What is Digitorney Plus?
Digitorney Plus is a digital market place for business law. We’re independent, don’t belong to any law firm and are neither a legal network nor a law firm. By contrast, the overriding principle of our approach is to
- connect companies with suitable lawyers (across all types and sizes of corporate law firms) in a digital manner and
- create case summaries for efficient legal work as well as
- provide suitable legal tech solutions, if needed in the individual case.
Digitorney Plus acts worldwide and across all fields of business law.
What services are available on Digitorney Plus?
This website offers various digital services for the legal practice: firstly, users can submit lawyer search requests via the digital form on the right side of each webpage. Secondly, articles and interviews on business law matters are available. Thirdly, users can customize legal templates for selected purposes by way of document automation and also get access to interactive heatmaps on legal matters. Finally, legal tech solutions developed by Digitorney or third parties can be acquired.
Who pays Digitorney for what?
Companies pay Digitorney a lump sum fee of € 250,- per request for finding the lawyer and arranging the contractual relationship. Lawyers (i.e. the respective law firm) pay Digitorney a pre-agreed lump sum fee for the case summary. While lawyer profiles are free of charge, Digitorney gets paid by lawyers for published articles and interviews. All other services (i.e. document automation, heatmaps and legal tech solutions) are based on individual subscription fees.
Who stands behind Digitorney?
Digitorney was founded in 2016 by independent German and Dutch lawyers and tax advisors who used to work in companies and law firms.
How does the Mandate Service (i.e. the lawyer search) work?
A company or law firm submits a request via Digitorney Plus by using the digital form on the right side of each webpage. On the back of the search criteria, we already pre-screen our lawyer data base in terms of suitable candidates and send our engagement letter to the requesting company/law firm. In the next step, we clarify the specifics and objectives of the individual case over the phone and draft a written case summary (long version/short version). After having received final feedback from the requesting company/law firms, we approach pre-selected candidates with the short version and ask them to come up with a quote. Often enough, this leads to further questions regarding the individual case, which are then clarified in an iterative process coordinated by us. In the end, the requesting company/law firm signs the selected candidate‘s engagement letter. Finally, we provide the candidate with the signed engagement letter and the case summary. The latter reduces risks of misunderstanding and enhances productivity. Digitorney gets a pre-agreed lump sum from the requesting company/law firm for searching suitable lawyers plus arranging the relationship and from the candidate for creating the case summary.
What does Digitorney Plus offer in terms of Artificial Intelligence?
Digitorney offers artificial intelligence tools developed by LEVERTON. This encompasses deep learning technologies to extract, structure and manage data from corporate documents. For instance, a high number of contracts in the fields of commercial real estate, procurement or labour law can be automatically analyzed, extracted and summarized in a digital dashboard.
What about the Legal Workflow tool offered by Digitorney Plus?
Digitorney promotes software designed by Worklean, which helps you managing your legal workflows. All documents of a transaction/project are stored in a secure manner. You can control and track every single step of the process. This ensures that nothing is missed, quality standards are met and knowledge about the transaction is always available in a structured manner. In principle, email exchange would no longer be necessary. However, Worklean allows you to work on tasks and comments assigned to you via email.
What does Digitorney bring to the table in terms of Digital Whistleblowing?
When it comes to compliance matters, confidential and secure communications are paramount. In this respect, Digitorney offers the “WhistleB Center“ which is a compliance management tool developed by the Swedish company WhistleB. Companies can seamlessly integrate the service into their websites in order to allow whistleblowers to anonymously submit messages including files via a digital form. Thereafter, compliance officers can communicate with whistleblowers confidentially and manage every compliance case efficiently in a digital manner.
How does the Template Creator work?
Companies can benefit from a constantly growing pool of legal templates (e.g. NDAs, SPAs, Articles of Association) by way of filling out a digital form. Finally, the user clicks the submit button and automatically gets a word file containing all details of the form.
What is Digitorney’s vision?
I’d like to share with you some thoughts on the future of business law and Digitorney’s role in this respect. Over the last couple of years, we have already seen significant shifts in the legal advisory sector which is globally a double-digit billion US Dollar market. Legal fees are under pressure more than ever before. Companies increasingly demand alternative fee arrangements which means that caps, lump sum fees and blended rates play an incremental role while the hourly billing model gets under pressure. At the same time, legal tech solutions in particular in the fields of document automation and artificial intelligence become more and more attractive for both companies and law firms. Since 2015, we have discussed market developments with hundreds of managing partners, general counsels, executives and professors from different countries. All these findings have been taken into account when we created Digitorney’s vision which in a nutshell is as follows:
Firstly, we clearly see that times are changing and challenging for the legal practice:
– Software will replace lawyers when it comes to standard legal documents such as NDAs, labour contracts, loan agreements and bond documentations. As a consequence, lump sum fees become standard for many legal services.
– Robotics will be decisive also for legal work: lawyers and general counsels need to be able to work with digital tools: legal documents will be created more and more by way of automated drafting tools including semantic text analysis and legal data feed from various sources.
– At the same time, human skills like creativity, empathy and improvisation will never be substitutable by software. Especially business law matters show a high degree of individual solutions which can only be managed by human beings.
– Big data and data analytics will be a key factor: for instance, if we know how long it takes to implement certain transactions in certain countries or regions and which legal hurdles typically occur there, this allows for better strategic decisions.
– Chatbots come into play when companies require quick answers to standard questions without a complex description of the individual case.
– Artificial intelligence will be increasingly important for analytics of standard contracts and structuring of internal legal data.
More importantly – and this is something which must also be highlighted – the principle “excellent money for excellent services” will definitely remain valid.
Lawyers are able to take decisions based on empathy, gut feelings and pure experience which also comprises of negotiation skills that can and will never be replaced by software. Fees and hourly rates for the core services of international business lawyers are not the problem and should not be questioned by legal tech newcomers into the law market. Legal tech should bring lawyers and their clients together in a faster and easier way. Furthermore, it should enable law professionals to deliver their valuable advice exactly in their core field of business. Additional costs, like drafting of standard documents, can and should be reduced, not hourly rates for core advice services.
In this context, Digitorney’s market place combines state-of-the-art legal tech solutions with digital-based lawyer search and fact finding. In this manner, we build the bridge between human-centric legal advisory and the digital world. We strongly believe that this is the future of business law – and that’s what Digitorney stands for.