Five startups your firm should meet at ILTACON

Matthew Pennington
Aug 22, 2018 · 8 min read


PartnerVine is the first platform for law firms to sell their legalTech — providing law firms with a route to market for tech products they have developed in house, from simple template documents through to full blown tech solutions.

For example a firm might develop a GDPR compliance tool for a specific client. The return on investment for that tool for the firm would normally be the charges they pass onto the client.

What PartnerVine challenges law firms to consider whether the use case for tool they are building is general. Could that same GDPR tool be sold to more parties?

If the firm can instead build a version of the tool that can be sold to more parties, it will massively increase the ROI on the tool for the firm. PartnerVine delivers the marketplace, manages transactions, distribution and marketing — leaving the law firm to focus on delivering and iterating their product.

Jordan Urstadt, CEO and Founder of recognises that:

traditionally there has been no way for a law firm to recoup its investment in standardising and automating information, which is the legal industry’s version of the last mile problem”

PartnerVine launched in Switzerland in October of last year, and with PwC as the first supplier offered over 40 documents initially through their marketplace. This has now grown to over 120 documents with two firms, with more firms in the pipeline with documents to add.

Since launching PartnerVine, Urstadt notes that their business model has expanded to include legal tech developed by innovation teams at law firms. PartnerVine’s initial strategy was to apply LegalZoom’s B2C model to B2B, which is the model it started with at launch. After speaking with innovation teams at law firms, PartnerVine is also providing a venue for innovation teams to sell the legal tech they develop in-house.

The PartnerVine Marketplace

The strength of PartnerVine’s offering is taking the aspects of selling a product, from listing to closing a sale and collecting payment — away from the law firm. Because their platform will act as an aggregator and legalTech marketplace, PartnerVine believes that their website will gain good traction with respect to SEO (search engine optimisation) with more backlinks and authority than a law firm’s proprietary offer — and making it more likely that buyers will find the product they are looking for.

I asked Urstadt how the process works for a firm wanting to sell their legalTech through the PartnerVine platform:

The law firm needs to have a software provider that is open to selling their software with a limited use license. With that limited use license, third parties can buy the law firm’s product directly on PartnerVine. On purchase, the buyers can link to the law firm’s environment with restricted use.

On where he sees the development of legal services online, Urstadt is bullish on the role of law firms developing their own tech:

The limiting factor in law firms developing legal tech has traditionally been a lawyer’s time — law firms have pulled the plug on projects that reduce their revenues. Many innovation teams at in-house firms are developing process-oriented dashboards because it does not require a lot of lawyer time. With PartnerVine, we’re already starting to see lawyers committing more time to tech as they see it as a source of revenue rather than an expense, and we are excited to see that trend continue. That’s the future and where PartnerVine can provide its value add to law firms. Legal Tech makes economic sense when it is sold at volume.”

Visit PartnerVine at Startup Hub 1 or at


Pitchly is a content service platform for law firms to organise and activate experience content. Although the company has been going for over five years, they only ventured into the legal space within the last 24 months.

Before their ‘pitch’ this morning, Pitchly announced that they had secured a seven-figure seed funding round led by Next Level Ventures in order to invest in customer relations as well as sales and marketing.

The CEO and founder of Pitchly Ryan Gerhardy talked about how he came up with the idea for the Pitchly platform. Gerhardy has a professional services background and during his time in the industry realised that the processes that were being used to created pitch documents and manipulate data were broken and that they could be automated relatively easily using simple design concepts that were scalable with technology.

Pitchly Tombstones

In addition, Gerhardy felt that content management platforms are often too complex and not designed for creating proposals. Pitchly offers a single solution for organising staff experiences and presenting experience content such as case studies, attorney biographies and tombstones.

I asked Gerhardy where a firm would typically start if they wanted to adopt the Pitchly solution:

The Business Development team must have a need to create pitch content and search a matter database, in order to respond to attorney requests. We can upload content from excel spreadsheets as well as migrate from existing or connect to existing software platforms.”

