, the format, and give a couple of perspectives on trust. Then the audience took over for 90 minutes of often intense debate. A fifteen-minute wrap up caught the main takeaways, while a big pile of post-its documented the work of the individual groups. We’ll be posting those on social media. (They make for good pictures.)
Co-founder Dr Alexandra Andhov took time out at September’s Techfestival to chat with Charlie Tango. She touched on the issues of the day: whether we can trust companies, private or public, with our data and how do we regulate technology.
Dr Andhov also talked about the role of education in this discussion; how we need to train law students to deal with the digitalised world so they are able to communicate with tech providers with sufficient understanding of technology.
Check out the discussion here.
Director Nicholas Hawtin also stopped by Charlie Tango’s Techfestival studio to have a conversation. In this chat, he suggests that the Nordics are well placed to set the standard on how technology can provide solutions to the practice of law and legal compliance. Two factors unique to the Nordics – being the most digitalised place on earth and enjoying high levels of trust – make for great opportunities to deliver legal tech services. Let’s take advantage of it!
We also got to talk to idea management platform, Ideanote, at Techfestival about the importance of making mistakes and innovation. If you’re in innovation, get ready to be wrong. Failure, when thoroughly examined, is a fantastic way to learn.
It was a bumper event!