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The 2020 Influential Women in Legal Tech

In celebration of Women’s History Month, ILTA has announce its2020 list of Influential Women in Legal Tech. This list recognizes five outstanding women leaders in the legal technology community based on their mentorship history and level of impact on Legal Technology.

“With help from a group of 12 members, business partners, and staff, we selected a truly inspirational group of women to highlight this month.” says Joy Heath Rush, ILTA CEO. “These women represent legal technologists from across the globe. They are the movers and shakers within the legal community, and we have all benefited from hearing them speak at conferences and from using the technology they have developed. We salute them for fostering conversations on the intersection of law and tech and for helping us aspire to contribute at the highest level possible.”

Being selected as an Influential Women in Legal Tech illustrates that the woman is a dedicated professional in fostering change and female leadership (i.e. developing mentorship or leadership programs, making noteworthy contributions to the legal technology space, and/or championing innovative initiatives).

Alice Namuli Blazevic


Partner at Katende, Ssempebwa & Company Advocates and Co-Founder of The Legal Innovation Hub
Kampala, Uganda

Alice is an award-winning lawyer, international speaker, author, innovator, and mentor. She was labelled as “one to watch” in the Chambers and Partners Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers, 2020 Edition, with sources recognising her strengths in TMT work, particularly in IT.

She established the Legal Tech and Innovation department at her firm where they are helping reshape the model of business in Africa. Her expertise in commercial transactions helped lead the KATS Fintech team to secure the first-ever money remittance licence from the Central Bank of Uganda for a Fintech using a digital platform. Her other accomplishments and strides includes being a Co-Founder of the Legal Innovation Hub, Founder of the Kampala Legal Hackers, Founder of the Uganda Legal Tech Network, Country Representative and Host of the World Legal Summit (WLS), Board Member of the Innovation Advisory Board of the Uganda National Social Security Fund, Cybersecurity expert for the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa at the University of Stellenbosch, and host of a mentorship program called Coffee With Alice.

María Jesús González-Espejo


Vice President at European Legal Technology Association (ELTA) and Managing Partner at Instituto de Innovación Legal
Madrid, Spain

María is a lawyer, innovator, and evangelist who is working to transform the legal sector in Spain. She introduced Spain to Legal Design Thinking, was named an official ambassador of the Madrid City Council for attracting the 2019 European LegalTech Congress to Madrid, and is supporting the internationalization of Spanish LegalTech through her leadership of the European LegalTech Association (ELTA). Other accomplishments include helping create ConflictMapp, a tool which helps to unblock the courts and supporting people in resolving their conflicts and authoring various articles for industry publications.

Ivy Grey


Vice President, Wordrake
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Ivy is a legal tech entrepreneur, writer, and former practicing lawyer. Her work on technology competence, ethics, and innovation has made her a respected thought leader in the legal technology community. She is a regular speaker on technology competence and law office technology — recent events include ABA TechShow 2019 and the Chicago Legal Hackers Meet Up — and is spearheading a new wave of vendor-stakeholder collaborations that will help bring change to the legal profession. Other accomplishments include: creating the American Legal Style for PerfectIt, being named a Rising Star in the New York Metro Area for five consecutive years (2014-2018), and authoring more than 40 pieces for industry publications.


Maya Markovich


Chief Growth Officer, NextLaw Labs at Dentons
Oakland, California, USA

Maya has been central to Nextlaw Labs, Dentons’ startup accelerator and legal tech investment fund, since its launch as the industry’s first tech-focused innovation catalyst in 2015. With her unique background spanning behavioral science, law, investment, and change management, she designs and drives cutting-edge legal tech projects on behalf of the world’s largest firm and its clients. Maya works with law schools across the globe to encourage necessary change in legal education — and highlight the opportunities — for law students entering contemporary practice. Maya also serves on the boards of Legal Access AlamedaLexLab, and OneJustice, and as mentor for LegalGeek’s Women in LawTech and University of Arizona TechLaw Fellows programs, supporting legal tech initiatives to improve access to justice and gender equity. She frequently speaks at conferences, broadcasts and writes on legal tech and innovation. She was named a Woman Leading Legal Tech by The Technolawgist in 2019 and a Woman of Legal Tech by the ABA LTRC in 2018.

