Virtual Data Room (VDR) pioneer Ruby Datum has signed a three-year contract with Mishcon de Reya. It is understood that the innovative UK law firm already has an existing deal with rival data-sharing platform, HighQ, which is now part of Thomson Reuters.
The VDR platform’s boss, Nick Watson, told Artificial Lawyer that the system will be used for real estate transactions initially – a core practice area for Mishcon – with a view to explore corporate, litigation and other areas in the future.
Ruby Datum was first introduced to Mishcon as part of their MDR LAB incubator initiative last year. Although Ruby didn’t take part as a member of the cohort, the firm ran a multi-month pilot of the VDR system that saw some co-innovation taking place.
Among other features, Ruby Datum and Mishcon have worked together on an iManage integration to enable a smooth flow of documents from one platform to the other.
The UK-based company said that over the next three years the team at Ruby Datum intend to work closely with Mishcon on other integrations and improvements.
Watson commented: ‘We’ve always seen Mishcon as one of the leaders when it comes to technology [and] we couldn’t be more excited to strengthen our relationship. The team there have been highly responsive, agile and offered invaluable feedback to help us grow the platform further.’
Sandra Smythe from the Knowledge Services team at Mishcon added: ‘Ruby Datum have listened attentively from the beginning, communicating regularly in order to develop a roadmap that ensured our needs were met. It’s great to be supporting a start-up now in its fourth year, and [the deal] allows us to continue partnering our services with pioneering technology to deliver maximum value to our clients.’
The announcement follows a partnership between Ruby and Cosmonauts, a business development and conference company operating in the legal sector, (which also helps Artificial Lawyer put on this site’s Legal Innovators conferences).
Is this a big deal? For Ruby, certainly. They’ve worked with plenty of law firms, as well as for the parties dealing with the fall-out of the King & Wood Mallesons/SJ Berwin UK collapse in 2017, but this is the first very well known London firm to publicly announce a deal with the growing VDR company. Other clients include Ashfords, Kitsons and Stor Power the energy company.
Also, what does this mean for HighQ, which Mishcon already works with? Hard to tell at the moment and it’s totally possible the firm will keep using both systems. However, it does show that there is increasing competition in this space just as HighQ beds down its combination with the giant Thomson Reuters.