I am so excited that since I wrote about Clio attaining the unicorn status, we have had a couple more legal tech companies attain the unicorn status. In November 2021, Everlaw secured a $202 million investment for its Series D round,making it valued at more than $1billion. Everlaw is the world’s most advanced e-discovery software that is used to simplify complex legal work.
Personal Thoughts: As an advocate of the global legal tech ecosystem, I feel super proud of news like this because that validates the profitability of the industry. There is so much room to grow, scale and be profitable. I stumbled on this article listing Unicorns, Soonicorns and Minicorns (I didn’t know there were words like that before now). Sadly, there isn’t any legal tech company from Africa on the list.
This keeps me wondering what’s happening in the legal tech ecosystem in Africa? Are we growing? Are we just stuck? Are we giving up?
What do you think?
Norebase – Tradetech with a sprinkle of LegalTech
Frankly, I am not sure if this should be included here, but I have a question to ask, and thought to ask here.
On May 4th, Techcrunch posted the news on Norebase raising $1m to allow businesses to start, operate and scale across any African country. Personally, I was excited, both for the company and the legal tech ecosystem or so I thought but alas, I was wrong.
I made a tweet asking if Norebase was seen as a legal tech company, a couple of mutuals agreed with me but Norebase corrected us. They are a Tradetech company.
I checked out the meaning of Tradetech and things got more interesting for me. I checked their website and the products listed are Company incorporation and Trademark & IP Registration. Are we now listing these services under trade than under legal? Probably it puts the company in a better position to be seen as Tradetech than LegalTech.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am in no place to tell a company how to be positioned in the ecosystem. It was just insightful for me. Maybe we could call them, a Tradetech company with a sprinkle of LegalTech.
I came across this tweet and it caught my attention with respect to the trend of Non-fungible Tokens or what you also know as NFTs. Is it another quick cash scheme or something stronger?
Okay, let’s start from the beginning. An NFT is a digital asset that represents real-world objects like art, music, or videos. The assets are bought and sold online mostly with cryptocurrency. It is unique and easily verifiable so fake collectables cannot be created or sold because each item can be traced back to the original issuer, and your sale can make you rich.
If you are a frequent user of social media, especially Twitter (before the ban), you may have come across the memes of Osita Iheme, popularly known as Pawpaw and maybe used them as a means of expression. Anyways, the gist is PawPaw has decided to sell his works (memes) on the internet as NFTs. Memes for sale, money for bag 🙂
Back to my tweet, asides from the craze of NFT, let’s bring it home to legal technology. It occurred to me how my question in the tweet also applied to the attitude of law firms to legal technology. Is there no craze or no interest in legal tech, because they don’t understand it or they just don’t care. Is it Ignorance or Indifference or a mix of both?
Q & A with Faith Obafemi on Space Law & Blockchain
We had an interesting conversation with Faith Obafemi, the Blockchain lawyer who is also a Tech Policy Associate at the Tony BlairInstitute for Global Change.
Q: You have always been the go-to person for anything on Blockchain law, so what sparked your interest in Space Law
A: I’m still into Blockchain. I haven’t abandoned it. My main interest is actually emerging technologies and since there is more than one emerging technology, I decided to gain competence one at a time. Now that I have a foothold in Blockchain, my next area of interest is Space technologies and I got interested in it because of its futuristic potential. I’m the kind of person that likes to ensure my career stays future proof because history has shown us that humans are naturally curious and love exploring. Even now that we have finished exploring the earth, the next logical place would be the galaxy. I want to be at the frontier when things are happening, that’s the kind of person I am. When breaking into a new space, I like to link the new knowledge to an area that I am already familiar with, that way I don’t start from scratch. In this context of knowledge, I get to link my knowledge of Blockchain with Space Technology. read more on our conversation…
Problem: I saw another tweet that caught my interest. It is hard for legal beneficiaries to claim the funds of deceased parents/children in Nigerian banks. How do we make this process simpler and easier?
Solution: This is where I actually ask you what you think? Do you know anybody solving this? I would like to talk to them.
Meet Q-Soft Denovo Court Recording System, the product that converts speech to text with 90% accuracy built from a collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Justice and the firm of Funmilayo Quadri & Co
LegalTech Unicorn, Clio acquires CalendarRules, a product that automates calendaring of court deadlines.
