Legal Innovation in Oz with Legal Geek + ALTA

ALTA Hosts the Legal Geek Around The World Tour

A Guest Post by Lachlan Ellison, Law Student + Community Lead at Legaler

In June this year the Australian Legal Technology Association (ALTA) was proud to host the Sydney and Melbourne legs of the Legal Geek Around The World Tour, in collaboration with Macquarie Bank and Nextlaw Ventures.

In 2016, Jimmy Vestbirk, Founder of Legal Geek, invited ALTA President Stevie Ghiassi and the Legaler team to exhibit at their annual conference in London. This time around it was Jimmy visiting Australia’s shores and it was only fitting that ALTA was able to return the favour by hosting the fastest-growing legal community on their visit down under.

It was a sight to behold to have so many ‘legal geeks’ in the one room, from barristers to developers, and everyone in between. It was a fantastic chance for all to discuss their passion for legal tech and share ideas over some pizza and cold drinks.

The event also included the Sydney and Melbourne heats of the Legal Geek World Tour pitch competition, with teams being given 3 minutes to showcase their startups. The competition welcomed all types, from students to some self-professed ‘caged software developers.

Though judges were impressed by the consistent high standard of all pitches, ALTA is very proud to announce that Tim and Fiona Kirkman from LawSwitchand Team Anika have been declared as the winners of the global competition after winning their respective heats in Sydney and Melbourne. LawSwitch took out the top spot and have been awarded a travel grant to the Legal Geek Annual Conference in London.

On their win, CEO of Nextlaw Ventures, Dan Jansen said: ‘We are thrilled to have Law Switch join us at the Legal Geek Conference later this year. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this promising startup.’

The young team of lawyers in Team Anika won the runners up position. These fantastic results, and the excellent pitches of all teams, are a testament to the quality of the Australian legal tech scene. To find out more about the Australian winners and all participating teams, check out the Melbourne and Sydney.

Winners of the Sydney pitch night, Fiona and Tim Kirkman from LawSwitch (and Jimmy and Stevie on the Left).
The judges with the winners of the Melbourne pitch night, Anika Legal

The resounding success of both events was a reflection of the enthusiasm of all participants, and particularly of the high quality of the presenting teams’ pitches. In what continues to be a fledgling sector of the legal industry, the Legal Geek stopover in Australia was a wonderful opportunity to raise the profile of legal tech in Australia, and to introduce Aussie legal geeks to the world! ALTA bids good luck to the pitch competition winners and wishes Jimmy and the Legal Geek team every success as they continue to lead the charge for legal tech.

LexisNexis + Janders Dean 2018 Legal Innovation Index Winners Australia + New Zealand

Meanwhile, in other news from the region, global legal information company, LexisNexis, in a partnership with Janders Dean have together just announced their 2018 Legal Innovation Index, which covers legal innovation across Australia and New Zealand.

The winners from the Organisation category from the partnership’s index are:

  • Telstra: implemented a legal technology program to improve knowledge sharing, and matter and document management, incorporating a change management process during rollout.
  • Housing New Zealand: created significant efficiency gains by producing a set of standardised contract templates and engaging document automation company LawHawk.
  • Gilbert + Tobin: developed the Verification<i> tool to streamline the IPO verification process.
  • Pinsent Masons: implemented a full agility workspace model in its Melbourne office – encouraging people to work however best suits their lifestyle and work preferences.
  • sprintlaw: created sprintyard – a cloud-based legal knowledge management tool applying ‘folksonomic’ thinking.
  • Corrs Chambers Westgarth: used augmented reality to communicate digital intelligence and content to its client – REA Group. The firm has also created Corrs Cyber – a service that captures and analyses data for clients experiencing a cyber incident.
  • Westpac: created the CLS Service Centre, a 24/7 easy access resource offering guidance for everyone across the Westpac Group. The corporation also worked with King & Wood Mallesons, to develop an ISDA auto-generation tool to streamline the drafting process.

The winners from the Individual category from the partnership’s index are:

  • Athol Birtley, Settify: is co-founder and CTO of Settify, a family law platform which improves the client induction experience by personalising feedback and humanising language.
  • Garth Brown, Brown & Brown Conveyancers: developed the “Ask Conveyancer App” – an information source for use in the process of exchanging contracts for conveyancing.
  • Katie Leupin, KDL Virtual: created a cloud based administration service for small law firms, solo practitioners, and lawyers operating a virtual law firm.
  • Ravi Nayyar, LifeLedger: developed a tool which increases participation in clinical trials by driving awareness and giving individuals greater control over their medical data.