Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lex Machina Unveils Legal Analytics for Securities Lawyers

Today Lex Machina launched the first analytics product for securities litigators at event in New York City, which was held at the Park Avenue Gansevoort Hotel. I had the opportunity to attend today’s event featuring two of  Lex Machina's top executives. Josh Becker, CEO introduced the company and Owen Byrd, Chief Evangelist and General Counsel, provided an overview of the unique features offered by the new Lex Machina product. I  was asked to provide a "wrap up" commentary on the evolution of legal research. My comments include a prediction of the convergence of several technologies around analytics over the next 5 years. 

Practice Area Expansion.This launch marks the first new practice area since the initial launch of the IP product in 2011. The development of analytics for new practice areas was driven by access to the massive resources of their parent company LexisNexis.  The securities module will be followed by several new modules including: antitrust, commercial, product liability, employment and commercial bankruptcy.

The Lex Machina press release can be seen here. They also released an analysis of securities litigation in 2015.

At this morning's event, Josh Becker traced the company’s history from not-profit at Stanford Law School into a small company powered by venture capital, through it's acquisition. In 2015, LexisNexis purchased Lex Machina for an undisclosed sum. Lex Machina originally  focused  exclusively on federal intellectual property litigation. over the past five years more than have of the Amlaw 100 firms and dozens of corporations have become Lex Machina subscribers. Private firm attorneys and in house counsel have leveraged Lex Machina to analyze data regarding judges, lawyers, parties and litigation history in order to predict behaviors and outcomes.

Owen Byrd highlighted the new features and fields which are unique to securities litigation. The current data set includes 15,000 securities cases and over 1 million docket entries. 

Cases Covered: The product analyzes all cases brought under all of the major securities laws (the 33 Act, the 34 Act, Trust Indenture, Investment Company, Investment Advisors, Sarbanes Oxley, Dodd Frank and several other laws. The product does not include cases brought under the Commodity Exchange Act.

Case Types include: Class Actions, Class Action Opt-Out, Government Plaintiff, SEC Enforcement: Settled Complaint, SEC Enforcement: Contested, Securities Fraud (§ 10(b) / 10b-5) and Shareholder Derivative Suit.

Damages Include: SEC Penalties, Disgorgement, compensatory damages, Approved Class Action Settlement (Securities).
Securities Damages

Findings include: Securities Act Violation,  Exchange Act Violation, Other Securities Act Violations, Statute of Limitations Defense, Plaintiff Knowledge Defense, Cautionary Language / Safe Harbor Defense.
Securities Findings 

All of these filters can be combined with courts, circuits, judges, companies, lawyers, motion types in order to produce interactive custom charts and lists which can be used for developing a litigation strategy or to position a lawyer for a client pitch.

Typical reports include: judge’s behavior, average time to trial, case outcomes, evaluate opposing counsel, understand settlement rates and win/loss rates for parties and counsel.

Lex Machina's analytics can serve "double-duty" in both business strategy and litigation strategy.  As lawyers compete for a limited pool of corporate clients, analytics can provide powerful insights into  law firms as both beauty contest competitors and courtroom adversaries.

Ten years ago, federal litigation data was limited to workload statistics and average time to trial by jurisdiction and judge. And that data was at least a year old! Today Lex Machina provides desktop access to near "real time"  data which can be combined  with dozens of criteria in infinite permutations. In the new world of litigation analytics lawyers  are given the power to ask completely new questions and discover completely new insights. I predict that in 5 years, analytics insights like those offered by Lex Machina, will be  viewed as a standard practice tool for lawyers. Lex Machina  has the advantage of being the first company to bring analytics to the desktop of litigators. The closest legal analytics competitor is Ravel Law which  has a somewhat different focus on the offers analytics focused on "precedential analysis" of judges opinions. As the demand for analytics grows new competitors are sure to follow.  But for today, Lex Machina has placed its flag in two practice areas: IP and securities litigation and owns the lead.

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