The online legal services market (for interactive legal advice) has been quiet – until now.  

Earlier this decade, many law firms developed and promoted online legal services. To my chagrin (some readers know that I had a personal stake in virtual legal advisors when I worked for Jnana) the level of activity seems to have fallen. So I was pleased to see the news in Legal Week that Allen & Overy has released a new online service called Diligence.

From the Allen & Overy Diligence web page: “diligence is a secure on-line legal risk management resource covering pre-insolvency enforceability issues in connection with trading derivative transactions with different counterparty types on a cross-border basis.” Interestingly, one of the cited benefits is “saves time and money spent on outside counsel or on in-house resources previously devoted to pre-trade analysis.” Here’s one firm not afraid to look the innovator’s dilemma in the eye.

The Legal Week article also reports “The new product will operate alongside A&O’s flagship on-line products, Netalytics and CSAnalytics, which are now generating more than $2m (£1m) [sic] in annual revenue — up from $1.5m (£755,000) [sic] last year.” More on this level of revenue in a future post.

6/9/07 Update: Just came across another new (to me) online legal service: Reed Smith’s Trademark Management Mapping Program, “a proprietary software system that provides a web-enabled “snapshot” of an IP portfolio.”