Jackie Nagtegaal


Futurist & Managing Director, Law for All,
Cape Town, South Africa

Jackie runs Law for All, the leading Alternative Legal Service provider on the continent of Africa, which resolves approximately 100,000 cases annually on a subscription basis. Not only are they using technology to ease the way people interact and access the law, they’re championing women in legal tech by having 78% of the employees be women. She was shortlisted for the Pinnacle Award from the WOZA Women in Law, is a jury member of the HiiL International Innovating Justice Challenge in the Hague, and runs a law firm funding program where she donates financially and mentors young African firms.

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ILTA publica los nombres de las 5 mujeres más influyentes en Legal Tech en 2020.

(Chicago, IL) 2 de marzo de 2020: para celebrar el Mes de la Historia de la Mujer, ILTA se complace en anunciar su lista de Mujeres Influyentes en Tecnología Legal de 2020. Esta lista reconoce a cinco mujeres líderes destacadas en la comunidad de LegalTech en función de su trayectoria profesional y su nivel de impacto en la comunidad Legal Tech.

 

“Con la ayuda de un grupo de 12 miembros, socios comerciales y personal, hemos seleccionado un grupo verdaderamente inspirador de mujeres que merecen ser destacadas”. dice Joy Heath Rush, CEO de ILTA. “Estas mujeres representan a expertos Legal Tech de todo el mundo. Ellas son los motores y dinamizadoras de la comunidad legal, y todos nos beneficiamos al escucharlas como ponentes en conferencias y al poder usar la tecnología que han desarrollado. Las felicitamos por fomentar conversaciones sobre la intersección entre el Derecho y la tecnología y por su aportación al bien común. Ser seleccionada como una mujer influyente en LegalTech significa ser una profesional dedicada a fomentar el cambio y el liderazgo femenino (es decir, desarrollar programas de tutoría o liderazgo, hacer contribuciones notables al espacio LegalTech y / o defender iniciativas innovadoras). Abrimos una convocatoria mundial en enero y ellas cinco han sido las profesionales finalmente seleccionadas en febrero, entre todas las nominaciones recibidas.”

 

Mujeres influyentes de 2020 en Legal Tech

 

Alice Namuli Blazevic

 

Socia de Katende, Ssempebwa & Company Advocates y cofundadora de The Legal Innovation Hub, Kampala, Uganda

 

Alice es una abogada galardonada, innovadora, oradora internacional, autora y mentora. Fue etiquetada como “a la que hay que seguir” en la Guía global de Chambers and Partners para los principales abogados del mundo, edición 2020, con fuentes que reconocen sus puntos fuertes en el trabajo de TMT, particularmente en TI.

 

Alice estableció el departamento Legal de Tecnología e Innovación en su firma donde están ayudando a remodelar el modelo de negocio en África. Su experiencia en transacciones comerciales ayudó a liderar el equipo KATS Fintech para asegurar la primera licencia de envío de dinero del Banco Central de Uganda para un Fintech utilizando una plataforma digital. Sus otros logros y avances incluyen ser cofundadora de Legal Innovation Hub, fundadora de Kampala Legal Hackers, fundadora de Uganda Legal Tech Network, representante de país y anfitriona de World Legal Summit (WLS), miembro de la junta directiva del Consejo Asesor de Innovación del Fondo Nacional de Seguridad Social de Uganda, experta en ciberseguridad para el Instituto de Seguridad para el Gobierno y el Liderazgo en África de la Universidad de Stellenbosch, y anfitriona de un programa de mentoring llamado Coffee With Alice.

 

María Jesús González-Espejo

 

Vicepresidenta de la European Legal Technology Association (ELTA) y socia directora del Instituto de Innovación Legal, Madrid, España.

 

María Jesús es jurista, innovadora, y evangelizadora de la innovación y La Legal Tech. Trabaja en la transformación del sector legal en España. Ha sido la introductora en España de la metodología Legal Design Thinking. Ha recibido el reconocimiento de embajadora oficial del Ayuntamiento de Madrid por traer el Congreso Europeo LegalTech 2019 a esta ciudad, y apoya la internacionalización de LegalTech español a través de su rol de Vicepresidenta de European Legal Tecnology Associatino (ELTA). Otros logros incluyen el desarrollo de ConflictMapp, una aplicación informática que ayuda a las personas a resolver sus conflictos y a desatascar los juzgados. Es autora de numeras publicaciones divulgativas sobre esta materia.

