Slaughter and May Announces New Collaborate Participants

Slaughter and May has announced the legal tech companies selected for the third cohort of the firm’s Collaborate incubator.

As part of a refreshed offering for 2022, all cohort members will be given the opportunity to undertake a pilot of their product. To date, Slaughter and May has supported 17 legal tech companies via the Collaborate programme, going on to continue working with or purchase licenses of four of the alumni, they said.

When applications to join the programme opened in late 2021, applicants were asked to respond to specific problem statements describing challenges faced by members of the firm. These problem statements (see below) focussed on areas such as knowledge management, on the job learning in a hybrid world and tracking responses to Requests for Information from regulators.

The four businesses, selected by the Collaborate team, with input from the firm’s Client Innovation and Collaborate Advisory Networks were chosen from a diverse pool of technology solutions. The successful companies that will make up the Collaborate cohort for 2022 are:

DraftWiseA knowledge and drafting platform, allowing lawyers to search, discover and analyse precedent clauses across a secure single platform and to quickly draft and review legal contracts. The platform helps to automatically organise and surface knowledge content in partnership with the firm’s Knowledge Management team. DraftWise will work with us to enable users to easily surface precedent clauses (from our internal Knowledge Management system) whilst drafting.
SyntheiaA knowledge management tool which pinpoints relevant information from across a firm, without interrupting workflow. Among other functions, Syntheia allows users to efficiently manage, share and apply knowledge when drafting legal documents. Syntheia will work with us to enable users to easily surface precedent clauses (from our internal Knowledge Management system) whilst drafting.
Ruby DatumAn intuitive platform for document, data and task management. Ruby Datum allows for collaboration across organisations, creating a user experience that is both secure and easy to use. We will work with Ruby Datum to address our challenge around managing multiple Requests for Information from regulators.
LadumaA digital meeting solution that transforms Microsoft Teams into a multi-dimensional platform for hybrid, co-located and distributed working. Laduma uses immersive interactive displays and integrated multi-device sharing capabilities to put people at the heart of the meeting experience. This is in response to the challenge of supporting on the job learning experiences for our people working in remote and hybrid environments. Laduma will give these colleagues a voice that can be heard in meetings. It will empower them to communicate, collaborate, present and share their learning experiences with colleagues as if they were in the same room.

In addition to the opportunity to undertake a pilot of their product, cohort members will also receive guidance, advice and mentoring from the firm’s Knowledge and Innovation Team and practice groups. The cohort will also have the option to pitch to Slaughter and May partners for equity investment, via the Slaughter and May Ventures platform, the firm added.

Chris McGaffin, Collaborate Sponsoring Partner, said: ‘Yet again, the quality of applications received for the programme this year was fantastic. It was a tough choice, but these four legal tech companies offer something unique and valuable for our people. We are really looking forward to working with the cohort to test their products in response to the challenges put forward.’

Jane Edwarde, Collaborate Sponsoring Partner added, ‘The changes we’ve introduced as part of Collaborate 2022 offer us the opportunity to work even more closely with our cohort. We are really excited to pilot all four technologies through the programme, offering our lawyers the opportunity to test and feedback on the products, helping with development whilst generating valuable ideas that can further fuel legal innovation.’

And Jane Stewart, Head of Knowledge and Innovation at Slaughter and May, concluded: ‘We are proud and excited that Collaborate has continuously evolved to match our business’ needs and a rapidly evolving legal tech market. We regularly pilot legal tech tools – but Collaborate offers us the opportunity to get really close to pioneering legal tech companies that offer solutions to challenges our lawyers are facing day to day.’

The 2022 Collaborate problem statements:

·       We are seeking to harness the power of new technologies to enhance our Knowledge Management documents and processes, in particular the ability to easily surface precedent clauses (from our internal KM system) whilst drafting.

·       Manually reviewing legal agreements to check whether they have been properly executed is a time-consuming and repetitive task. We are seeking a tool which can check whether a document has been validly signed by the correct parties to reduce the time our lawyers need to spend on this.

·       Law firms have historically relied on physical proximity to encourage learning. Our L&D and Innovation teams are working on a project to help support on the job learning experience for our people in a remote/hybrid environment, and would welcome tech solutions which might address this.

·       It is often difficult to collect and track large volumes of data, documents and communications from clients submitted in response to Requests for Information from regulators, in various areas of our practice. We would welcome a tech solution to assist with this.

·       Open Category: if you think you have a legal tech solution that could assist our business in another way, we’d love to hear from you.