Fides Weekly Update – 19th July 2019


Hello and welcome to the Fides Weekly Update. Take a look at this week’s key trends, moves and developments in legal and compliance.

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This week:

Consolidation of the legal tech market continues as HighQ is the latest software to be bought

Thomson Reuters announced this week it has acquired project management and collaboration platform HighQ, set to combine one of the most popular law firm cloud-based platforms with Thomson Reuters’ global footprint and sizeable bank of market intelligence.

Purchased for an undisclosed fee, HighQ is a targeted investment made by Thomson Reuters which supports its strategy to remain focused on the organisation’s core offering of business information services. The deal will provide existing clients with a platform easily integrated into other services already delivered by Thomson Reuters.

HighQ has gained great success amongst the global law firm market since its inception in 2001, with over 50% of Global 100 law firms in its client roster. The tech company was accepted into A&O’s Fuse programme this year, an incubator which has housed market-leading startups including AI platform Kira and capital markets blockchain startup Nivaura.

Consolidation in the legal tech space is growing, as firms begin to snap up some of leading technologies in the market. Whilst law firms are purchasing stakes in some of the startups housed within their incubators, companies such as the Big Four are consolidating through acquisitions. In August last year, EY announced its acquisition of managed services firm Riverview Law, which runs the esteemed virtual assistant software Kim Technologies. Another market-shifting deal was iManage’s acquisition of AI platform RAVN in May 2017, which recently hired former Reed Smith innovation expert Alex Smith into its ranks.

A further development in the legal tech market this week was the announcement of a mega funding round for ContractPodAI, a contract lifecycle management software that raised $55 million in Series B funding. The London-based firm offers an end-to-end tool, powered by artificial intelligence through IBM’s Watson. The company says the investment is Europe’s largest legal tech Series B fundraise and the largest Series B round for any contract lifecycle management provider globally.

Movers & Shakers of the week 

Appointments

Clyde & Co look to appoint a new chief exec following Peter Hasson’s announcement that he will step down from the role in 2020

Latham & Watkins names new head of office for Madrid following the passing of Juan Picón

Moves

Cooley strengthens its white collar capabilities in London  

Partner Tom Epps has joined Cooley’s London office from Brown Rudnick to build out the firm’s white collar and investigations practice

New GC at Biffa

Waste management company Biffa has hired Sarah Parsons as its new general counsel. She was previously senior legal counsel at manufacturer Rotork

Paul Hastings grows through PE team hire

Paul Hastings has made three partner hires into its corporate department from Hogan Lovells, including the firm’s London head of private equity Ed Harris. Alongside Harris will be counsel Leanne Moezi, who is set to join the London office as a partner. Additionally partner Adam Brown will be joining the firm in its Washington DC office.

HSF looks in-house to boost its regulatory practice

Former Deutsche Bank general counsel Joseph Longo will join Herbert Smith Freehills in the firm’s Perth office as a senior adviser. Longo spent 17 years at the bank, which included a stint as GC for UK and EMEA.

HSF bolsters energy and infrastructure team

Partners Lorenzo Parola and Francesca Morra will head HSF’s energy and infrastructure practice in Milan, bringing with them four associates. The team joins from Paul Hastings’ Milan office.

Simmons expands its Qatar offering

Simmons & Simmons has hired George Vlavianos, along with four associates, into its dispute resolution practice in Doha. He was previously managing partner and head of arbitration at Bennett Jones

Financials

Clyde & Co posts a PEP hike of 4.5% to £690,000 and a rise in profits by 7.5% to £151.1 million

Diversity & Inclusion

UK Law Firms Dominate Stonewall’s List of Top Global LGBT Employers

Almost half of the list of 14 multinational institutions were top commercial law firms

Technology & Innovation

Elevate acquisition pays off in deal with magic circle firm