Singapore

Coming at a time when Singapore is pushing to be Asia’s leader in legal sector innovation, the Singaporean law firm Rajah & Tann Asia has acquired an artificial intelligence-powered legal tech startup focused on e-discovery.

Rajah & Tann Technologies, the legal tech arm of the firm, has acquired LegalComet, an e-discovery startup that also provides forensic technology services, including data acquisition and preservation, recovery of deleted data and passwords, and cyber breach investigation.

LegalComet was founded in May 2017 by Michael Lew, who has joined R&T Technologies as chief operating officer. Previously, Lew was a director at Deloitte, leading the Big Four auditor’s Southeast Asia discovery team, and a director at e-discovery service provider Law In Order. Earlier in his career, he worked at Rajah & Tann in an e-discovery consultant role.

In a statement about the firm’s acquisition, Rajesh Sreenivasan, who is a Rajah & Tann partner and head of the technology, media and telecommunications practice, said advances in technology have enabled lawyers to do many mundane, repeatable tasks with incredible speed and accuracy. Sreenivasan is a director of R&T Technologies.

Legal tech is a high priority for Singapore, and the government has pushed the city-state to be the leader in legal sector innovation in Asia. In January of this year, the Singapore Academy of Law, a government body that promotes Singapore’s legal industry, launched a two-year pilot program called Future Law Innovation Programme, or FLIP, to encourage legal tech in the city-state.

In May, Clifford Chance announced a plan to launch its Asia Pacific Innovation Hub in Singapore, which was created with support from the Singapore government.

Next week, Magic Circle rival Allen & Overy will host Singapore Fuse AsiaWeek, a showcase of companies from the firm’s Fuse legal tech innovation hub in London.

“We are delighted that Allen & Overy has decided to organize Fuse AsiaWeek in Singapore,” Celia Sia, director of the Ministry of Law’s professional services program office, said in a statement. “This complements our efforts to be at the forefront of technology and innovation in the legal sector.”

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