“Digital Davids” and “Enterprise Goliaths”
Charlotte Rushton, managing director of US Law Firms for Thomson Reuters, recently sat down with Jason Moyse, co-founder of Law Made Inc. They discussed his view of the legal tech startup community and how organizations such as his can help to connect young startup companies with larger, more established ones, to explore how working together could lead to even bigger things.
Charlotte Rushton: Your organization refers to its mission as helping to facilitate the ‘dance between the “Digital Davids” and “Enterprise Goliaths” within the global legal services industry. Can you describe what this means?
Jason Moyse: All artists “borrow” from others, especially the greats. The same is applicable in business. The concept of “Digital Davids” and “Enterprise Goliaths” dancing together was espoused by Julie Meyer whose book, Welcome to Entrepreneur Country, inspired us.
The idea is that David is the one quietly creating the next breakthrough digital product and in many instances waiting to be discovered, while Goliath is typically a large corporation, ideally forward- thinking, and recognizes the value of collaborating with smaller entities.
As Meyer points out, they are natural allies and together are stronger in a relationship that allows for mutual growth. While each side brings distinct strengths, together they form an ecosystem that creates more value than by operating in isolation.
CR: What unique expertise and industry vantage point does Law Made bring to this intermediary role?
JM: Law Made has the advantage of meeting and connecting with entities that represent experience from across the legal industry including in-house counsel, private practice, startups, and alternative legal suppliers. More than anything else, Law Made’s strength is in its networks which operate within the “NewLaw” fusion of technology, design, process improvement, document automation and lean strategy as applied to legal and advisory services.
Our vantage point is global from having travelled and participated in the burgeoning legal innovations scenes that are starting to percolate across the world. Law Made’s own start came about through the MaRS Innovation Centre in Toronto which is one of the largest such hubs in the world servicing 1,200 startups that partner in various shapes and forms with corporations, government and academic institutions. It was within that dynamic environment where Law Made first realized the potential in facilitating access to capital, clients and markets.
Fast forward to the present and the number of legal technology companies has exploded, making it more challenging to separate signal from noise. For instance, startup taxonomies are typically not consolidated (are duplicative), are not current or lack useful context. Law Made provides that context with its understanding of both sides of the enterprise/law firm and startup innovation equation.
CR: At this time, are you seeing clusters of innovation in particular technologies or service lines within legal services? Where’s the greatest buzz?
JM: The greatest buzz at the moment is in the realms of artificial intelligence, smart contracts and blockchain. However, “the buzz” doesn’t necessarily represent where the bulk of the practical application is currently manifesting. For instance, there is still a tremendous amount of potential for the incremental improvement of how legal information and services are delivered. Wherever there are prediction tools and analysis focused on a body of specialized jurisprudence – there is opportunity.
We foresee major impact in these areas:
- Large-scale processes combined with sizable datasets for discovery and M&A due diligence
- Applications addressing increasing regulatory complexity to ensure compliance
- Contract Lifecycle Management which is not a technology unto itself, but rather an entire process or series of processes and workflows
In summary, there is lots of opportunity for efficiency gains on current processes as well as innovation for the delivery of products and services which will lead to new value creation.