Orrick Spins Out Legal Tech Incubator Creation ‘Joinder’

Joinder, which is a system-of-record for corporate legal departments, has been spun out of leading US firm Orrick’s legal tech incubator and launched as an independent business. Ex-Orrick partner, Don Keller, is leading the legal tech company.

Keller formally left the firm in January after 15 years there and after having previously worked at the Venture Law Group for over a decade. Former Venture Law Group partner and Yahoo’s first corporate lawyer, Jim Brock, is joining him. Brock is also the founder of NDA application TrustBot.

It’s not the first legal tech company to be created as a spin out. Recently we saw Deloitte spin out Arteria, a contracting platform. We have also seen fellow West Coast technology law firm, Wilson Sonsini, spin out a financial data tool, with Morgan Stanley effectively taking control of it.

As Orrick said of the business when it was still part of its own tech incubation group: ‘We launched Orrick Labs to build what we could not find in the market. Designed in close collaboration with Orrick clients, Joinder is the first product to come out of the Lab and spin off as an independent company.

Joinder combines the four critical pillars to legal work – data storage, task management, communications, and document management – into a single workspace. It gives the corporate legal department unparalleled access and control over the company’s legal and compliance work product and data.’

Joinder offers ready-made solutions, initially developed to address the needs of Orrick’s clients. These solutions span four practice areas: litigation, corporate and IP, compliance, and legal operations. The entire platform is designed to serve established and growing legal departments, with no coding, consultants, or extended implementation required.

Key capabilities include:

  • ‘Track deadlines​ on a shared calendar – All upcoming deadlines and status in one place. No more manual reporting. Works with Outlook.​
  • One place to review, comment and approve – Upload documents and determinations for review. No more scattered emails.​
  • A system of record ​for your legal work – Joinder organises your work product as it happens into a ready-made folder structure. Advanced full-text search.’

Orrick is already using Joinder in a number of ways, including with the firm’s ‘Privacy in a Box’ global compliance platform and as a system-of-record for more than 1,000 corporate clients. The Joinder group also has around 15 staff, although it’s been in development since 2019.

CEO Keller, said: ‘Work product, records, deadlines, and tasks have long been controlled by outside law firms. Joinder flips that script and puts control firmly in the hands of legal departments.’

Mitch Zuklie, Orrick Chairman and CEO, added: ‘When we launched Orrick Labs, our goal was to tackle problems for which we did not see adequate solutions in the market.’

‘Joinder, the result of our client’s demands for more insight into their records, is the first product to spin out from the Lab. And it is just that: a better platform for legal engagement, built by a team that understands how lawyers and legal departments work together. We are thrilled to spin Joinder out to an independent company, led by a top-notch team.’

Is this a big deal? As noted, this is not the first spin out of a homegrown tech offering. Plus, it’s been some years in the making and Keller clearly has had a long and fruitful career at the Venture Law Group and Orrick before making this move.

Perhaps the key takeaway here is that law firms – at least larger ones – are increasingly building their own legal tech solutions and this is a good sign for the sector generally. Why? Because it shows that tech is now central to their business and they are clearly thinking deeply about how to solve legal issues through more efficient software solutions.