Artificial Lawyer recently broke the news about how PwC was launching its first law tech scale up accelerator – now here is the full list of the companies that have joined.
The first PwC LawTech cohort is:
AuditXPRT – AI solution for regulatory compliance and audit – https://auditxprt.com/
Capnovum – Cognitive compliance management for financial institutions- http://www.capnovum.com/
Cognitiv+ – Using AI to get legal insights from contracts, understanding your legal obligations – http://www.cognitivplus.com/
Contract Mill – Easy to implement, powerful SaaS solution for document automation – https://contractmill.com/
Lexical Labs – Intelligent contract review – https://www.lexicallabs.com/
Lexsnap – AI powered legal Q&A platform – https://www.lexsnap.com/
Scrive – Premium eSign solutions for any business to modernise workflows, across all channels. – https://scrive.com/
thedocyard – End to end deal management platform to manage lifecycle of corporate or commercial transactions – https://www.thedocyard.co/
As you can see, several of the cohort are focused on automation of legal tasks, some using AI/ML technology.
Commenting on the project, David Chamberlin, Senior Manager, PwC NewLaw, said: ‘LawTech is becoming an increasingly important component in optimising legal service delivery and related professional services.
Staying close to the vibrant LawTech startup community helps us to understand the direction that LawTech is taking and to gain insight for the benefit of our clients.’
Kaisa Kromhof, the co-founder of Contract Mill (see above), and which is based in Scandinavia, told Artificial Lawyer: ‘So far the experience is that for the master classes, PwC has put together a very professional group of people to bring together the best knowledge in different areas. In the area of sales and scaling especially, the learnings from people who have successfully grown companies has been valuable.’
‘With the help of the coaches we have improved our pitches that were presented to PwC executives last week. A very interesting phase will soon start when we get to pitch directly to PwC’s clients. The big work will now be to implement all the knowledge we have gained so far (and which is continuing).’
‘And in regard to this, the more effort you put in as a scale up, the more you will also get out of this programme, of course. In other words, PwC gives us knowledge, tools, support and introductions, but the scale ups naturally have to do their part as well. Many promising discussions have started and the work continues!’ she concluded.
The new incubator, or perhaps it’s better to see this as an accelerator given the focus on scaling up, started on 7th May and is based in London. Although PwC already has a significant legal arm, this is part of the SME group at the Big Four firm and runs in parallel with a number of other Scale projects in other sectors, such as Commerce and InsurTech.
It will conclude 16 July, after 10 weeks. That said, the cohort members will then remain part of the Big Four firm’s wider circle of ‘alumni’, something that perhaps may provide useful benefits and client introductions later down the line.
The programme has three core components to help scale up businesses:
- ‘Our curated events give founders the opportunity to meet and pitch to an extended network of industry decision makers to drive commercial opportunities.
- Group masterclasses provide insights through a combination of PwC and industry experts, as well as learning from shared peer experiences.
- Individual support, including coaching, business support and other bespoke advice leaves your entire business fit to scale.’
It’s also worth noting that PwC has asked for ‘a programme fee’ of £7,500, which is interesting. PwC also says they will not be taking any equity.
One could therefore see this almost as a mini-MBA, although it also shares similarities with other programmes for legal tech startups in the market.
However one describes it, PwC has now joined a growing number of firms to launch legal tech company groups, with others in the field including: Mishcon de Reya, Allen & Overy and Slaughter and May.
While most of the legal market is fairly sanguine about other law firms launching incubators and accelerators, seeing one of the Big Four do it may quicken the pulse of some managing partners and innovation heads – especially given the declared intention of the Big Four to expand their legal offering, and in particular to do so by leveraging technology, improved processes and their considerable scale.
The legal tech companies listed above won’t necessarily be taken up by PwC as tools the business will use (although that is possible). Rather the issue is a ‘statement of intent’ from the Big Four firm that it’s serious about engaging with legal technology as well.
More broadly, the increase in growth ventures for legal tech companies in the UK, and especially London, looks to be a promising development. It will allow more startups and scale ups to engage with the professionals they want to sell products to, as well as build up the already extensive reputation London has as a centre for fostering legal innovation.
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