Wilson Sonsini - ECP

neuron news detail

Reuters: Wilson Sonsini revamps startup practice with tech-powered platform

  • 06/30/21

    (Reuters) - Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is shaking up the way the firm serves its startup clients with a new software platform that streamlines and automates legal needs across a company's lifecycle.

    The Palo Alto-based firm touted the new offering - dubbed Neuron - on Wednesday as a "new breed of technology-enabled legal services." Through Wilson Sonsini's emerging companies practice, clients will be able to use Neuron to manage information and documentation more quickly and get advice for everything from incorporation to financings to capitalization management.

    Raj Judge, co-chair of the firm's emerging companies practice, said the platform combines automation with legal expertise.

    Judge said the shift will "change the way we deliver legal services in a paradigm way."

    He described the platform as the "nerve center that helps everyone communicate with one another and organizes all the information in a single source of truth, so everybody has the same information readily available at all times, 24/7, with absolutely no disconnect in what's happening on one end versus the other."

    Judge said the Silicon Valley firm, known for representing startup and technology clients, has been working on the project internally for several years. Its emerging companies practice, which is a core business for the firm with over 400 attorneys globally, has advised companies including Google, Lyft Inc, Netflix Inc, DoorDash Inc and Tesla Inc, the firm said.

    The platform was developed in-house and is separate from the firm's technology subsidiary, SixFifty. David Wang, Wilson Sonsini's chief innovation officer, highlighted the distinction, saying that SixFifty automates and "productizes" legal expertise, while Neuron allows the firm's services to be digitally delivered.

    Wang said that he hasn't seen a platform like Neuron from any other Big Law firm. Automated aspects of the platform include data entry and document filing and storage, while attorneys can still deliver personalized advice to clients, he said.

    Law firms have been aiming to provide clients with tech-enabled solutions through partnerships with technology companies, new in-house products or through subsidiaries. Firms also have placed a focus on internal innovation.

    Wilson Sonsini in February inked a deal with Morgan Stanley to allow the law firm's capitalization management software to move onto one of the bank's platforms.

    Judge noted that prior to Neuron, a process like incorporating a company could involve back and forth emails and phone conversations about every detail. With the new platform, a client will go into a password-protected system, answer questions and respond to automated requests for more information. Once the platform takes in the information, it will turn out documents for comment and review, after which the documents will get sent back for signature, he said.

    The system has gone through an alpha test, as well as a beta period with the firm's client base, Judge said.