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Legal tech, law companies bet on collaboration with new partnerships

5 minute read

REUTERS/Henry Romero

  • Factor and Priori both launching new legal tech and legal services networks
  • Collaborations include Kira Systems, LawGeex and QuisLex

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(Reuters) - Alternative legal services provider Factor and legal marketplace platform Priori Legal Inc are both teaming up with other companies – and each other – in a pair of separate partnerships announced on Wednesday that aim to offer corporate clients a broader range of services and options.

In Factor's case, a new collaboration dubbed Factor Connect will initially bring together five legal technology companies, combining their expertise to help meet what the company called an "unprecedented" set of challenges facing general counsel. Factor said the companies would work together to tailor solutions to specific organizations and, potentially, introduce broader market innovations.

"New law companies like us, we're really at our best when we're engaged in our ecosystem," said Ed Sohn, head of solutions and product at Factor.

The five companies participating in the first cohort include derivatives industry risk management company Acadia Inc; contract management software provider Agiloft Inc; automated contract review and markup provider BlackBoiler LLC; contract and document tech company Kira Systems; and Priori.

Factor focuses on delivering "complex legal work at scale," with contracting, transaction optimization and other offerings. The timing of Wednesday's launch comes about a year and a half after the company rebranded as Factor in January 2020 after spinning out from Axiom in 2019. Sohn, who joined Factor from EY Law about a year ago, said the new program was driven by clients and is launching after vetting by the other providers.

The companies will be able to integrate their capabilities and technology together to address challenges that clients face, said Sohn, who added he's most excited about the R&D dimension of the program in creating new use cases.

Priori, whose platform uses data and technology to connect in-house legal departments with a network of outside counsel, is also out with its own announcement on Wednesday. The company is for the first time allowing legal departments to find and hire a set of legal technology and 'new law' companies.

Until now, corporate legal departments have had access to a vetted network of attorneys that ranges from solo practitioners to big firm lawyers. Now, the platform will also include Factor, legal services provider QuisLex and AI-powered contracts company LawGeex.

Basha Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Priori, said when in-house legal teams are looking for support, increasingly they are "trying to solve a problem (and) they don't necessarily have the solution in mind." While the answer can be a law firm, legal departments now are also considering legal tech or other alternative providers.

Priori's platform can "create a real marketplace for legal services defined as broadly as possible," Rubin said, adding that the initial three companies joining the marketplace won't be the last.

New York-based Priori, which launched in 2013, raised $6.3 million in Series A funding in October from investors that included Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe's investment arm. It pitches the use of data to help companies find outside counsel for specific needs, touting savings in time and money.

Adding alternative providers to the platform lets companies transparently compare traditional legal solutions to new provider models, Rubin said.

"This move is just about adding another layer of transparency and optionality to the marketplace," she said.

Read more:

Factor says new service will give law firms the upper hand on deals

Legal tech platforms draw Big Law investments from Orrick, Latham, Clifford Chance

Q&A: Why Factor's CEO says part of the market for legal services is still 'untapped'

Utah legal innovation 'sandbox' expands to add AI contracts venture LawGeex, others

Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com

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