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!
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.
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:
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.
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