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About the Author:
Terry Kiwala
Vice President
Terry Kiwala is a vice president specializing in research and investment in software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses, particularly in enterprise productivity applications. He is a thought leader in his sector, having authored widely read industry research. He uses his industry knowledge and expansive network to uncover promising investment opportunities and help companies navigate their strategic paths and accelerate growth. Prior to joining First Analysis in 2019, he was chief financial officer of Vokal, a software development company, senior vice president at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, and associate vice president at National-Louis University. Earlier, he was an investment banking analyst at Lehman Brothers. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and government from the University of Notre Dame. He is a CFA charterholder.
First Analysis Enterprise Productivity Technology Team
Terry Kiwala
Vice President
Corey Greendale
Managing Director
Richard Conklin
Managing Director
Matthew Nicklin
Managing Director
First Analysis Quarterly Insights
Enterprise productivity
The new legal code: Legal software as a service
November 24, 2020
  • The advent of artificial intelligence has sparked the evolution of legal software-as-a-service (LSaaS) platforms from out-of-the-box contract creation utilities to tools that enable efficiency across the legal profession, including small practices, in-house corporate counsel and large international law firms. As early-stage companies innovate and large law firms direct more funds toward research and development, we anticipate substantial value creation in this sector by firms that focus their LSaaS platforms on specific industries or a lifecycle of contracts and documents for specific client categories.
  • We highlight innovative LSaaS companies and initiatives in three LSaaS segments: non-lawyer users (mainly small and medium-size businesses), attorneys at smaller firms and other lawyers, such as in-house corporate counsel, and very large law firms that invest in proprietary AI-powered technology.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Includes discussion of DOCU and 15 private companies

Innovators in the three LSaaS market segments

LSaaS for non-lawyers

LSaaS for smaller law firms and lawyers in other organizations

LSaaS for very large law firms

AI expands the field of opportunity for LSaaS

Enterprise productivity multiples expand as visibility on strong revenue growth continues

M&A valuations remain strong, big deals up the ante on private companies

Appetite for investment in rapidly growing companies remains strong

Introduction

As artificial intelligence (AI) powered platforms become more sophisticated and flexible, one of the growing verticals has been platforms aimed at automating legal services. Among the most central purposes of these LSaaS platforms is minimizing the cost and increasing the speed of getting legal advice. They began as standardized solutions for creating contracts, using templates generated for a variety of purposes, most commonly real estate and personal finance. With newer AI capabilities, particularly for language interpretation, LSaaS platforms have evolved to provide higher-value and more tailored solutions for clients. The new AI-powered LSaaS platforms expand the scope of capabilities to include interpreting documents used in legal processes and recommending courses of action in negotiating non-litigated matters or in certain areas of litigation.

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