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Dentons, NextLaw Labs and IBM Cloud Fuel Legal Tech Startups

Date: 08/10/2015
Source: Dentons

NextLaw Labs signs first portfolio company, ROSS Intelligence Inc., a startup developing a legal advisor app powered by IBM Watson

Dentons, the global law firm, today announced that NextLaw Labs, its collaborative innovation platform, has joined with IBM to create a technology platform program using IBM Cloud to enable startups to create and deploy legal applications more quickly. NextLaw Labs has also signed a deal with its first portfolio company, ROSS Intelligence Inc., a startup developing a legal advisor app powered by IBM Watson.

In working with IBM, NextLaw Labs will provide legal tech startups with access to IBM Cloud and the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups. These companies will also have access to IBM’s platform-as-a-service, Bluemix, the largest Cloud Foundry deployment in the world. By creating this kind of legal model, NextLaw Labs will be an active technology investor, accelerator and business incubator focusing on creating new products and services that will change the practice of law, improving client service and enhancing client solutions.

With a developer-friendly catalog of more than 100 tools and services of the most prominent open-source technologies combined with IBM and third-party services, Bluemix will enable these startups to focus all of their energy on creating cloud applications for the legal industry at consumer scale.

“This is an important moment in our profession. Joining the world’s largest law firm with the world’s leading technology provider is just one of the ways that NextLaw Labs is working to transform the legal industry,” said Joe Andrew, Global Chairman, Dentons. “By focusing on using new technology to work smarter and ultimately lower our clients’ costs, our interests and our clients’ interests are one and the same.”

NextLaw Labs Signs First Portfolio Company

NextLaw Labs also announced that it has signed a deal with its first portfolio company, ROSS Intelligence Inc., which is also a member of the Watson Ecosystem. ROSS Intelligence Inc. is developing ROSS, an IBM Watson-powered legal advisor app that will streamline legal research, saving lawyers' time and clients’ money. With the support of Watson’s cognitive computing and natural language processing capabilities, lawyers ask ROSS their research question in natural language, as they would a person, then ROSS reads through the law, gathers evidence, draws inferences and returns an evidence-based answer.

“As NextLaw Labs continues to grow, our lawyers get early access to tools that help them deliver better outcomes, and our clients benefit from cutting-edge technologies not yet available on the market,” said Elliott Portnoy, Global Chief Executive Officer, Dentons.

“Technology is now and will continue to be a real differentiator in the legal profession,” explained Dan Jansen, CEO, NextLaw Labs. “The potential in companies like ROSS shows how the approach to solving client challenges is going to change. NextLaw Labs wants to be a part of transforming what is possible into a tangible offering in today’s legal market.”

Through NextLaw Labs, lawyers and professionals at Dentons will continue to work with ROSS to refine the corpus of legal data and knowledge before it is made publically available.

About Dentons

Dentons is a global law firm driven to provide a competitive edge in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2014 Global Elite Brand Index, Dentons is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality in new and inventive ways. Dentons’ clients now benefit from 3,000 lawyers and professionals in more than 80 locations spanning 50-plus countries. With a legacy of legal experience that dates back to 1742 and builds on the strengths of our foundational firms—Salans, Fraser Milner Casgrain (FMC), SNR Denton and McKenna Long & Aldridge—the Firm serves the local, regional and global needs of private and public clients. www.dentons.com.

About NextLaw Labs


NextLaw Labs is a business accelerator focused on investing in, developing and deploying new technologies to transform the practice of law. It is an autonomous, wholly owned subsidiary of global law firm Dentons with physical and virtual locations in technology centers worldwide. Through complementary and strategic partnerships with leading technology companies, startups, other business accelerators and established legal vendors, NextLaw Labs will invest in promising companies and develop a suite of new technologies that fundamentally change the practice of law, improving client service and enhancing client solutions.

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