Visit Pitchly at Startup Hub 2 or at

Judicata Clerk

Judicata’s Clerk product helps lawyers to uncover intelligent insights to help them attack or improve a brief, by looking at the arguments made in the brief as well as the drafting:


  • Points of law — are the odds favourable?
  • Case vulnerability — how likely is cited president to be followed?
  • Supporting cases — are legal principles supported with the best cases?
  • Balance — does the brief address expected cases and arguments?


  • Citations — Are case citations free of errors?
  • Quotations — Are cases and statuses quoted accurately?

From the above metrics, Clerk will assign the brief a grade score from Very Weak (1) to Very Strong (100). The higher a brief scores the more likely it is to win.

According to Itai Gurari, Co-Founder and CEO of Judicata:

Clerk can be used to review an opponent’s brief to quickly identify weaknesses and points of attack.”

Gurari ran through an example of the power of Clerk — using the high profile Dynamex case around determining whether transportation workers are employees or independent contractors, a determination critical to the cost structure of companies like Uber and Lyft. You can read the full example on the Judicata website.

Arguments in an example brief in Clerk

One key aspect of Judicata’s platform that stood out to me was how well designed the user interface was. The various metrics that the strength of the brief was graded on were clear to read and understand, and the interface simple to navigate — making it easy and intuitive to use.

I asked Gurari where would a firm start if they wanted to use Clerk:

A great starting point is to contact us and we’ll run Clerk on a pair of briefs from the firm — theirs and their opponents — and show the power of what the software can do. The platform is easy to use — you just login through your favourite browser, upload the brief and away you go!”

Clerk can only currently be used for briefs in California state, but will roll out to more states in the future.

Visit Judicata at Startup Hub 2 or at


Privva provides a solution to improve workflow of vendor security assessments to assist firms with ensuring the vendors they work with are meeting their security requirements.

Privva’s platform helps law firms ensure that they are using best practices and asking vendors the right questions, in order to help mitigate the risk of a data breach.

Conversely, Privva’s platform helps firms to meet the requirements of their clients with respect to data security and privacy — allowing firms and their clients to also create, share, analyse and remediate security assessments.

Ishan Girdhar, CEO of Privva believes their product will:

Our goal is to improve the security assessment process throughout the entire value chain of information from clients to the law firms and from law firms to their vendors”

With new regualtions such as GDPR in the EU and other jurisdictions taking steps towards greater regulation and reprisals for the loss of personal information, Privva’s solution can help law firms ensure they are undertaking best practice with respect to confidential and private information.

Visit Privva at Startup Hub 2 or at


SMASHDOCs is a platform for creating reviewing and negotiation documents. The look and feel of the platform is very similar to that of Google Docs, however the main benefits over and above cloud document services such Docs and Word are:

  • changes to documents at a more granular level
  • a versatile user permissioning system allowing you to use existing logins for other core services, rather than having yet another login.
  • An extensive API allowing you to push and pull documents and data from SMASHDOCs, for example for automatic content population

The SMASHDOCs platform

SMASHDOCs only entered the legal marketplace at the start of 2018 but has been active since 2013. SMASHDOCs has over customers in publishing, standardisation and the public sector using their solution including LexisNexis, IBM and Deloitte.

Christinan Marchsreiter, CEO at SMASHDOCs believes that their solution works well for law firms because:

We don’t create a mess of versions! With some products, making a change of one or two words generates a whole new document. We don’t track at the document level, we track changes at the section level — words, paragraphs, tables and images. You can then see a full history of all the individual changes in one place. As a result you get a much clearer view of the changes that have been made over time.”

Marchsreiter believes that SMASHDOCs drivers greater efficiency in law firms and cited and example from a M&A agreement that a top ten firm used for piloting SMASHDOCs for their firm.

The agreement had over 1500 pages and 15 lawyers working on it. From experience, the firm believed that getting to the final document version would take 6 months.

With SMASHDOCs it took only a month and a half and the firm noted that as a result of using SMASHDOCs there was a greater level of discussion and collaboration between the the lawyers working on the agreement.

Visit SMASHDOCs at Startup Hub 1 or at

Photo by Sharosh Rajasekher on Unsplash

Originally published at Technomancers — LegalTech Blog.

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