Nextlaw Labs, the legal tech innovation platform of global law firm Dentons, has expanded its portfolio today with an investment in Hire an Esquire, a company dedicated to on-demand legal resourcing.
Founded in 2011 in response to the rise of the on-demand workforce, Hire an Esquire is an online technology platform that automates the legal staffing process by reducing overhead and increasing market transparency.
In a statement Nextlaw Labs explained its investment by stating that movement towards on-demand legal services is growing and will continue to shape the legal marketplace for years to come. According to a legal industry survey released this year, 56.1 percent of law firm leaders said their firms are using contract lawyers with 67.8 percent expecting an increase in contract lawyers to be a permanent trend.
‘As the global legal industry shifts toward a scalable and dynamic client-service model, it is critical for law firms to embrace the on-demand workforce,’ said John Fernandez, chief innovation officer of Dentons US and global chair for Nextlaw Labs.
Since its launch, the flexible resourcing company has grown to an active network of more than 6,000 screened, vetted attorneys and has clients ranging from boutique law firms to Fortune 500 companies and AmLaw200 law firms.
‘We are thrilled to be working with Nextlaw Labs and Dentons to reinvent the business of law,’ said Julia Shapiro, founder and chief executive of Hire an Esquire. ‘This relationship forges a path off of the traditional partner track towards a modernized legal workforce and sets a precedent for Big Law and modern technology working together to move into the new economy.’
It is not yet known how much Nextlaw Labs invested in the five year old company. Crunchbase notes that several $100,000s was provided as funding up to 2014 from various investors, including angel investors. For example, Crunchbase found that $350,000 was raised in 2013 from multiple sources. However, since 2014 data on its new investments does not appear to be available.
Other named investors over the company’s lifetime include: Astia Angels, Adam Quinton, 37 Angels, 645 ventures and Ulu Ventures.
Hire an Esquire marks Nextlaw Labs’ eighth global investment in the past 18 months since Dentons launched the legal technology investor and accelerator.
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