Nov 6, 2019
In this episode of the Legal Tech StartUp Focus podcast, Charlie Uniman, your host, interview Jeroen Plink. Jeroen, as many of our listeners know, is the CEO of Clifford Chance Applied Solutions. Jeroen generously shares a great store of legal tech-related business knowledge from which legal tech startups, and their investors and customers, can benefit greatly.
After a brief bit of background about Jeroen's wide-ranging career in legal tech and a discussion of the Cliffords Chance Applied Solutions group that Jeroen leads, Charlie poses the following questions:
(i) Given the importance of timing when it comes to introducing legal tech into the market, what law firm/legal department/lawyer "pain points" are particularly ready today for a legal tech remedy? Jeroen provides four "pain point" examples. Legal tech startups - get cracking on these software opportunities!
(ii) Are there one or more keys to persuading lawyers and other legal professionals to actually use a pain-point remedying legal technology purchased by their firms (e.g., ease of use, integration with legacy tech, client demand)? Jeroen has a singular recommendation in answer this question. (Hint: It's all about product roll-out,)
(iii) Is there a trend emerging among BigLaw law firms to "productize" their legal advice offerings in order to deliver more or less routine legal work not only more efficiently, but also more widely to existing (and also perhaps newly-served) client segments? Jeroen surprises with the distinction he draws in answering this question.
(iv) Is Clifford Chance Applied Solutions open to purchasing legal tech in addition to building tech solutions itself? In short, Jeroen answers "yes;" but there's much more to this answer than just a "yes."
(v) Is institutional investor funding "reserved" only for those legal tech startups that can offer what can be called "quasi-unicorn" types of financial exits (i.e., less than the $1 billion or more "standard unicorn" valuation benchmark, but still in the high tens or more millions of dollars of exit value)? Here, Jeroen answers "no." And do listen to his complete explanation to his answer; it's an encouraging one.