 

Ivy Gray

 

Vicepresidenta, Wordrake, Chicago, Illinois, EE. UU.

 

Ivy es una empresaria de LegalTech, escritora y exabogada. Su trabajo en competencia tecnológica, ética e innovación la ha convertido en una líder de pensamiento respetada en la comunidad LegalTech. Es oradora habitual en competencia tecnológica y tecnología de despacho de abogados: los eventos recientes incluyen ABA TechShow 2019 y Chicago Legal Hackers Meet Up, y está construyendo una red de proveedores y partes interesadas que ayudarán a cambiar la profesión legal. Otros logros incluyen: crear el estilo legal estadounidense para PerfectIt, ser nominada Estrella en ascenso en el área metropolitana de Nueva York durante cinco años consecutivos (2014-2018) y autora de más de 40 publicaciones.

 

Maya Markovich

 

Directora de crecimiento de NextLaw Labs, Oakland, California, EE. UU.

 

Como una de las primeras empleadas de Nextlaw Labs, la primera entidad de innovación centrada en Legal Tech ha ayudado a ser pionera en el fondo legal de inversión en tecnología. Ha trabajado con varias facultades de Derecho y laboratorios de diseño, y ha sido parte de varios proyectos muy positivos para Dentons. Maya también ha asumido varios roles de mentora voluntaria en programas como Women in Lawtech, LexLab, University of Arizona Law tech Fellows, programa de pasantías / pasantías de verano de Nextlaw Labs, Singapore Academy of Law – programa GLIDE y OneJustice Strategy Council. Además, es oradora, participa en numerosos podcasts y fue nominada en 2019 por Technolawgist como una de las mujeres líderes en Legal Tech.

 

Jackie Nagtegaal,

 

Visionaria y directora ejecutiva, Law for All, Ciudad del Cabo, Sudáfrica

 

Jackie dirige Law for All, el proveedor líder de servicios legales alternativos en el continente africano, que resuelve aproximadamente 100,000 casos anualmente por suscripción. No solo usan la tecnología para facilitar la forma en que las personas interactúan y acceden a la ley, sino que están apoyando el desarrollo profesional de mujeres en Legal Tech porque el 78% de sus empleadas son mujeres. Fue preseleccionada para el Premio Pinnacle de WOZA Women in Law, es miembro del jurado del HiiL International Innovating Justice Challenge en La Haya y dirige un programa de financiación de bufetes de abogados desde el que asesora a jóvenes empresas africanas.

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One of the world’s main Legal Tech Headquarters – the Startup Nation of Israel

Though Israel is new to the legal tech market, it is clear that the country is determined to keep up the pace with the rest of the world, as law firms and in-house departments are slowly – but surely adopting legal tech products.

The real revolution, however, is heralding from the legal-tech companies which are showing capabilities and potential that rival international companies and are already piquing the interest of the world.

There is no doubt today, that in the near future, Israel will become a symbol for exporting legal technology – a main hub for innovation and LegalTech.

Why Israel?

Necessity is the mother of all inventions. In a country that famously did not have many resources, Israelis had to rely on developing solutions on their own, which forces people to think outside of the box.

Israelis are used to being given a situation where limitations are finite and defined, so truthfully, part of the Israeli nature is to burst through those whenever possible.

Therefore, Israeli lawyers are typically less risk-averse than other cultures and are straightforward, informal and aggressive. When these younger Israeli lawyers are unhappy with the way law is practiced today and demand increased use of legal tech – they will make their opinions heard and either affect change within their law firms, start their own innovative practice or become legal tech entrepreneurs.

The Startup Nation’s legal tech market is fragmented and includes – on one hand – startups who offer a variety of solutions to both challenges presented in the legal market (Law firms / in-house departments) or on the other hand – as a disrupting force targeting the markets most-often missed by lawyers and law firms: helping those who are not necessarily familiar with the law but must confront it occasionally nonetheless.

Legal Tech Trends

There are roughly 40 Israeli legal tech companies. We can see that the Israeli legal tech market is highly diverse, reaching out to many fields such as:

  • Legal analysis
  • Online dispute resolution (ODR)
  • Small claims
  • Contract review
  • Contract automation
  • Spam fighters
  • Machine Learning solutions
  • Real-estate automation
  • Etc’

An interesting trend that has been catching on in the Startup Nation’s legal tech scene is a B2B2C model – Several Israeli legal tech companies have realized the added value of working hand-in-hand with major law firms. This realization has brought forth a collaboration between legal tech companies and major law firms in Israel, using the legal tech company’s technology and the prestige, clientele and credibility of the Israeli law firm, thus maximizing the relative advantage of both sides.

