Project management software thedocyard, which was established last year, has recently appointed Michael Bray as chair of the company.
Mr Bray, who is the former global managing partner and head of finance and capital markets at Clifford Chance, told Lawyers Weekly that lawyers should be contributing to the development of legal tech.
“Understanding the reality of transactional practice is critical to the development of the products and platforms that the market now desperately needs,” Mr Bray said.
Mr Bray said that a world of instantaneous communication has brought with it enormous pressure to get things done quickly and efficiently, while at the same time transactions have increased exponentially in terms of sophistication and complexity.
“Pressure to take out the inefficiencies and to reduce process and execution costs has been building up for some time, but models for achieving this can only be developed by people who are intimately familiar and involved with the transactional complexities that define cross-border deals – and that means transactional lawyers,” he said.
“In a sense this is self-evident, for if it were not so the pure tech companies would have found solutions for these problems years ago.”
After leaving Clifford Chance in April last year, Mr Bray joined Italian law firm Grimaldi Studio Legale as a partner, and is continuing his role there alongside being the chair of thedocyard.
“My role at thedocyard is to be non-executive chair and my continuing involvement in private practice will help me in that role as thedocyard continues on its exciting journey to become a global tech provider to the legal transactional market,” he said.
“I see the two roles as very much complementary.”
Mr Bray has been closely involved with the Australian legal market throughout his career and sees it as a frontrunner in the technology space.
“I have always been impressed with the willingness of Australian firms to embrace new technologies, for example in providing in-house training to their lawyers and in developing interactive high-value websites,” he said.
“In these areas I think that Australian firms led the way in many respects, and it is therefore no surprise at all to me to see an Australian venture being the first to bring together top-level practical legal input and the tech input to produce a suite of products that plays very directly to the very pressing needs of the markets across the globe.”