Legal AI Companies Increase By 65% in One Year – LawGeex Report

Israel-based legal AI pioneer and doc review experts, LawGeex, has just published its latest ‘Inhouse Counsel’s LegalTech Buyer’s Guide 2018‘, providing lawyers and legal operations professionals with a broad range of data on legal tech and also AI solutions.

It also shows that the number of legal technology AI companies has increased from 40 to 66 in the past year – an increase of 65%. This follows an explosion of well-funded legal technology startups alongside established players seizing new opportunities in the $700 billion legal market.

The guide also details the 22 biggest legal technology mergers and acquisitions, and the 45 largest fundings in the sector over the past year.

They’ve done a sterling job again and provided a huge amount of information on all manner of companies. They’ve also conducted plenty of research on what companies are doing and thinking about legal tech. Some of the key findings are:

  • Cost pressures are rampant. Cost pressures to improve efficiency are cited by 69% of General Counsel as a driving force in their daily roles. Businesses want to pay less for legal services but there is no reduction in work. Only 28% of legal departments are hiring, yet 82% of departments expect their legal needs to increase in the next year.
  • Reduction in law firm costs. In-house teams now handle approximately 75% of their legal work. In the words of Connie Brenton, Director of Legal Operations at NetApp and President of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium: “Law firms are starting to see work go away. Bread and butter work is going away because of tech and other external providers.”
  • The growth of Legal Operations. Legal Operations, a movement to ensure that law departments function as a business, have become entrenched, as 56% of legal departments now have a dedicated legal operations function, up from 51% last year. The greater use of automation for everyday tasks is a key part of the legal operations remit, alongside better processes in general.
LawGeex’s map of the legal AI sector.

Lucy Bassli, former Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft and Chief Legal Strategist at LawGeex, commented: ‘The greatest and most far-reaching change I have experienced is how legal technology is making inroads into the “front office”, taking over tasks or initial steps of the actual legal work that has traditionally been handled by lawyers or legal staff. For the first time, everyday tasks—such as analyzing or reviewing contracts and researching legal issues for case law and regulatory insights—are increasingly becoming automated, at least in stages.’

The report also found that legal tech in 2017 saw $233 million in investments in companies across 61 deals, edging ahead of 2016 with $224 million in investments across 79 deals. Funding for disrupting the legal profession continues to flourish in 2018.

And, as readers will no doubt spot, Artificial Lawyer was a key source of information throughout the report. Thanks, LawGeex for another great snapshot of the market.