International law firms Rajah & Tann Asia, CMS and Cooley have launched Lupl, a legal matter synchronization software billed as the first of its kind, which brings together more than 10,000 lawyers in more than 100 jurisdictions – along with their conversations, documents and data for legal matters – in one place.
The venture is the culmination of more than a year of work with in-house and private practice lawyers, as well as industry experts, to solve shared frustrations relating to the handling of legal matters.
The project was incubated through its development by the three firms, but wider law firm testing included Slaughter and May, Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Australia, Khaitan & Co in India and One Essex Court, a barristers’ chambers in London. The platform also has an advisory board of 16 leading in-house lawyers, from blue-chip multinationals through to the world’s fastest growing tech companies.
Lupl was set up to synchronize legal data acquisition – including people, documents, information, communications and technology applications – in a single secure space, empowering lawyers and legal departments to work together on complex, high-stakes legal matters more efficiently.
Lee Eng Beng, senior counsel and chairperson of Rajah & Tann Asia, told Asia Business Law Journal Lupl is still under beta testing in Asia and would be rolled out next year. “However, we have reason to believe that there will be strong demand in Asia, similar to the strong responses elsewhere,” he said.
“We have received a good number of expressions of interest in using Lupl and requests to participate in the beta testing, and have also been asked to do quick introductions to the platform. These hail from diverse parts of the legal communities in Asia – law firms, in-house legal teams, government and public agencies, and arbitration institutions.”
Lee said Lupl was intended to be a global product, and would have no separate Asian strategy, but he acknowledged there may be differences in the way in which legal work is done across the world. “The clients, lawyers and institutions in Asia may be more dependent on, or fond of, particular software and communications platforms, specific features or capabilities, or a characteristic way of organizing their work,” he said.
“All these will be fed back so that Lupl can serve all the legal communities in the world. The open and inclusive design of the Lupl platform will ensure that it is nimble enough to accommodate and adapt to the different technology platforms and business workflows globally, including that in Asia.”
Matt Pollins, the chief commercial officer of Lupl, told Asia Business Law Journal that the founding firms were not selected, but came together on their own accord to create what was thought to be a much-needed and timely legal tech venture.
“Strong business and personal relationships and mutual clients amongst the firms were key, as were the joint passion and purpose to collaborate on a project that would benefit the global legal community and solve shared frustrations,” said Pollins. “While the founding firms have agreed to incubate the venture through its early stages, Lupl is built for every firm and every legal department.”
Pollins said demand for such a tool was obvious because of the shift towards distributed teams and mobile working, but the global pandemic accelerated that shift far more quickly. “As the market responds with new technology platforms to accommodate remote working, the fragmentation of technologies has created a pressing need for a platform that enables clients and lawyers to have a cohesive single view of all legal matters,” he said. “We are confident that Lupl helps to break those barriers and fits the bill for the new way of working.”
The Lupl platform will continue to operate in private beta format ahead of a wider public release later this year, or in early 2021.