Pioneering UK law firm Mishcon de Reya has today announced that following its successful MDR LAB incubation programme for legal tech start-ups this year it has made two investments in its first cohort: Everchron, who are developers of collaborative litigation management software; and Ping, whose product automates timekeeping for lawyers and provides financial and productivity data analysis for law firms.
In May, six companies were chosen to spend ten weeks working alongside lawyers and business operations teams to develop and trial their products.
Now, Mishcon de Reya has signed an enterprise-wide licence with Everchron, which is based in Los Angeles, California, enabling the firm’s litigators to use the software to better manage litigation documents from the outset of a case, and to collaborate on documents with external parties such as clients, barristers and co-counsel. The firm has also agreed commercial terms on a further co-development project with Ping, which is also based in California, this time in San Francisco’s Bay Area.
MDR Lab will also now open to a new round of start-ups, with that group set to join the firm in 2018 for another programme.
Nick West, Chief Strategy Officer at Mishcon de Reya who led the MDR LAB project, said: ‘We had a fantastic first year of MDR LAB. The programme achieved a lot. We met and worked with some great people and some innovative companies and are thrilled to announce these first two investments. We’re excited to continue to work with all of our 2017 cohort and to see what MDR LAB 2018 brings!’
Kourosh Zamanizadeh, Co-Founder of Ping, added: ‘We’ve had many conversations with top law firms around the world who are interested in technology, but few have committed to driving innovation within legal in the way that Mishcon de Reya has. Our time in MDR LAB helped shape our product and better understand how Ping can help firms adapt to shifts that are occurring in the industry. We are very excited about our continued partnership together.’
Ofer Bleiweiss, Founder and CEO of Everchron, concluded: ‘MDR LAB was an invaluable opportunity for us to work closely with lawyers at the top of their game. We are delighted to now have Mishcon as both investor and customer. We look forward to building on our partnership and doing big things together in the UK and beyond.”
Mishcon’s West also told Artificial Lawyer that although only two companies have been chosen at present for investment: ‘We are still very much working with the other four. We use SaltDNA on some client matters, but we haven’t (yet) signed any long term agreement with them. They are now very much in the basket of tools we use for ultra-secure comms.’
‘We continue to work very closely with Orbital Witness to support their growth and help them develop their v1. We’re continuing to work with Surukam to develop a killer feature that will differentiate it in the market. And we continue to help Synergist with sales efforts. In due course we may make more announcements,’ he added.
West also noted that the scope and start-up type of the next MDR LAB programme won’t be ‘massively different, but we do have a few minor changes in focus’. More details will appear soon.
Details of other start-ups in the 2017 cohort are below:
– Orbital Witness
An exciting start-up at concept stage, Orbital Witness was founded this year to deliver actionable insights from satellite imagery for use by real estate lawyers. Its product provides customers with historical images of a site, a vast improvement on old image sources such as Google Earth. Orbital Witness can automatically scour cloud-based imagery from commercial satellite operators and space agencies, and use machine learning techniques to analyse the imagery in conjunction with existing real estate datasets to solve clients’ queries and innovate in real estate practice.
Founded in 2013, SaltDNA is based in Belfast with 17 staff. Its product is at user stage, and revenue generating. SaltDNA provides a fully enterprise-managed software solution that enables absolute privacy in mobile communications. It is easy to deploy and uses multi-layered encryption techniques to meet the highest of security standards. The SaltDNA Desktop and Mobile apps are intuitive and easy to install and use. The SaltDNA Communication Manager provides a console for tight management of users and can be configured for the management of regulatory (i.e. FINRA, HIPAA and MiFID) compliance.
Founded in 2015 and based in India with 12 staff, Surukam’s product is at user stage and the company is revenue-generating. It provides artificial intelligence powered solutions for the automation of contract management, with minimal human intervention. Designed and developed by its AI and contract experts, Surukam’s platform, CruxIQ, is based on the principle of predictive analysis, and can assist in automation of contract extraction, redlining contracts and deviation analysis.
Founded in 2015 and based in Berlin, synergist.io provides a secure cloud service to automate the negotiation of contract terms, allowing customers to draft, negotiate and sign contracts without redlines or email. synergist.io shortens deal cycles by automating contract workflow, and intelligently guides users through contract negotiations.