An entrepreneurs say on the London legaltech startup scene

Guillermo Miranda, Winner of the Global Legaltech Venture Day 2019, on the startup scene in London during the Legaltech Venture Day at King´s College and the Legal Geek conference.

The London Legaltech Venture Day, the third stop in the Global Legaltech Startup Competition, took place in London days before the Legal Geek conference, one of the most important events of law tech in Europe. With these two events focused on innovation in the legal sector and startups, one could perfectly feel the vibe of a growing ecosystem that is driving change in the sector.

We received a kind welcome in the Dickson Poon School at Law of King’s College London, on a rainy Saturday morning. Javier de Cendra, Dean of the IE Law School, and Christopher Howard, Director of Professional Legal Education at King’s College, welcomed the audience stating their commitment to innovation in the legal sector. And they not only do it through their schools, through education and training but also organizing events like the Global Legaltech Venture Days that foster entrepreneurship and innovation in the sector.

I cannot refrain from mentioning Paris de L'Etraz's speech, which was fascinating. He spoke about the importance of emotional intelligence in the era of artificial intelligence and all the major technological changes we are experimenting. Professor de L´Etraz also explained the importance of understanding existing business model elements in order to reconfigure services or products already provided to build a successful venture. It is all about boosting and perfecting the user experience!

Another key aspect of his speech was the explanation of the Trust in Technology study conducted by HSBC, which explores the different types of trust mapped against time and depth. In this study, we can realize that when trust is deep and long-term oriented, there is love. On the other side, there is a zone of lust. Services providers or startups with business models that have not yet been proven might have five minutes of fame, but these models will have a shallow relationship with customers for a short amount of time. I highly recommend reading this study.

The panel that followed professor de L´etraz focused on the next generation of female founders and entrepreneurs, with a great portrait of female founders and directors in legaltech startups who shared their experience as lawyers and entrepreneurs, sharing their recommendations to approach venture capital funds. The event also featured the experienced speech delivered by Mark Cohen regarding the changes and trends in the legal industry, which closed with a fantastic Q&A session.


The competition

Four startups pitched on stage. The first startup was Just Access, a venture with technology applied to the generation of court transcripts, aiming at making them open and transparent.

The next startup to present was Just Me, which is a powerful tool to manage and transfer personal data of clients according to the GDPR regulations. After that, Your Legals’ team presented an online immigration process tool based in the Netherlands. Last but not least, was Single Rule Book, a software developed for in-house counsel in order to access interpretations, rule maps and regulations in order to standardize views and interpretations shared within a company.

After deliberation and a very tight competition, Just Access won this Venture Day leg.  Sophie Walker, the Founder and CEO, will compete in the final Global Legaltech Venture Day in Madrid next spring (2020).

Legal Geek: A huge legaltech party

Four days after the Legaltech Venture Day, I attended the Legal Geek conference that gathered more than 2,000 attendees from more than 40 countries. This is a huge legaltech party created so that everyone can network and mingle, and this mission was definitely accomplished.

In the headline session of the morning, presentations with news in the sector and discussions of digital strategies took place. There were opinions regarding the legal services, law firms and the urge to modernize courts and tribunals. During the day, in the main stage, we discussed Data and Digital, we had a special session for in-house counsel, which addressed how to use and get the most out of the new products and startups, and a great presentation focused on investment, VC’s and incubators.

Jimmy Vestbirk does an amazing work leading Legal Geek. We all got an incredible urge of disrupting and accelerating our startups and carried new ideas, feelings, and goals back home.

On the Disco Stage --my favorite stage-- assistants had the opportunity to hear insightful presentations about legal design during the “Legal Design WTF” session. We learned that law firms will become software developers in the near future and what are the repercussions of that. Also, the speaker gave insights and advice on how to prevent possible errors and misguidance in these topics, hiring the correct team and building strong goals and policies within a company. There was a very important takeaway in all of these presentations: first, the importance of creating visual impact, the need to understand human behavior before building a product or service, and that legal design tells a story but also evokes a response. I loved the new presentation deck designs and the vibe that all the presenters transmitted in their speeches. There is no doubt that law is about people and pictures!

The conference also addressed hot topics in working culture and environment, personal development and featured the pitches from many outstanding products and startups. I had the chance to meet new colleagues, say hello to friends that I have not seen in a long time and even took some time to have a business meeting during the conference. Overall, a great experience and a must if you are immersed in the world of law and technology. I will definitely be back next year. Cheers, London!

Article written by: Guillermo MirandaWinner of the Global Legaltech Venture Day 2019, Co-Founder / Legal Director Lucius Report