Mishcon Pilots Transaction Platform dealWIP, An MDR LAB Alumnus

US-based transaction platform dealWIP is to be formally trialled by Mishcon de Reya in an important next stage in the development of the alumnus of the firm’s MDR LAB legal tech incubator.

As part of the pilot, UK-based Mishcon has made dealWIP’s software platform available to lawyers in its Corporate and Real Estate groups.

Naturally, law firms conduct legal tech pilots all the time, what is different here is that Mishcon is providing a great example of a law firm incubator following through with a cohort member’s innovation, leading to the technology being put into use by the lawyers at the firm. dealWIP was part of the MDR LAB 2018 cohort.

dealWIP describes itself as a system that ‘helps transactional lawyers and other deal professionals better serve their clients with project management software that enables deal teams to conduct due diligence faster, more securely, and with greater transparency’.

Some of the things it does includes:

  • Real-Time progress reports
  • Track diligence progress by party, team or individual.
  • View all critical issues uncovered in diligence; never lose sleep over a red flag issue slipping through the cracks.
  • Supervisors can receive customisable snapshot views of their teams’ overall progress without having to log in.
  • View the status of every outstanding request with the click of a button.
  • Collaborate with clients and deal team members – and coordinate with the other side – without ever sending an email.
  • Import and deploy existing diligence request list templates to the dealWIP platform in seconds.
  • And, have the ability to perform natural language searches of all the correspondence and documents on any of your deals.

In short, it aims to take as much of the operational and organisational strain out of the transactional process as possible, all via one integrated platform. That in turn should hopefully lead to faster deal turnaround, happier junior lawyers who are less bogged down in ‘legal admin’, and ultimately happier clients. It should also produce an overall efficiency dividend.

Tunji Williams, CEO of dealWIP, commented: ‘Mishcon de Reya is in the vanguard of firms that drive innovation in the legal space. They’ve proved they pay more than lip service to the need to continuously deliver superior client service. We are thrilled to be working alongside Mishcon’s team of forward-thinking attorneys as they provide innovative and exceptional services to their clients.’

The dealWIP co-founders (L to R): Alex Nordholm, Head of Product, Tunji Williams, CEO, and Operations Head, James Clarkin-Breslin.

While, Nick West, Chief Technology Officer at Mishcon de Reya, added: ‘We’ve learned that the 10-week MDR LAB programme each year is just the beginning of the collaboration with our LAB companies. While we can achieve a lot during that intense period, one of the key benefits is the direct connections made between the start-up companies and our lawyers, allowing them to continue to work together after the programme ends.’

Last year during MDR LAB our feedback to the dealWIP team was to narrow their focus on the diligence process as a starting point for their dealtech platform. Since then, we’ve been impressed with the way the product they are building works to remove the inefficiencies of the traditional diligence Q&A exercise, streamlining the way information is shared between clients and legal teams and making the overall process faster and more transparent,’ he concluded.

Overall, it’s great to see a startup join an incubator, learn from the experience, improve, then come back to the same firm in this way for active duty. Clearly proof positive that incubators work and are a win-win scenario, as dealWIP has improved via the experience at MDR LAB, Mishcon has been able to help shape the product in a way that meets its lawyers’ needs, and ultimately – as noted above – this will hopefully provide the firm and its clients with tangible efficiency benefits.

Recently, Mishcon also invested in property conveyancing platform Thirdfort, which is also an MDR LAB alumnus.

MDR LAB – where the relationship with dealWIP started.

MDR LAB is now approaching the start of its third cohort. Pitch day has already taken place for those that were invited. The lucky companies that were chosen will begin LAB 2019 on 7 May, finishing with a demo day in July after a 10 week programme.

And, for some additional insight into dealWIP you can also check out this video below (about 20 mins) – via YouTube, from Sept 2018.