Global law firm Allen & Overy has become the latest law firm to embrace the incubation of legal tech companies with a plan to launch a collaborative platform to foster legal, regulatory and deal-related tech companies.
The platform, which will be called, Fuse, will support companies in three core areas:
- legaltech: technology supporting legal advice, law firms and in-house legal functions;
- regtech: technology supporting regulatory compliance; and
- dealtech: technology that transforms how companies and financial institutions transact and negotiate deals with each other.
In a statement the global firm said that early-stage and more mature tech companies can apply to work in a specially-designed area for 60 individuals housed within Allen & Overy’s London offices on the boundary of Shoreditch and the City of London.
Once in residence, companies will have access to the expertise of Allen & Overy lawyers, technologists and clients to co-create practical solutions to some of the challenges faced by companies, financial institutions and law firms today.
Fuse is being led by Jonathan Brayne, Fuse Chairman, and Shruti Ajitsaria, Head of Fuse.
The move follows the development of Nextlaw Labs by Dentons and the launch of an incubator at Mishcon De Reya, suggesting that law firms are now seeking to actively embrace start-ups in the legal field and beyond, even if these may potentially disrupt their own business.
It suggests that lawyers are recognising that it is better to be part of the solution and partner with legal tech pioneers and other types of tech company that connect to their work, rather than wait on the sidelines and wait to be impacted by new inventions.
The firm added in its statement that the launch of this space builds on aosphere, its online subscription business, and MarginMatrix, a digital derivatives compliance system.
Applications for Fuse will open in April 2017 and applicants will undergo a selection process before successful companies move into the space in September 2017.
Wim Dejonghe, Allen & Overy’s senior partner, commented: ‘Developments in tech are rapidly transforming our industry and we are determined to play a lead role in harnessing the power of new solutions for the benefit of our clients.
‘Fuse offers us a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with both our clients and some of the brightest minds in the tech sector, particularly those who have synergies with our business. I’m convinced this will not only put us at the forefront of developments in this field but will also be a key differentiator for Allen & Overy in the years to come.’