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In recent years, a large amount of investment in engineers and legal departments has been injected, and pandemics are accelerating digitalization and innovation. Currently, the focus needs to be on interoperability to create dynamic connections between different legal processes and resources.

At the Thomson Reuters SYNERGY virtual event, legal engineer and futurist Joseph Raczynski presented a session on the (r) evolution of legal platforms, APIs, and whizzbang legal technology. API (Application Programming Interface) is software that enables applications to connect to each other and exchange information. As Raczynski has observed, over the last five years, the number of legitimate tech start-ups has increased tenfold, most of them running in the cloud, solving certain problems. However, without a common standard for developers of these point solutions, interoperability between new and existing legal technology solutions is a major challenge.

Innovation playground

Interoperability underpins the growth of the curated Legal Tech platform, which is essentially an app store for Legal Tech products. Developers who want to make their apps available on these platforms are tailored to specific standards so that all apps on the platform can work together in a scalable manner and with third-party applications such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. You need to code. Raczynski explained that the platform creates an environment for collaboration and innovation by setting standards for governance, coding and security and enabling interaction between products on the platform. This creates a framework that subscribers and third parties can use to develop innovative new products.

Some connections are part of the supply chain, like the OIC portal, while others are optional add-ons, such as verifying the identity of someone’s photo. When deciding whether to create your own tools or systems, it is important to choose the ones that will be famous.

John Grainger, Slater, Gordon

A pioneer in legal technology is Reynen Court, supported by some of the world’s largest law firms, but Thomson Reuters’ acquisition of HighQ has allowed it to build its own plug-and-play platform. Other companies and vendors follow suit, building what Raczynski describes as a playground for innovation.

Raczynski further explained how this approach can help lawyers collaborate, automate, and manage their work. All third-party applications are coded in the same language and to the same standard, and if you know that everything works, you can bring it in when you need it, when you need it. together.

Mike Sucksland, a legal technology investor and Bridge Investments venture partner, has included a successful scale-up of legal technology in its portfolio and explained how these developments are changing the competitive environment for legal technology vendors. .. It also helps level the competition between providers who want to put together an all-in-one solution that takes advantage of brand and channel scale, and providers who write APIs to other point solutions after developing a point solution. I will. For easy interoperability to compete with scaled players. The legal field is evolving towards extended solutions, which can be seen in areas such as eDiscovery, workflow management, and contract management.

On the right path?

A key challenge is that government legal services portals are generally designed around two routes: a civilian journey and a lawyer’s journey. This is surprising given that the government continues to support low-tech start-ups and innovation. Lawtech scale-up amicable, a divorce service company that does not formally represent a couple, rather than a law firm, does not fall into either category and therefore does not have access to the government’s online divorce portal. Co-founder Kate Daly explains that amicable is currently working with the Ministry of Justice to address this.I feel it’s important that the new model has the same access [government] With an IT system as a traditional law firm [should not be] It is a disadvantage when they provide access to consumer choice and justice. The company uses technology to facilitate negotiations. We are developing services that combine technology with human support. Big data allows us to narrow the bargaining scope and build algorithms to predict the outcome of the settlement, she adds.

Self-service support

The new self-service government portal near your home is a catalyst for legal innovation with a combination of self-service, professional support and interoperability.

MoJ’s Official Injury Claim (OIC) Portal is designed to allow traffic accident victims to claim personal injury without the use of a lawyer. However, due to the nature of these claims, most claimants do not represent themselves. With the reform of whiplash, which came into effect on May 31 ( and affects both compensation and recoverable costs, companies specializing in this type of work need advice. You need to find a technology solution to support. guidance.

New Law Solicitors, which specializes in handling personal injury claims for insurance companies, accident management companies and membership organizations, needs to redesign its operations to recover customer compensation and maintain profitability under the new regime. had. Building software solutions that handle complaints differently relied on external developers.

The result is a personal injury portal pilot that combines a semi-automated workflow with professional legal advice. Our legal experts work in conjunction with a customer portal that is integrated with the OIC portal, explains managing director Tim Locke.

Pilot allows customers to manage their own claims through the OIC portal, giving them access to legal expertise when they need it, but at a lower cost. While the company was driven by external development, Pilot changed the way it interacts with customers who have access to cases 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and interacts with company cases as well. The management burden has been reduced. Management system. Locke envisions applying a similar approach to other products.

The rationale for these self-service services is that while government portals are designed to allow consumers to handle legal proceedings without a lawyer, most users require expert guidance. is. As observed by Slater and Gordon CIO Jon Grainger, this is because most people hire lawyers only once every seven years and therefore do not necessarily understand their legal rights and responsibilities. Because.

Like the NewLaws Pilot, Slater and Gordon’s Micase Road Traffic Accident (RTA) is a self-service end-to-end online tool that connects to the OIC portal, allowing petitioners to manage their cases and provide guidance and advice to lawyers. Can be asked. When they need it. However, instead of charging the fee, we do not offer a winning case or a legal representative of the fee. The Micase RTA is available on any device from the Slater and Gordons website.

Integrated with partners and insurers, Micase RTA is the first self-service tool to run from a central digital legal platform, reflecting the company’s creative automation strategy, as Grainger explains. Determine exactly where you need it. loop. This involves using micro AI to make small decisions and leave the big decisions to customers and commission earners, he says. Miplatform is a collection of components that form a common purpose. We build all APIs on the miplatform, so we can reuse them every time we create a new digital legal service, and all our products benefit from these connections.

Both Lock and Grainger had to avoid OIC portal issues, such as designing a system that interfaces with portals that haven’t been launched yet. Locke said that developing pilots at the same time as building the OIC portal created a number of challenges due to the regular movement of goal posts. We compared it to installing it in a house and leaving some cables hanging from the ceiling in the hope that it could shed light on it at some point. It is no exaggeration to say that there is a few meters of wasted cable.

Grainger emphasizes considerations when building APIs that connect to external organizations. Contingencies are built in to handle interruptions in OIC services that need to be queued without disrupting the flow of business. He adds that security is very important when connecting to external systems, and explains that miplatform includes integration with identity checking and compliance services.

Grainger is encouraged to develop an API strategy. Some connections are part of the supply chain, like the OIC portal, while others are optional add-ons, such as verifying the identity of someone’s photo. When deciding whether to create your own tools or system or link to external resources, it is important to choose the ones that will be well known.

In-app integration

Legal Utopia, a legal technology start-up, connects individuals and small businesses to legal information and resources. Its self-help legal checker identifies over 400,000 common legal issues and instantly links to the latest guidance, forms and templates. Find A Lawyer, on the other hand, is the first location-based map of all SRA-regulated law firms. It provides in-app access to company information, practice coverage and contact details.

Book A Lawyer includes in-app video calls. Founder and problem solver, Fraser Matcham works with AI researchers to apply quality metrics to businesses and create in-app company comparison tools. Legal Utopia is considered to be the first app to integrate directly with the government legal portal. Users can claim money, set up a company, appeal for benefits decisions, or apply for divorce directly from the app.

Interoperability between systems and services incorporates efficiency into corporate and commercial law, stimulating new and innovative paths to affordable legal advice and support. While there are still operational challenges, these new connections are certainly reshaping the legal services ecosystem.

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