Nextlaw Labs Invests in Automated Legal Analytics Co. FileFacets in 9th Deal

Nextlaw Labs, the legal tech innovation platform of Dentons, has invested in FileFacets, an automated data analytics and content migration system that fills in some of the legal process management gaps left by AI and manual approaches to areas such as due diligence.

The investment in the Canadian company was conducted through Nextlaw Labs’ investment fund, Nextlaw Ventures, in what was an oversubscribed Series A financing led by Celtic House Venture Partners, an independent Canadian investment fund.

This latest investment brings Nextlaw Labs’ stable of legal tech companies to nine in total (see full table below). According to Crunchbase, FileFacets has received $4m in funding since October 2016, although the level of investment from Nextlaw Labs has not yet been disclosed.

FileFacets is designed to be of use to lawyers involved in moving data and preparing further analysis of large volumes of data for work projects. It does not appear to be a natural language processing/AI system, but rather provides the ‘heavy lifting’ software capability that is often missing from both traditional manual methods and more specifically focused AI approaches to data analysis.

Or in other words, it gets all those thousands of documents ready, organised and in the right place, so they can then be filleted in detail by legal AI systems (or via manual labour) in a due diligence, or perhaps a compliance project, for a client.

For example, FileFacets can identify case files across multiple repositories, offices and locations to facilitate the discovery process and share information. FileFacets’ cloud-based data analytics and content migration platform streamlines the process of identifying, collecting, and analysing millions of unstructured files from multiple locations and moves them into structured file locations in a secure, automated and documented manner.

In short, it provides both an efficiency gain for corporate clients, and also a productivity gain for law firms by seeking to squeeze more billable activity out of their workforce, rather than see staff stuck in mundane manual review of top level data categorisation and sorting.

Dan Jansen, Nextlaw Labs

Dan Jansen, CEO at Nextlaw Labs, said: ‘Data organisation is critical to the success of any legal business and a major pain point for law firms is finding and sorting relevant information across the wide array of sources that are available in today’s digital environment.’

‘We are excited to be investing in a cutting-edge solution that addresses this issue head on, saving lawyers hours of digging through electronic files and conducting legal research by categorizing and prioritizing relevant content with FileFacets.’

Chris Perram, FileFacets CEO, added: ‘The platform [enables] law firms to gather and process the necessary content in hours instead of weeks or even months.’

FileFacets is Nextlaw Labs’ third investment in the Canadian market since its launch in May 2015. The other companies that have seen investment are:

  • ROSS Intelligence (Canada): A developer that leverages IBM Watson-powered cognitive computing to refine expert legal research.
  • Apperio (UK): A startup focused on streamlining matter management.
  • Doxly (US): A secure, cloud-based platform designed to simplify corporate legal transactions.
  • Libryo (South Africa): A risk management SaaS (software as a service) solution enabling users to understand legal obligations in any jurisdiction.
  • Clause (US): A data-driven smart contracting platform that leverages the Internet of Things.
  • QualMet (US): The legal industry’s first solution to measure and improve service quality between in-house and outside counsel.
  • Hire an Esquire (US): A startup transforming the legal marketplace with on-demand workforce technology.
  • Beagle (Canada): A startup that is using artificial intelligence to automate legal contract review