Laura Bygrave on Deloitte Legal Ventures, the Story So Far

In December last year Big Four firm Deloitte launched Deloitte Legal Ventures, a tech engagement project involving more than a dozen legal tech companies and other groups. But what is the story so far? Laura Bygrave, Deloitte Legal’s Innovation and Ventures Lead, talks to AL TV about the programme’s output.

One example of a project that has come out of this is working with the Conception X deeptech venture programme, using machine learning to find new ways to identify and extract dates from contracts that may not have been explicitly defined, e.g. when an aspect of an agreement will ‘terminate in 12 months after the signing of the contract’, but a specific date is not provided that NLP software can normally pick up.

The interview also looks at how they have worked with the legal tech startups (see below). For example, with the drafting tool Define they have been providing feedback, such as where they’d like to see new features, which have now been developed. They’ve also worked with no-code company BRYTER, where they’ve co-developed a COVID guidance tool. 2,200 users have already accessed the application and they are looking at how they can extend it.

The Legal Ventures group will also be moving beyond a fixed cohort system and bringing in companies whenever there is a compelling reason to do so. They’re also focusing now on how to scale up Ventures across the global network of Deloitte so they can support the startups they work with far beyond the UK market.

In this AL TV interview (18 mins) we cover:

  • What is Ventures and why are Deloitte doing it?
  • How it helps the legal tech buying process for its clients, and how they use metrics to measure the startups.
  • How it connects to the broader mix of services provided by Deloitte Legal.
  • Co-development of solutions for the clients.
  • How it is different from the legal tech incubators in the market.
  • Working with the Conception X group of PhD students on several legal sector challenges, which include: legal entity data analysis, and date identification in contract analysis using machine learning;
  • Working with Define and BRYTER.
  • What happens to the current cohort, will there be a new one?
  • And more….

(Press play to watch or listen inside the page.)

AL TV Productions. 2020.

The first cohort of tech companies in Deloitte Legal Ventures, which was announced last year, included:

  • Autologyx – a workflow automation platform. 
  • Avvoka – contracting platform, has been part of the Allen & Overy FUSE tech group.
  • CourtQuant – litigation prediction specialists (Note: this particular company is now winding down).
  • Define – a drafting tool.
  • Genie AI – AI-assisted drafting system.
  • Juralio – legal matter and workflow visualisation tool. 
  • – compliance support system. 
  • PING – time-recording platform, previously part of MDR LAB, Mishcon is an investor also. 
  • Reynen Court – the now famous ‘legal App Store’ that handles matters such as security so you can jump on and use SaaS software more easily. Has several major law firms as backers. 
  • – matter management system. 

The Conception X academic project is also working with Ventures – see here.

Deloitte Legal Ventures provides the companies with ‘access to consulting, technology, legal and investment experts’.

Through Deloitte’s proprietary Venture Path methodology, they stress-test products, services, business models and strategies in a transparent and structured way to identify scalability.