A growing number of law firms in the U.S. and U.K. have been making equity investments in legal technology startups
As the boundaries delineating law firms and legal technology providers begin to blur, a debate is swirling over how much mingling is good for business. Or, as some believe, bad for business.
Over the past few years, a growing number of law firms in the U.S. and U.K. have been helping legal tech startups design their tools, making equity investments in those startups, or even spinning off their own legal tech subsidiaries. Yet while many believe legal tech plays a vital role in the delivery of legal services and the future of the legal market, some are questioning just how close is too close when it comes to law firms supporting technology businesses.
Among the handful of law firms that have launched legal technology incubators, Allen & Overy stands out. Its incubator, Fuse, is the only one that forgoes equity investment in the tech companies it supports (though the law firm did make a rare exception with blockchain fintech startup Nivaura).
Allen & Overy has said that Fuse’s focus is on supporting the development of its legal technology startups’ technology, which in turn is leveraged by the firm’s attorneys to improve client services. [read more]