17 August 2020 | By Lupl
An open all-in-one solution for the fragmented legal tech market? Lupl aims for the sky
A group of leading in-house legal departments and law firms has worked together to support the development of Lupl, a new open-platform start-up, aiming to connect legal teams working on different legal solutions, enabling them to seamlessly collaborate on legal matters. The end goal of the solution is not to replace the already-implemented systems, but to act as a plug-and-play fabric for existing legal solutions, integrating them into a single open industry platform.
The initial funding and support for Lupl comes from three international law firms spanning the US, EMEA and Asia, in the form of CMS, Cooley and Rajan & Tann Asia, who have jointly invested over $10 million in the start-up. These three firms have been working closely on the development of the platform with a much wider group of legal departments and law firms, together representing over 10,000 lawyers in over 100 jurisdictions.
The solution is designed to solve problems both for law firms and for in-house legal departments. The advisory board of legal departments consists of a number of high-ranking in-house lawyers from a number of highly reputable companies across the world. In addition to the aforementioned law firms, others, such as Slaughter and May, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Khaitan & Co and One Essex Court, will be participating in the testing of the software, which is slated to be released publicly in 2021.
The company aims to grow its user base via an “open industry” approach. What this means is that platform will be open to any legal department and law firm to use, and an open roadmap and development approach will ensure that its development continues to be shaped by a broad cross-section of the industry worldwide. Meanwhile, open APIs will ensure that technology companies will be able to integrate their systems with Lupl, so that users working on legal matters can bring their own systems of choice. Such a solution would enable both law firms and legal teams to cooperate much more efficiently, without running into the day-to-day friction of tech incompatibility. Ultimately, it would entail a secure and neutral cloud-based platform across web and mobile, where users can collaborate on complicated legal tasks in a single secure space, with all the moving parts synchronized.
Currently the platform is in invite-only beta testing by a group of legal departments and law firms. When commercially released in 2021, the solution is expected to operate a freemium software-as-a-service business model and the commercialization approach itself will be tested with users as part of the beta.
If successful, it will address the largely fragmented legal tech market, creating a solution that can help to minimize the day-to-day friction on legal matters that arises when systems do not integrate and interoperate.
It is, of course, still early days. Lupl is in early testing and a wider public release is not scheduled until early next year. The public website for Lupl still includes only early glimpses of what Lupl will become – although this alone is certainly generating interest and excitement across the industry, with more than 750 users in more than 50 countries joining the queue for the beta waitlist within the first few weeks alone. But what is for certain is that Lupl has an ambitious global vision to streamline ways of working on legal matters – and if it is successful, it will demonstrate what is possible if all parts of the industry – legal departments, law firms and technology companies – collaborate on a cross-industry solution.