Major Startups Running the Israeli Legal Tech Scene

One of the most prominent Israeli legal tech companies is LawGeex (https://www.lawgeex.com/) which offers a machine-learning and AI-based product for contract review.

In a study published in February 2018 where 20 experienced US-trained lawyers were pitted against the LawGeex AI algorithm, the AI achieved an accuracy level of 94%, compared to an average accuracy level of 85% across the 20 human lawyers.

Another startup that in recent years has been successfully disrupting the legal market and reaching international levels is Lawflex (https://www.lawflex.com/) – with close to 400 highly skilled, flexible lawyers, who are certified in 24 jurisdictions and are proficient in 18 languages, Lawflex has become Israel’s first and leading outsourcing legal service operating via a pool of skilled lawyers – and an rising star in the global legal outsourcing sector. The company provides law firms, financial institutions and other corporations with top lawyers on a flexible basis and at competitive rates.

Characteristics of the Israeli Legal tech Scene

Although the Israeli legal market is very competitive and Israeli law firms are constantly seeking ways to improve their service offerings, many law firms in Israel have yet to embrace the latest wave of legal tech.

Most of the law firms still use simple solutions such as Microsoft Word extensions and anachronistic software that manages their practice.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. Language– despite the fact that some Israeli law firms (mainly the largest) work in English, the majority of the local legal sector prefers to work entirely in Hebrew. They therefore need Hebrew-supported solutions which are not very common, as there are less than 60K lawyers practicing in the language – not suitable enough for legal tech entrepreneurs to aim for.
  2. Costs – Israeli law firms charge lower legal fees than their European and American counterparts, ultimately leaving less margin for investment in legal tech products- although some of the largest law firms in Israel start to invest and plan legal tech solutions – but far behind their colleagues across the ocean.
  3. Importing new trends takes time – each law firm, on its own, does not have the ability to look for relevant legal tech solutions abroad, nor to reach out to companies and convince them to customize their products to fit the Israeli market and the needs of the individual law firm. This would require too much effort and resources, which Israeli law firms are not keen or able to invest.

For Conclusion

Israel’s legal tech scene has seen rapid growth in the past two years. The Israeli legal tech scene may still be young, but it is clear that by using the incredible infrastructure laid by thousands of entrepreneurs rooted in Israel and their combined years of experience, it is more than likely that the Startup Nation has a promising future on the global tech stage.

Zohar Fisher, Ambassador for Israel

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ELTA to offer members collaboration and knowledge sharing with new partner, HighQ

ELTA is pleased to announce a partnership with legal technology provider HighQ. The partnership will enable ELTA and its members to collaborate and share knowledge securely using the HighQ platform.

ELTA supports legal tech communities across Europe including law firms, legal tech companies, in-house lawyers, companies, start-ups and individuals. The organisation plans to use HighQ as a platform for the exchange of ideas and resources as well as to facilitate real-time communication and help create a library of content as a resource for members.

“With a growing membership, the circle of our Ambassadors constantly increasing and the formation of first national expert chapters, ELTA has now reached a level of complexity as an international organisation which requires professional management and collaboration tools,” ELTA chair Tobias Heining said. “We are very happy to engage in this partnership with HighQ and are looking forward to mutual benefits as we further improve our work with our community of legal innovators.”

In addition to improving collaboration and knowledge sharing among members, ELTA will leverage the value of the platform to manage projects, securely share files and access powerful integrations with other leading technology partners.

“HighQ is excited to have a partnership with an organisation dedicated to the advanced use and application of technology in the legal industry,” said Martin Rohde, HighQ’s strategic partner manager, EMEA. “We look forward to providing ELTA with technology that will better connect its members and foster meaningful collaboration between legal tech users and developers.”

About HighQ
HighQ empowers leading law firms to transform the way they work and deliver value to their clients. We unite internal and external teams with digital transaction management, social collaboration, secure file sharing and more, enabling firms to ensure data security, improve client engagement and drive efficiency and productivity.

