Here’s a roundup of recent news from the world of legal technology.
Search nonprofits’ tax records. The nonprofit news organization ProPublica has launched a new feature allowing free, full-text search of nearly 3 million tax filings sent by nonprofits to the IRS since 2011. The new feature is an enhancement to ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer, which already let users search for tax information from more than 1.8 million nonprofits. The feature allows searches for text that appears anywhere in a nonprofit’s tax records, provided the nonprofit filed digitally (which is about two-thirds of filings).
A hub for legal events. Launched this week was Events.Legal, a one-stop shop for information about legal conferences and events, with more than 100 events listed already and more to be added. The site is intended as a resource for companies that participate in events as exhibitors, sponsors and speakers, with a calendar and resources designed to help companies pick the right events for them and then plan for their participation and marketing. The site was created by the Legal Tech Media Group, a marketing agency led by co-CEOs Cathy Kenton and Chelsey Lambert.
The legal keyboard gets a patent. Remember the LegalBoard? When I wrote in 2017 about this keyboard designed for lawyers, it was my most popular post of the year by a wide margin. Now, the keyboard’s inventor, Brian Potts, a lawyer at Perkins Coie, has received a utility patent for the device (Patent No. 10,345,921). “Lots of people told me before I created the LegalBoard that a keyboard isn’t patentable,” Potts told me. “And they said not to waste my time because people will just steal the idea. Well, they were wrong.”
Transfer digital currency by email. Using digital wallets to transfer digital currency can be cumbersome. Now, a new add-on for Microsoft Outlook lets you send and transfer digital assets by email. The add-in, called Finmail, is from the Denmark company Securechain ApS and is available in the Microsoft app store.
- A Series B round brought $55 million for ContractPodAI, a provider of AI-powered contract lifecycle management software. Founded in London in 2012, the company has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Glasgow and Mumbai, serving large-scale corporations across all industries.
- The U.K. startup Genie AI, whose product uses machine learning to help lawyers draft contracts faster, has raised £2 million in funding through a combination of a £1.2 million equity investment round led by venture capital fund Connect Ventures and an £800,000 grant from the U.K. government’s Research and Innovation scheme.
- Seattle company Lexion has raised a seed round of $4.2 million for its AI-powered contract-management technology, which was developed at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. The investment was made by the Madrona Venture Group and the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
- Contract analytics company Seal Software announced changes in its executive leadership, including a new chief executive officer, John O’Melia, formerly executive VP for worldwide field operations, to succeed founder Ulf Zetterberg, who becomes executive vice-chairman, where he will focus on key customer relationships and supporting strategic company initiatives. The company also named Jim Wagner, formerly its chief strategy officer, as president.
- There is a new CEO at Hanzo, a company whose technology helps companies manage legal risk and compliance. Keith Laska was named CEO to succeed Kevin Gibson, who remains executive chairman. Laska was previously CEO of the SDL Language Technologies Division of SDL plc and CEO and co-founder of EUXmedia. He has been a member of the Hanzo board since 2016.
- At Fish & Richardson, Beau Mersereau is now director of legal technology solutions and will lead the firm’s newly formed Legal Technology Solutions Group, which was spun off from Fish’s award-winning IT department and includes application specialists, business analysts, data scientists, QA analysts, and software engineers. Mersereau was formerly the firm’s director of applications, development and support.
- At legal research company Fastcase, Damien Riehl has joined as managing director of the Fastcase legal research platform. Riehl was most recently vice president at Stroz Friedberg, where he led investigations involving digital forensics and cybersecurity. Formerly, he was at Thomson Reuters, where he was a senior product strategist helping lead development of legal-workflow products. He started his career as a litigator at Robins Kaplan.