A&O Unveils New Fuse Cohort of Fintech + Legal Tech Companies

Allen & Overy’s Fuse has announced the 16 legal tech and fintech companies that are part of its new cohort, or that are continuing to work with the innovation project at the global law firm.

Here are the companies in full:

Legal Tech:

·         CUBE – Helps regulated institutions by using AI to capture, track and analyse complex, multijurisdictional and multilingual regulatory data.

·         Eperoto – Helps dispute resolution teams to perform risk-value assessments by utilising decision theory. It clearly shows the risks and rewards of legal proceedings compared with a negotiated settlement.

·         Everchron – Helps litigation and arbitration teams to collaborate on matters via use of a centralised platform.

·         Legalme – Helps claimants and their lawyers automate housing disrepair claims, improving resolution outcomes and allowing timely and effective client support. Automation provides increased access to legal aid and allows lawyers to increase capacity and focus on high complexity cases.

·         neopolis – Helps lawyers draft documents in a collaborative manner by supporting simultaneous co-authoring and transparent version control. Its software can be integrated directly into Microsoft Word or accessed via a web interface.

These companies will join Fuse alumni Avvoka, Draftwise, Greenomy and Definely. Note: In line with A&O’s commitment to pro bono and community investment work, this year’s cohort includes an access to justice company, Legalme (in the list above).

And, for fintech (although there is some cross-over into legal tech as well…..)

·         CoorpID – Helps companies to gather, manage and exchange KYC documentation via a collaborative portal. 

·         Crowdz – Helps SMEs to improve their cash flow by providing access to a blockchain-based global invoice exchange and marketplace, which reduces obstacles in sending, paying and selling invoices.

·         Genesis – Helps institutions quickly to build, customise and integrate software and technology platforms using low code software.

·         Logical Construct – Helps legal and business teams extract and use the data contained in contracts using automated data extraction software and by linking the underlying contracts with the processes and systems driven by it.

·         One Creation – Helps law firms and companies to track access to and protect unstructured data, using encryption software.

·         Scribestar – Helps lawyers and issuers automate manual and repetitive tasks involved in issuing and maintaining securities. Its collaboration suite includes tools to assist with verification management and regulatory checklisting.

·         SparkChange – Helps investors to meet specific decarbonisation objectives by integrating the global finance industry directly with carbon markets. Its specialist carbon investment products and data allows both financial returns and positive environmental impact.   

Speaking to Artificial Lawyer, Shruti Ajitsaria (pictured), partner and head of Fuse, said there had been more than 130 applications to join Fuse from legal tech companies, while for the fintechs these are recommended by the clients. The companies that stay on and continue at Fuse, such as Avvoka, do so after a consultation to see if an on-going relationship makes sense for both parties.

The end result is a lot of companies working via Fuse, 16 in this case, some for the duration of the programme, others for the long-term.

‘It’s very hard to turn down quality,’ Ajitsaria said. ‘Year on year we have seen an increase in the quality of the applications.’

‘What we do is put the applications in buckets (by type), and we talk to the partner sponsors (who will be part of the programme) to ask what they would prefer.’

The Fuse team is now around seven people, with the firm’s IT and security teams also playing a key role.

Ajitsaria noted that they don’t usually invest in the companies that join Fuse, and in fact the only one they have invested in was Nivaura, a fintech startup.

She also said that they have made an effort to bring in eDiscovery companies, and noted that the litigation collaboration system Everchron has joined this year. Ajitsaria said that many of the startups are focused on transactional work, so they had wanted to address the needs of the firm’s disputes partners as well.

And, as explored before by Artificial Lawyer, she reiterated the point that the fintechs are there not to be made use of by Allen & Overy, but rather that they are cutting edge companies that help their clients with emerging needs, or with new approaches, and that helps the lawyers at the firm better understand how to help their clients. In turn the fintechs get support from Fuse and introductions to many large clients.

Overall, it looks like Fuse is going from strength to strength, and now in its sixth iteration it is really on top of what it is trying to do, what value it brings to the companies, and what benefits the programme provides for its lawyers and clients.