"One of the problems with legal technology adoption in the legal industry is that every law firm have different requirements in terms of functionality, systems integrations"
Alvaro Navarro Sotillos, Editor in chief of The Impact Lawyers Magazine, had the pleasure to conduct a message interview with Warwick Walsh, CEO & founder of Lawcadia, a thriving Australian legal technology company, Lawcadia has a complete intake, matter, RFP, collaboration and spend management platform that is built for in-house lawyers. Lawcadia has already launched a new tool: Lawcadia Intelligence.
One of the problems with legal technology adoption in the legal industry is that every law firm and every in-house legal department have different requirements in terms of functionality, systems integrations, even naming conventions and the data fields that are important to them to track and report on.
For technology companies this can be a big challenge as customisations and integrations can take a lot of development time and can potentially cause havoc with security infrastructure. Technology consultants of course love this as they get money from the high cost implementations! But the average mid-sized law firm and corporate or government legal team just can’t justify this so they either make do with an off-the-shelf solution or they continue to do what they’ve always done with a hacked together version of enterprise systems.
We built our new intelligent engine to allow for almost endless solutions and variations to be created using our legal operations platform as the core operating system.
We will also be able to configure the platform for many other languages quite easily, which we are excited about for the European market.
Our core system provides matter intake, matter management, competitive RFPs, scope and budget management, as well as ebilling. Workflow automation has always been a key aspect of our platform and while our previous workflow tool was already quite configurable, the new engine takes this to another level.
At its core, Lawcadia is a two-sided platform to be used by both in-house legal lawyers and their private practice counterparts. We have quite diverse in-house legal teams using Lawcadia from large banking institutions through to not-for-profit organisations and technology scale-ups. On the law firm side we have over 150 law firms using the platform across Australian top-tier and mid-tier firms, as well as international, Magic Circle and AM Law firms.
Over the past 5 years as we have grown the company and the technology, it has been natural to focus our time and resources on the Australian legal market which is quite sophisticated. Western Europe, the UK and the US will be key regions as we expand our global footprint.
Our digital platform provides transparency, efficiency and accountability across the entire legal function (internal and external). This really solves the problem that legal departments face of doing more with less and getting control and visibility over all aspects of their remit. As well as efficiency our gains, importantly clients report that they save up to 25% of their external legal spend. From their law firms perspective, they have a way to win more work from their clients and further embed and elevate their relationship.
Lawcadia has enterprise-grade security features including private cloud infrastructure and is ISO 27001 certified. Our Information Security Management System is a core part of our operations and we regularly undertake penetration testing, code reviews and audits.
The new platform engine retains the core data security of the platform whilst balancing the functionality and specific requirements of our customers. For example, the new engine allows for loosely coupled plug-ins which removes a lot of the heavy development coding involved in building new functionality and customisations. The main benefit of this type of architecture it that new functionality can be added without changing the core infrastructure of the platform – essentially these plug-ins sit on top of the engine. They also don’t interfere with the core data or system security and they are easy to test and implement.
In a post-GFC environment legal departments were under pressure to cut costs, achieve greater savings for stakeholders and be transparent in the process – essentially control and justify their legal spend. More and more legal counsels were seeking discounted legal services as a result and, in response, some law firms are providing ‘discounts’ on their fees but making up the balance – and more – by charging ‘out-of-scope’ extras.
Both sides (in-house legal departments and law firms) were frustrated with the legal market. There was not enough transparency when it came to how legal services were procured and how law firms bill, and I wanted to change that.
The initial idea for Lawcadia was developed and workshopped with my co-founder, which we than validated with our network of contacts in the legal industry. It was only a couple of months later in 2016 that we launched to the market our first product. We have since expanded our product offering and iterated our platform based on client and market feedback, and Lawcadia Intelligence is the latest key development of our platform.