The legal industry has been slow to digitalize. Filip Corveleyn, co-founder of Legal Studio, was a lawyer with a great interest in technology. He saw lawyers spending a great amount of valuable time on tasks that did not necessarily require a law degree and that could easily be automated.
“For complex legal matters, it makes sense to pay a lawyer a considerable hourly rate,” Corveleyn said. “But for repetitive legal work, this didn’t seem logical or necessary. Also, the processes for drafting and validating standard shareholder or board resolutions were inefficient and took up a lot of resources.”
Corveleyn decided to further investigate the potential of digitizing these processes. At fashion brand Levi Strauss, the first company he looked at, he discovered that the paperwork even around the basics, such as formally appointing a new director or calling a shareholders' meeting, was a time-consuming and expensive challenge. Simply replacing directors in different countries, approving annual accounts, and granting powers of attorney could be managed more efficiently.
Efficiently manage documents and processes
“The issue in the legal industry is that there is no process-based thinking for repetitive processes involving different people,” Corveleyn said. “There’s no uniform way to efficiently manage documents and processes. Also, we discovered that there wasn’t proper insight into the legal costs within companies. Large companies have their own legal team but also work with external lawyers. This means that the total costs involved in repetitive legal tasks are not always clear, either.”
With these knowledge and insights in mind, he connected with Netherlands-based Mendix partner Appronto and asked them to help build the proposed solution to automate and streamline these processes. In just two weeks, Appronto came back with the first prototype of Klea, built with the Mendix low-code platform. Low-code is a visual development approach to application development that allows developers with different skill levels to create multiexperience applications using drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic through a graphical user interface.
Taking the platform to the next level without an army of developers
With the Klea platform, Corveleyn had a product but no company. He quickly realized the potential of Klea, and, together with former Allen & Overy colleague Anthony Verhaegen, he founded Legal Studio. CTO Bart Reyserhove came on board and, with new insights and valuable feedback from customers, they worked on the next version of Klea. Corveleyn said, “With the Mendix low-code platform, we could move fast, leverage workflow functionality, and take Klea to the next level in just three months, without the need for an army of developers. Without Mendix and Appronto, this would have taken us a year.”
Together, Legal Studio and Appronto developed a secure, user-friendly cloud platform, connecting corporate data to automated workflows. These workflows can handle officer changes, annual meetings, powers of attorney, and many more tasks. With an ISO-certified backbone and end-to-end encryption, data security is assured as well.
Bas van der Horst, managing director at Appronto, says: “Klea has radically changed and sped up administrative processes for the legal industry. It automatically connects the right person to the right workflows and documents. This means users can immediately see whether all directors have approved a resolution or dividend. Also, if the appointment of a director needs to be ratified in several countries, Klea ensures the required passport information is available on time without lawyers’ manual work. Customers reported 60% in time savings and were able to decrease their operational costs by over 40%. This makes Klea a true success story.”
Accelerate time to market with innovation and trust
Corveleyn adds: “Thanks to the innovative nature of Mendix, backed by Siemens as a strong, trusted parent company, we have been able to accelerate the time to market for Klea-- not only in terms of development of the platform but also to gain trust in sales cycles. When working with a startup, it’s reassuring for multinational companies to know our platform is based on the proven and certified Mendix technology.”
Joelle de Prez, CSM at Mendix, said, “The legal industry has a clear need for digital solutions that connect people, documents, and workflows in order to streamline its administrative procedures. By leveraging the Mendix platform to develop Klea, Legal Studio powerfully answers this need and also provides valuable insights that improve the decision-making process. With one million euros in annual revenue already and a customer portfolio of local Benelux organizations and worldwide companies, Legal Studio has a bright future ahead in digitalizing the legal world.”