28 Feb 2019

Slaughter and May in collaboration launch

In a legal tech first, firm brings major clients together to launch programme to benefit clients and entrepreneurs.


Slaughter and May has launched Slaughter and May Collaborate, its first legal tech programme. Collaborate has been created to enhance the firm’s engagement with new legal tech developers, to help shape the development of legal tech and to identify future efficiencies in the delivery of legal services more generally.


The programme will also benefit Slaughter and May’s client base and includes a client advisory panel, consisting of representatives from the in-house legal teams at GlaxoSmithKline, John Lewis Partnership, Santander, Standard Chartered and Vodafone.  The advisory panel will enable the firm to hear about process issues and technologies that are of interest to its clients, enable clients to explore new tools and technologies through the firm and will also provide the programme’s cohort members with the opportunity to engage in discussions directly with major in-house legal teams. Slaughter and May is building on its track record of innovation in respect of legal tech, having first tested and helped develop Luminance, an Al due diligence tool which has since been widely adopted by many leading law firms around the world. Last month, the firm also selected a third cohort of six further businesses to join its technology entrepreneurs programme, Fast Forward. Collaborate is focussed on bringing together private practice, in house teams and tech suppliers to support and shape the development of legal tech. In its first cohort the Collaborate programme will select around six legal tech businesses who are looking to take the next step in their evolution. Collaborate’s benefits include access to the firm’s lawyers for product testing and feedback, its information security team, a sandbox environment, dummy data for the cohort to use in testing their products, collaboration spaces and other value add services.


Each cohort member will also be given two dedicated Slaughter and May mentors, one drawn from the firm’s knowledge or innovation teams, the other a practising lawyer from the relevant practice area. The industry expert panel includes Dr Anna Donovan, vice dean (innovation) for the Faculty of Laws at UCL, Catherine Bamford, founder of legal engineers, BamLegal and Andrew Burgess, strategic adviser on AI, RPA and innovation. Collaborate will be led by partners Anna Lyle-Smythe and Nilufer von Bismarck, supported by head of innovation, Jane Stewart, head of knowledge, Alexandra Woods and senior technology Lawyer, Natalie Donovan; all of whom have played a key role in the design and creation of the programme. Ms Lyle-Smythe said, ‘the legal tech sector is a huge growth story, with one of its most positive impacts being the way it is helping the wider legal community to fully embrace innovation.’ Ms von Bismarck added, the programme ‘will provide a forum for us and our clients to work with legal tech developers and entrepreneurs to foster dialogue, progress, and opportunities to collaborate.’ Ms Stewart said, ‘what we are most excited about is the level of involvement and partnership with our clients.’