Law Technology News
August 2001
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From Blue Flag to Blue Waters

By Monica Bay

LINKLATERS & Alliance has picked a chief executive officer for its Blue Flag service (which offers online advice, counseling, document production and transaction management.) The firm selected Patrick Hynes,who joins Linklaters after a stint with BuildOnline, a start-up company that offered Web-enabled tools for the construction industry. Previously, Hynes worked with The Boston Consulting Group,advising clients on strategic and operational issues.

Patrick Hynes at Linklater's London office
Patrick Hynes at Linklater's London office
Partner Paul Nelson, who oversees the Blue Flag project, says Hyne's appointment as Blue Flag's first-ever CEO demonstrates Linklaters' commitment to e-commerce, but also to the concept of "structuring Blue Flag as a business, rather than solely as a legal product."

Says Hynes: "They have demonstrated a clear understanding of the need to build an entrepreneurial environment while still retaining critical links to the underlying assets of Linklaters, such as brand, legal expertise, and customer relationships."

Clifford Chance Upgrades

Meanwhile, here's our U.K. correspondent, Charles Christian, with an update on Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells:

Clifford Chance's virtual dealroom services (originally called FruitNet but now renamed as CliffordChanceConnect) have been ramped up with more powerful servers and mirror sites, to ensure the services will always be secure and accessible on a 24/7 global availability basis.

The Lodge of the Four Seasons, overlooking Lake of the Ozarks
The Lodge of the Four Seasons, overlooking Lake of the Ozarks
The deal rooms have two elements. The first: "Client Centres" (customized Extranets for clients and lawyers to exchange and publish information, such as matter progress reports, contact lists, financial data, continuing education resources, etc.

Pat Nemis and John Mellitz
Pat Nemis and John Mellitz
The second element, "Matter Sites," is a collaborative Web space for clients to work with Clifford Chance on their deals, cases and other projects on which the firm advises them. Clients can also give third parties access to these sites and specify levels of access rights for each party.

The firm also announced that it has enhanced its NextLawonline service, and is now providing subscribers with daily ebusiness news reports and a monthly series of reviews of ebusiness law cases from all jurisdictions. It is working with a number of publishers including Butterworths Tolley.

MoBar at the Lake

Sheryn Bruehl and Dan Coolidge
Sheryn Bruehl and Dan Coolidge
The Missouri Bar's Solo and Small Firm Conference convened in June at the Lake of the Ozarks, dead center between Kansas City and St. Louis. Despite the long drive (with horrid maps, but we won't go there), it was a lovely weekend, with balmy weather and good company.

Linda Oligschlaeger
Linda Oligschlaeger
Speakers included the traveling minstrels: Dan Coolidge, Bruce Dorner, Sheryn Bruehland Ross Kodner, with their trademark 195 Gadgets in 132 Minutes program. (O.K., O.K.: 60 products in 60 minutes.)

Warm thanks to John ("Tim") Mellitz, Chris Osborn, Melody Schroer and Sarah Read, for their wit and wisdom on the Grass is Greener career alternatives panel. Thanks also to Linda Oligschlaegermembership services director, for phenomenal organization talents.

Corporate Speak

A member of Texas The Band, entertaining the Missouri troops.
A member of Texas The Band, entertaining the Missouri troops
Speaking of panels: Wow! What a killer discussion at LegalTech Los Angeles! We should have scheduled three hours, not one, for Managing Technology Choices: The Clients Strike Back. Panelists Roger Williams, of Wells Fargo Bank; Jacqueline Scarlett of Nissan North America Inc.; Rynette Hurd, of International Paper Co.; and John Janes, of Ernst & Young detailed how they have incorporated legal technology into their operations, and explored what technology they expect from their outside counsel.

Mark your calendar for a similar session at this month's LegalTech San Francisco, where LTN and The Recorder newspaper are co-sponsoring a roundtable, Inside/Outside: Effective Use of Technology Among Corporate Counsel and Their Outside Counsel.

I'll be moderating the session, with panelists Dan Cooperman (Oracle Corp.); Isabella Fu (Intel Corp.); Matthew Powers (Weil Gotschal & Manges L.L.P.) It will be held Aug. 20 from 2-4 p.m. Call (800) 587-9288 for registration info.

Name Game

Perhaps I just really like clever monikers, but I'm still unclear on the concept as to why the wittily-named Disappearing Inc. changed its name to Omniva Policy Systems.

I thought Disappearing Inc. was a very cool name for a company that produces software that allows you to put an "expiration" date on e-mail, so that it evaporates into thin air.

Omniva Spokesperson Walter Stillwell says the decision to switch was to find a name more descriptive of what the company does (provide policy management software to reduce legal risks). The company plans to launch its first policy product, Omniva Policy Manager, shortly.

"They picked Omniva because it connotes the strength, stability and reliability of an enterprise product, plus the breadth and universality suggested by "omni," says Stillwell.

Maybe, but when I think "Omni" I just think of Martha Stewart.

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