Mon, Jun
53 New Articles

The Corner Office: Legal Tech

The Corner Office: Legal Tech

Legal Markets
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: What was the most useful or valuable piece of software or new technology your firm has acquired in the past five years?

Avellum was the first to use the AxDraft document automation software. It is super user-friendly and enables you to draft a term sheet in less than three minutes and a share purchase agreement in less than ten minutes. At the end, you get a very decent first draft which uses your own best practices and clauses, but also allows further revisions, since the document is in doc format. AxDraft requires you to upload your own templates onto the system while client care professionals at AxDraft help you embed all the necessary options into it. Our clients now use AxDraft extensively and you can even use third-party templates instead of creating your own. The AxDraft team was one of very few Ukrainian startups to win the Y-Combinator selection and successfully raised USD 1.1 mil in the seed round of investments in California. It is run by Yuriy and Oleg Zaremba – and we are proud that Yuriy Zaremba was once an associate in Avellum’s M&A practice.”

Mykola Stetsenko, Co-Managing Partner, Avellum

“After a long selection process, a few years ago we decided to go for ISAK – Czech software that helps us in our everyday work. Moreover, it does so in a very efficient way, and not only standard things like time recording, invoicing, and reminders, but also very developed and well-founded features which perform many tasks automatically and thus also efficiently replace human labor, such as monitoring the insolvency register, working with data from the commercial or even land registers. In addition, advanced document management software enables the automated saving of emails into correct files and advanced registering and monitoring of dates and deadlines, allowing, among other things, for the automated control of the office’s work flow. I would also praise the advanced system for the administration of more than 50 thousand court cases that our 8-employee subsidiary uses, and very detailed reporting system for management, including profitability of individuals, units, and the office as whole, collection time, and so on. It is excellent and not expensive – but unfortunately at present it is only on the Czech and Slovak markets. I like not only the quality of the reporting which can be compared to SAP, which I used years ago, but also the links to electronic registers such as the commercial register and land register. And as a foreigner I am glad that it is to a certain degree smart, so I do not have to be exact as to accents in names, etc.”

 Arthur Braun, Managing Partner, bpv Braun Partners

“Unfortunately (or fortunately), the most important computer programs we use in our office are custom-made. Of course, we work with regular operating systems and office packages, but our new information system, which includes case management, billing, and invoicing features, is custom made. Also, we have our own document indexing software and currently we are working on a new debt collection module.” 

 Josef Aujezdsky, Partner, Masek, Koci, Aujezdsky, Prague

“At Wolf Theiss, we recently introduced Wolf Theiss Space, based on the HighQ platform. Space is a new collaboration-and-transaction tool which was rolled out firm-wide in October 2018. We have already used it in around 80 transactions. The platform brings a number of benefits to both lawyers and clients, streamlining matter management and allowing us to provide new services to existing and potential clients. From basic data-rooms, keeping all the documents in one place with easy 24/7 access, to more advanced legal project management, the flexibility of the platform allows us to quickly and easily tailor its use to each matter. We anticipate that in the near future, all law firms and clients will move away from the traditional manner of email exchanges of various iterations and markups of transaction documents in favor of collaborative platforms like Wolf Theiss Space.”

 Bryan Jardine, Managing Partner, Wolf Theiss Romania

“New technology is emerging at a rapid rate within the legal sector. It’s crucial that law firms are constantly evaluating and implementing new technologies to complement their existing service delivery models. In 2016, DLA Piper partnered with Kira, a cloud-based contract analysis and provision extraction platform. This technology uses a combination of machine learning and workflow handling, enabling us to perform due diligence much more efficiently. Kira helps speed up the process when we are tasked with large scale contract review. Often we are able to get to a first cut of the data within hours instead of days. This allows our lawyers to stay focused much more on analysis of the complex issues rather than finding key points in large volumes of documents. The combination of people and technology increases the quality and accuracy of our work, enabling faster turnaround in time-pressured environments. We expect new technologies and AI solutions to improve our work in new ways so we are constantly assessing the industry to keep up with the best new developments, whilst never losing sight of the fact that these tools are designed to augment rather than replace our expertise. Kira was our first step in this direction.” 

 Miroslav Dubovsky, Managing Partner, DLA Piper Prague 

“Regardless of the fact that we sometimes find ourselves in a comfort zone, with things running like clockwork, there is always room for improvement, the ultimate driver of success. That said, we had implemented over various stages a well-functioning IT platform, supporting regional cross-border information management and exchange. However, with the IT world seemingly changing at light speed these days, we realized that an upgrade would inevitably be required in order to properly keep with the latest trends, regardless of the fact that we were quite happy with what we had in place at the time. Consequently, we decided to implement a new AI-supported intelligent information management platform that allows for information processing regardless of the place of its actual storage, containing also an integrated conflict of interest management system. The core part of the platform is called M-Files, supported by certain custom-made apps. While supporting seamless paperless workflows, the system allows for automated categorization of information, enhancing at the same time the security of the entire data working environment. With any such changes inevitably requiring time and significant efforts, we are more than happy with the new system in place as we already seem to be reaping dividends thereupon.” 

Uros Ilic, Managing Partner, ODI Law  

“An all-in-one office management system is essential to efficiency. Accordingly, our most valuable piece of software is a well-thought-out, tailor-made upgrade of the Law Office software developed by the Slovenian IT company Zaslon Telecom. Law Office was initially developed as a universal paperless solution for law firms, offering certain basic document storage, archiving, tracking and searching functions. Driven by the growth of our firm and our desire to implement a state-of-the-art e-management system, we have over the last two years, in close cooperation with developers, substantially upgraded and customised this software. The most important additional functionalities include automatic filing of e-mails into the relevant electronic case files, a comprehensive invoicing functionality, and valuable performance analytics. In the future, we are aiming to further utilise the existing capabilities to form a knowledge database, and to additionally develop CRM and HR functionalities of this software.” 

Nina Selih, Managing Partner, Selih & Partnerji

“Next to your mug of coffee you can skip through the business just in seconds with Timemind, the integrated practice management system. The latest mails sent to the largest clients, the recent developments on your key matters, and even the unbilled hours are on one screen. The document management function has a Google-type search with preview option, complete versioning, and powerful compare functions. The time-tracker handles any fee arrangement a firm could meet in 20 years. The multi-currency billing can provide any version of pro-forma invoices which both clients and your finance team love. Its mobile functions are absolutely unique, and its call-catch function is an additional fee-earner for your team. Timemind provides tens of free minutes each day so you can drink your coffee and plan to stalk your next big client.” 

Peter Lakatos, Managing Partner, Lakatos, Koves & Partners

This Article was originally published in Issue 6.11 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the magazine, you can subscribe here.

Avellum at a Glance

AVELLUM is a leading Ukrainian full service law firm with a key focus on Finance, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Tax, and Antitrust.

Our aim is to be the firm of choice for large businesses and financial institutions in respect of their most important and challenging transactions.

We build lasting relationships with our clients and make them feel secure in new uncertain economic and legal realities.

We incorporate the most advanced Western legal techniques and practices into our work. By adding our first-hand knowledge, broad industry experience, and unparalleled level of service we deliver the best results to our clients in their business endeavours. Our partners are taking an active role in every transaction and ensure smooth teamwork.

AVELLUM is recognised as one of the leading law firms in Ukraine by various international and Ukrainian legal editions (Chambers, The Legal500, IFLR1000, The Ukrainian Law Firms, and others).

Firm's website: www.avellum.com