This has been a long time coming and finally, we are here. We now have a Youtube channel (actually, we have always had it, we just did not have any video up, but now we do and we will be having videos up on the channel every week).
Is there anything you would like us to talk about or questions you want us to answer, share with us by sending a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal Zoom’s recent IPO move. On June 29th, LegalZoom, a leading online platform for legal and compliance solutions in the United States, with a goal of democratizing the law announced the pricing of its first public offering (IPO) of some shares of common stock at $28.00 per share to the general public. LegalZoom has also announced the concurrent sale of more shares of its common stock in a private placement to businesses linked with TCV, an existing stockholder, at the same price per share as the initial public offering price. Legalzoom has over 20 years of experience navigating complex regulations and simplifying the legal and compliance process for its customers, and it operates in all 50 states and over 3,000 counties in the United States.
1. The law of defamation protects the reputation of a person from defamatory statements made about him to a third party without lawful justification. A statement is defamatory if it tends to lower the claimant in the estimation of right thinking members of society generally (Sim v Stretch (1936)).
2. A person who publishes a libel knowing it to be false may be sentenced to a fine and a period of imprisonment (Section 4 of the Libel Act 1843). A publisher who did not know a libel was false may also be sentenced to a fine and a sentence of imprisonment (Section 5 of the Libel Act 1843).
3. Copyright does not protect ideas, news or information from being copied. Instead, it protects the material form or manner of expression of that idea or information.
Clio, a cloud-based legal technology business, has become the first global legal tech unicorn, having raised $136 million CAD ($110 million USD) in a Series E round valued at $1.6 billion USD. Clio’s total fundraising to date has been $503 million CAD, with a minor, undisclosed part of secondary capital.
Problem : Before the Twitter Ban in Nigeria, we saw on a daily basis, a report of missing persons, their details and pictures. If you are part of those that still access twitter with a vpn (giving you a side eye), you will still see these tweets. In some cases, the missing persons are found and in some other cases, they are not. Maybe we just don’t get the memo.
Solution : A website or app that curates the list of all missing persons reported on any social media platform or other sources of information and verified by the Police.Where the person is found, the details of such a person is taken off the Missing list or greyed out. I know whospottedme.com does something like this but I wonder if they are still in operation. I also came across Toutiao Xunren from China and Laapata on Google Play.
Westlaw Edge launched a new research tool for legal practitioners that help in identifying weaknesses in the written arguments of the opposing counsel. In other words, Quick Check Contrary Authority Identification (that’s the name of the feature), with the use of Artificial Intelligence, a lawyer is able to analyze and identify relevant authorities omitted from the brief of the opposing counsel.
Intellectual property rights impose costs upon the public. While these intellectual property laws can be justified as they encourage the creation and dissemination of new works to offset these costs.
One reason why intellectual property rights are limited in scope, in duration, and in effect is so that the costs and benefits are balanced.
Copyright protection is principally limited by term duration, fair use, the first sale doctrine, and some others. In contrast, “access protection” entails technological procedures that shield a copyrighted work from the attempt to copy.
Fair use is a complex subjective matter that requires consideration of four factors: purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the taking, and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of a copyrighted work.
To resolve disputes involving trespass or nuisance, the court can award an injunction or free use based on a reading of statutory or common law, or some attempt to establish all costs and benefits associated with each outcome.
I came across this startup and found their product fascinating. Let me introduce you to YungaTech from Uganda.Yungatech provides low-cost security tools to local communities. It’s a digital network for connected neighborhoods that provides local rescue and microinsurance. The goal of the startup is to enhance community security in sub-Saharan Africa by investing in the manufacturing of fast, user-friendly crime prevention security tools that are backed by microinsurance.
Yungatech was built by Anatoli Kirigwajo, Kawesa Nasser and Kasoma Frederick in November 2018 for just one Ugandan community and has since grown to protect over 1,500 citizens in Kampala. The products under the startup are Yunga Plus, Yunga Basic, Yunga Doorbell and some others.
Yunga Plus: includes all Yunga Basic features but also allows for automatic detection of intrusion in homes on community devices, phone calls and mobile application notifications even when owners are not home. The Yunga Basic: calls for instant help by pressing the Yunga device or a tap of a button from a phone application. The Yunga Doorbell: visitors are able to use their phones to ring doorbells. I look forward to discovering other kinds of startups involved in Community Justice like this.
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