About the European Legal Tech Association
Created in 2016, strong of 322 member institutions or individual members from 33 countries, ELTA is made up of law firms, companies, legal technology providers, start-ups and individuals in Europe. The association considers itself as a specific platform for the promotion of knowledge about — and possible application of — technological and software-based solutions in the legal market, as well as their uses in companies, law firms, start-ups and other initiatives active in this field.

Contact:
Tobias Heining
President
tobias.heining@lta-online.eu

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The European Legal Tech Association (ELTA) renews its board of directors.

The European Legal Tech Association (ELTA) renewed its board of directors last week. Tobias Heining is ELTA’s new president. A founding member of ELTA, he is also Director of Business Development and Communications for CMS in Germany. Heining has extensive experience in the development of technology-based legal advisory products. From his point of view, “digitization will have a dominant footprint in the legal market, as it puts a focus on usability, accelerates commoditization, enables new ways of collaboration and allows scalability of legal services beyond human resources”. Therefore, his first objective will be to convince all people affected by this massive transformation to “think positively and become active designers of their own professional future”.

In its board of directors, Heining will be surrounded by professionals who are active in the fields of innovation and Legal Tech. One of its main supports will be María Jesús González-Espejo, co-founder of the Instituto de Innovación Legal and managing partner of Emprendelaw, expert in legal design thinking and promoter of innovative events such as the hackathon #HackTheJustice or the Legal Design Challenge. González-Espejo, who was already a member of ELTA’s previous board of directors, will assume a more proactive role in the design and development of the association’s activities. For her, “jurists are already aware that digital transformation must be among their priorities”, to which she added that “they also need to have a global vision, because technology may or may not come from abroad. Collective knowledge and diverse backgrounds are critical, and it is precisely something that ELTA affiliation will bring them.

Hariolf Wenzler, who has served as President since ELTA’s founding, becomes treasurer. He is the head of business development, marketing and communications of Baker Mckenzie’s EMEA+ offices and a member of the firm’s global innovation committee. He helped set up ReInvent Law, the first legal innovation hub in continental Europe.

Finally, Marie Bernard and Jeroen Zweers remain in the executive board. Bernard is the founder and managing director of Bleu de Prusse, a business transformation consultancy and Zweers is the innovation director of Kennedy Van der Laan, a Dutch law firm.

The new Board has set itself an agenda aimed at achieving the following objectives: to represent the Legal Tech industry interests at the European Union; to promote the solutions that Legal Tech can provide to lawyers, to create a professional network of people interested in its development and to contribute to the training of its members on the applications of
technology for the legal sector.

About ELTA: ELTA is made up of law firms, companies, legal technology providers, start-ups and individuals in Europe. The association considers itself as a specific platform for the promotion of knowledge about – and possible application of – technological and softwarebased solutions in the legal market, as well as their uses in companies, law firms, start-ups and other initiatives active in this field.

Contact us:

María Jesús González-Espejo

Tel. +34 650 78 15 92 – E-mail: maria@institutodeinnovacionlegal.com

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ELTA’s first Ambassador Meeting

On November 21st ELTA had its first ELTA Ambassador Meeting with his Ambassadors from Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ukraine and Russia. The agenda of the meeting hosted by CMS France was fully packed.

After a short welcome and introduction by ELTA Chairman Hariolf Wenzler, we jumped into the discussion about the definition of the Ambassadors’ role including responsibilities, goals, commitment, and tasks, as well as the role of the Ambassadors’ group within the ELTA ecosystem as think tank, local representatives, promoters and connectors, adding perspectives  and insights from the legal tech scene from all across Europe and also contributing content and knowledge to existing and future ELTA products.

Particularly the latter will be of high relevance, as ELTA was founded and is meant to be an association of members. Accordingly, offering added value to the members is and should be paramount to the organisation. Several ideas to achieve this goal already were presented by different Ambassadors, and discussed and further elaborated in the course of the meeting. The Ambassadors also agreed on supporting each other and on sharing their experiences in setting up regional legal tech communities to further drive the ELTA spirit locally.

This very constructive and result-oriented first Ambassadors’ meeting was rounded off by a dinner accompanied by an inspiring key note from Brian Kuhn, Global Leader and Co-Creator of IBM Watson Legal. Thanks a lot to Brian for joining us in Paris and to all participants for the great exchange of ideas, conversations, contributions and lively discussions. Looking forward to working with you all in the coming years.

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