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by Chris Sykes, Legal Tech Evangelist at Zegal


Source: Legal Geek

Legal Geek made my month

Everyone has moments in their work when they remember why they are doing it and how much they love it. For me that was last week at the Legal Geek Conference, surely the best legaltech event on the planet.  This was an event that I had been excited to attend since we decided to launch in the UK, and our CEO was kindly asked to do a quick talk.

Source: Legal Geek

As you may know, I’m now back in the United Kingdom spreading the word about legal technology and what exactly I have been up to at Zegal for the past three years. Having spent my last few years in Hong Kong, I had only heard whispers of how big and exciting our industry is in the UK.  Okay – I’d heard a lot more than whispers, but calls and emails don’t make up for meeting people face-to-face.  To the massive credit of Jimmy Vestbirk and his team, the whole day was packed full of legaltech advocates and founders, with no ‘this is the dull bit’ moments. Amongst the speakers were representatives of the legal profession, folk from large established players, and founders of new and exciting legaltech enterprises (the latter including our CEO Daniel Walker who shared on his favourite topic – what his 7-year-old daughter has taught him about the future of law).

We met people as diverse as Alex Ritter from electronic search and discovery software Nalytics, Anthony Seale from legal process automation platform Legatics, Suzanna Kalendzhian from online legal services marketplace LegalAdviceME, and David Halliwell of law firm Pinsent Masons.

LegalGeekDanielWalker_love of legaltech
Zegal CEO Daniel Walker speaking at the Legal Geek Conference

So what did my daughter teach me about the future of law? It’s exciting! When I talk to soon-to-be-lawyers, the interns who come to Zegal each year, I see that it’s becoming increasingly clear that they no longer see being a lawyer as meaning joining a law firm. There is no longer one single track. And career success, can be something that is different for each of us.

Pitching from side to side

I spoke to many startups pitching their ideas, and it was easy to find areas of support and potential collaboration across a broad spectrum of the industry. As it is, one way we already collaborate with other companies is through software integrations. For instance, our integration with cloud-based accounting software Xero allows our clients to link their Xero accounts to Zegal. Our clients can now complete a Xero-enabled document to seamlessly generate an invoice, thereby reducing data entry and saving time. The same goes for our integrations with cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox. In my meeting with other startup founders at the conference,  it was easy to find systems where an integration would be beneficial.

One thing that was joyful for me to witness (as a solicitor) was the supportive approach taken in the UK by the regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and the Law Society.  There is no doubt that the SRA, Law Society, Legal Geek and the numerous legaltech businesses are collaborating in genuine ways and in mutual cooperation.

Love Spreads

Daniel walker and Chris Sykes_love of legaltech
Zegal co-founders Daniel Walker & Chris Sykes at the Legal Geek Conference 2017

I have spent the last week following up with various smart folk I met at Legal Geek, and telling anyone I’ve met how great it was.  I just hope it’s a longer event next year!

I also hope that Jimmy’s movement grows from strength to strength and maybe one day has a spin off up in Manchester.

As the folks at Legal Geek say, “It’s not an event, it’s a movement.”