The Growing Market of Legal Tech Start-Ups in France
Established in the USA in 2000 and developing in France since 2013, the industry of the legal tech encourages significant changes in the way legal services are provided to individuals and companies. Moreover, lawyers are the first to witness these changes, with the expansion of the legal platform competing with their services, using advanced computer technologies. New inventions and concepts create a new market, which is faster and cheaper in comparison with traditional legal services.
The market of legal technologies in the US was able to develop due to the legal market of 400 billion dollars and advanced computer technology.
Currently, the legal tech industry occupies a leading position in the US, with such key players as Legal Zoom and Rocket Lawyer. The US exports its technology abroad in countries such as France, where this market has developed over the past 4 years. The growth of the market can be demonstrated by the fact that in 2013 there were less than one hundred legal tech startups in Europe, currently, in France there are only about one hundred legal tech start-ups. The success of this growing industry led to the creation of the first French legal tech event in November 2016, in which 23 French legal tech start-ups took part.
The delayed interest in legal technology in France can be explained, among other things, by the fact that the export of legal equipment of North America to Europe was more difficult due to the different legal system of both countries. General laws and countries of civil law are very different from each other. Therefore, it is difficult to implement a technical platform designed for the common judicial system in France.
The complexity of French legislation, with its large number of laws, also hampered the development of the market of legal automation in France. But the first French legal start specifically used this complexity to make this possible. In addition, we can also note the establishment of platforms for litigation that handles the formalities necessary to initiate an action, and the creation of a legal research mechanism that uses deep learning technology and large data to find relevant laws necessary for a particular case.
The multiplication of legal start-ups in France has gained interest in one of the largest American law firms - Rocket Lawyer, with more than 14 million customers.
In order to penetrate the French market, Rocket Lawyer, recognizing legal differences and strong competition with French start-ups that already exist, decided to create a joint venture with the publication of Lefebvre Sarrut (ELS), the leading legal editorial company in Europe. Thanks to the advanced technology of Rocket Lawyer and access to the largest legal French database through ELS, this partnership, implemented in November 2016, has competitive advantages that can compete with local market leaders such as "Captain Contra and "Legal Start", which also provide personalized legal documents and inexpensive access to a lawyer.
A study published by Boston Consulting Group entitled "How legal tech will change the business law" offers a number of key elements that need to be reviewed by law firms to protect their market share and gain the benefits provided by legal technology. According to the research, small law firms will have to specialize, invest in legal tech domain and offer fixed prices, while large law firms will need to concentrate more on "assigned tasks", and also invest in legal technologies. There is already a case where a law firm in France is trying to follow an approach such as "Reveability-Avocat", which offers a fixed price.
Despite the fact that it is difficult to assess the impact of legal tech in the near future, paralegals and legal support staff can be heavily affected by the evolution of document automation, which for some services is faster and cheaper. That is why it is important for future practicing lawyers to get acquainted with all these new technologies.
Artificial intelligence in the legal tech domain
Today, there is a platform called "intellectual justice", such as "Case Law Analytics" and "Predictive" in France or "Lex Machina" in the United States. Such services use intelligent data mining and large data technologies for case law analysis to predict the likely outcomes of a particular case.
However, this tool of intellectual justice is still under development. There are many services that can be offered by the legal tech industry, especially with the development of artificial intelligence. Thus, these services can represent the next generation of legal tech services that have a stronger potential for analyzing legal data and case databases, leading their users to respond to a particular legal problem.