2019 CEE LegalTech Report

A couple of years ago, legal technology (legaltech) was still an unnoted topic of discussion among most lawyers in Central Eastern Europe (CEE). Even in more mature legal markets, the legaltech sector was just picking up, but often still poorly defined. Today, innovative software tools targeting the legal industry are being developed across Europe and legaltech startup maps are increasingly populated in several local jurisdictions. Our team at InvestCEE LegalTech Consultancy decided to look more closely at various legaltech solutions originating from the CEE region specifically and to provide an overview of this nascent market. We are excited to release the final version of the CEE legaltech report today!

About the 2019 CEE LegalTech Report

In 2019, InvestCEE launched research to determine and quantify the key players that enable digital transformation in the legal service industry across CEE. This report is the first study done by InvestCEE aimed to examine a new market carving out an innovative aspect of legal services, often referred to as newlaw. 

Our research focused broadly on the CEE region (without looking for a strict geopolitical definition for this term), so our interest spanned from the more northern countries in the Baltics over to the more southern countries in the Balkans and covering the countries in between, while we did not include German and Russian speaking jurisdictions. For the purposes of this report, we specifically looked at countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. 

As regards our methodology, we looked at the online communication of business entities that made a reference to “legal technology” or “legal innovation”, searched through public information relating to legaltech themed meetups or conferences and reviewed public databases maintained by legaltech event organizers. This research was augmented by direct communication with some of the local entities or individuals from various CEE jurisdictions whom we had contacted for insights about the current state of their respective legaltech markets. We focused specifically on grassroots initiatives aiming to innovate the legal sector and did not cover incumbent or traditional service providers traditionally covering the CEE legal market. 

As a result of our research and surveys, we identified more than 50 newlaw players that currently shape the CEE legaltech ecosystem. Yet we note that this report was intended to be a representative sampling for the region and not an exhaustive list. Our findings constitute an independent market review and InvestCEE shall not be held liable for any opinions expressed, inaccurate or incomplete information presented herein. 

Please submit any input and feedback regarding the 2019 CEE LegalTech Report via our contact page.

Summary of Key Findings from the 2019 CEE LegalTech Report

The 2019 research showed the CEE legaltech market to be an early stage yet dynamically evolving sector. The following findings appeared as most prominent from our study:

  1. Looking at the local jurisdictions, the top contributors of the CEE region are Hungary, Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic, jointly encompassing almost 70% of the legaltech startups in CEE.
  2. We grouped newlaw players in CEE into three main categories:  
    • startups or scaleups developing software tools for the legal industry at large (i.e., we found their product and service offering to be relevant across the CEE region, potentially even beyond);
    • startups or scaleups developing software tools for a given local jurisdiction only (i.e., country-specific solutions); and
    • innovative legal service providers that perform a range of tasks enabling the growth and expansion of the CEE newlaw ecosystem: studios and boutique firms offering consulting services for the more traditional players of the legal industry. 
  3. Beyond software tools focused on legal service delivery, we identified a number of additional creative tools on the borderline of legaltech that we thought may be worth keeping in mind. While these software tools were not specifically targeted at the legal industry, they provide solutions for professional services generally and could be of interest to lawyers with a knack for innovation. 
  4. Legaltech tools in CEE cover a whole range of tasks. The top categories we identified in the 2019 study were the following: document management, legal drafting automation and/or digital contracting; legal matter, time and/or workflow management; GDPR & data security; legal search & research; and access to justice.
  5. Law firms and corporate legal departments in CEE increasingly experiment with legaltech tools. Some local or regional law firms recognize the potential of new business models to transform the industry and engage with innovative service providers to develop collaborative solutions for clients.

By sourcing and learning to use the right tools, lawyers no longer need to search manually through contracts, case or matter files, and other legal or business databases for key information. Legaltech tools from CEE (and beyond) that help lawyers upskill and perform legal work better, faster and cheaper, will be particularly important not only to watch but also to implement going forward.

Join our LegalTech Workshops!

LegalTech should not be magic. Learning to use technology in legal work is key for a successful transition towards a digital legal department and value-added legal services. Our workshops help you get the most of your LegalTech investment.

Join our Smarter Legal newsletter!

Once a month, we email readers with legaltech tips, trends and advice to stay ahead of the legal innovation curve.  Sign up to get it in your inbox!

    error: Content is protected!