05 Nov 2021

Legal ops startup Brightflag acquires Orrick's first legaltech spinoff

Deal marks first acquisition by Brightflag as well as the first time an Orrick spinoff has been purchased

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Joinder, a record-keeping system for corporate legal teams developed at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s in-house technology incubator, has been acquired by New York-based legal operations company Brightflag. 

The deal marks the first acquisition for an Orrick spinoff company as well as the first acquisition made by Brightflag, which specialises in AI-powered legal operation solutions. 

Led by former Orrick partners Don Keller and Jim Brock, who serve respectively as CEO and chief product officer, Joinder began as an internal system built by the firm's tech incubator Orrick Labs for its own clients and became an independent business in April

The platform enables corporate legal departments to merge data storage, task management, communications and document management into one digital workspace, enabling in-house lawyers to directly access information they might previously have needed to seek from their external providers. 

“The feedback from Joinder users unanimously matched our own first impression: It’s the most intuitive and impressive collaboration platform designed for legal professionals we’ve ever seen,” said Brightflag chief executive and co-founder Ian Nolan. 

“We’re excited to empower corporate legal departments with a best-in-class product that addresses an additional set of legal operations requirements and we’re thrilled to be gaining a group of exceptionally talented colleagues in the process,” he added.

Following the acquisition, Joinder will change its name to Brightflag Workspace and form an ‘integral part’ of the company’s legal operations platform, Brightflag said. 

A recent study by UK law firm Ashurst underscored the growing importance of legal ops to corporate legal teams, with nearly a third saying they were considering adding legal operations manager roles to help them cope with increasing workloads and frozen budgets. 

And last month, a consortium of leading firms made up of CMS UK, Dentons, Norton Rose Fulbright, Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters and Slaughter and May announced it was launching a programme to train legal ops graduates, in what is understood to be the first instance of law firms joining forces to create such a scheme.

 

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