World travel media company Lonely Planet has joined forces with Melbourne-founded legal technology company LawAdvisor to produce a digital platform for corporate counsel. It is part of a strategic plan for the company, best known for its iconic travel guides, which is innovating across its entire business. Lonely Planet worked with the legal technology company for the launch of the pioneering new product, LawAdvisor Corporate, which allows businesses to run their operations and manage their legal work through their own dedicated platform.
LawAdvisor Corporate streamlines the procurement phase and enables legal departments to appoint the appropriate legal services provider for the unique requirements of a particular matter. Real-time tracking of expenditure and milestones ensures matters are completed in an open and transparent manner. Firm performance is captured and used to inform rankings that help businesses choose the right legal services provider for future engagements.
Lonely Planet, which was founded in Australia in 1973, has been evolving its heritage business from a traditional travel guidebook publisher to a multimedia travel company. As part of this process, it has implemented a range of infrastructure changes such as moving to agile working and cross departmental collaboration through cloud services to use across the business. Lonely Planet’s legal team worked in collaboration with LawAdvisor on development of the corporate product. LawAdvisor founder Brennan Ong said of the relationship: 'Lonely Planet’s complex, evolving and globally distributed business was a great launch partner as their appetite for digital improvement, coupled with a wide variety of legal scenarios, put the product’s development through its paces.'
Lonely Planet’s senior legal counsel Kate Sullivan says the company is particularly excited about the way in which LawAdvisor Corporate gives in-house legal teams the information required to make the best choice when it comes to outsourcing legal work. 'We require legal expertise across a vast spectrum of business needs. It is great to have one platform to do this through, which builds the feedback loop right into the process, offering greater efficiency and better service overall.'
In addition to the feedback provided for LawAdvisor Corporate, Lonely Planet also helped guide the development of another LawAdvisor tool - Rapid Contracts. This product, which can be used separately, or in conjunction with LawAdvisor Corporate, allows legal teams to automate significant parts of contract creation, negotiation, and execution. Founder Brennan Ong felt multiple industries working together to envisage the product’s best use has been incredibly valuable. 'It’s really wonderful that two globally-minded, Melbourne-based companies can work together to create something great,' he says. 'Without Lonely Planet’s feedback, LawAdvisor Corporate wouldn’t be the product it is today, and we’re very glad to have their support.' LawAdvisor has raised more than $1 million to date of funding and is planning to close another round later this year.