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Entrepreneurship

Mariana Hagström

Founder & CEO, Avokaado

Estonia

Bio

Mariana Hagström is an attorney-at-law and legal tech startup founder who has been practising corporate and information technology law for more than 10 years before the transition from the legal practise to legal tech in 2016. She has been studying law in Tartu and Stockholm Universities, where she obtained a master degree in Information Technology and Law. The decision to make a career turnaround started to evolve from the managing partner position and from the need to find more efficient methods for delivering and packaging legal services for clients with scalable new pricing models.

Since founding Avokaado her mission has been to build a bridge between legal and business operations and make it cost and time efficient for both sides. She has said: “During my career in a law firm, serving the clients and my fellow lawyers in different positions, from young attorney to managing partner, I constantly struggled with inefficiency we had in the whole service delivery cycle. Long hours and weekends were all spent on generating a perfect document. Now my company  helps to generate this perfect document within minutes.”

Contribution to Legal Tech

For the past 4 years, Mariana has been a true legal tech pioneer and evangelist in the Nordics, giving workshops and talks to a wider audience and in the Universities on contract automation, legal tech, and the future of law. With her team she has published several case studies and white-papers on legal innovation and automation and helped to scale the mind shift to efficiency, digitalization, and legal automation among lawyers in law firms and in-house legal teams. She is a product owner and CEO of Avokaado and a driving force of the team to turn the vision and customer feedback into product functionality and features. She has been a mentor and a role model  for the next generation of young female lawyers, mentor and jury member for years for startup accelerator programs and hackathons, events organizers and an active member in the startup community.

Avokaado has helped with legal automation law firms and companies in the Nordics, Baltics, Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg etc. For more effective technology adoption Avokaado  has created a signature pilot program for the law firms with project management, advisory and workshops.

Other Winners

Entrepreneurship

Julia Salasky

CEO & Founder, Legl

UK

Bio

Julia is a lawyer and entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Legl, cloud-based software for law firms that drive success in a  digital-first world. She previously founded CrowdJustice, an award-winning platform for giving more access to the legal system. Julia has won the Financial Times’ Legal Innovator of the Year award, Legal Week’s Outstanding Innovator of the Year.  Julia worked as a lawyer at Linklaters, and subsequently led the United Nations’ work on online dispute resolution. Julia studied at the University of Virginia, the University of Oxford, and the London School of Economics. She advocates for change in the sector through technology and also in respect of gender equality.

Contribution to Legal Tech

Julia Salasky is the founder of Legl and CrowdJustice, two values-led lawtechs established to simplify and improve access to legal services. CrowdJustice has helped change the way people fund legal matters; over 500,000 people have raised over £16M to enable thousands of people to get legal advice and representation. Launched in 2019, Legl gives law firms simple, flexible tools to run their business more digitally, driving revenue, reducing opex and – critically – enabling a better client experience. 

Other Winners

Entrepreneurship

Laura Fauqueur

(Freelance) Design Thinking Facilitator, Director of Masters in Legaltech at CEU IAM

Entrepreneurship

Katarzyna Abramowicz

CEO, Legal Networks Sp. z o.o. and SpecFile Project Sp. z o.o.

Poland

Bio

Katarzyna Abramowicz, is a legal adviser with many years of experience in government agencies and in the private sector. She is a former representative of KIRP in Brussels. She is the service co-founder of bilety24.pl, przelewy24.pl, specprawnik.pl, oduslug.pl, specfile.pl and sygnanet.pl

Katarzyna Abramowicz is also a speaker at the largest conferences on legal issues in Poland and new technologies such as the 7th Conference and the National Interoperability Test Electronic Signature CommonSign 2017, Modern Law Firm and Legal Department – data security, document flow and case management, Law Summit, Conference Cyber Security in the Media, LegalTech Poland, international conference CyberSec, Impact Fintech, LegalTech Forum 2020. Winner of StartUp Europe Awards Cyber and Law Category 2017.

Contribution to Legal Tech

Katarzyna provides legaltech services through specprawnik.pl which connects clients with lawyers and is the the largest service in Poland in this area. She is also the CEO of the Cybersecurity legaltech project – SpecFile – which provides a simple one-click data encryption. Through Sygnanet.pl – clients are provided with a secure anonymous channel for reporting abuse in companies (AML/compliance/HR)

Other Nominees

Entrepreneurship

Kamila Kurkowska

President of Women in Law Foundation & Polish Ambassador of ELTA

Entrepreneurship

Anna de Stefano

Legal Innovation Hacker, Start Up Advisor & Mentor, Business Angel

Entrepreneurship

Margarita Sivakova

Co-Founder, CEO, Legal Nodes

Ukraine

Bio

Margarita Sivakova, Co-Founder & CEO of Legal Nodes; a platform for lawyers to work on bigger projects and for businesses to receive legal help seamlessly worldwide. She has graduated with the First-Class Honours in Law from the University of Kent and has completed a Legal Practice Course at the BPP Law School in London. She also had experience in working at various law firms from the multinational corporate law firms to medium-sized law firms and private practices in London. Seeing first-hand how legal market fragmentation, the bureaucracy involved at big law firms as well as the very high barrier to entry to the profession negatively impacts the end-customer and legal professionals, she became passionate about redefining the way the legal market functions today.

Contribution to Legal Tech

Margarita co-founded a legal tech start-up named Legal Nodes – a legal platform that provides full-cycle business legal support through the distributed network of lawyers worldwide. Its mission is twofold: provide freelance lawyers with an alternative model of working online and make it possible for companies to receive holistic legal support at transparent prices. Legal Nodes was among the winners of the Startup Grind Global Ukrainian Delegation in 2019. In September 2019 Legal Nodes won the Start-up Competition at IT Arena, one of the biggest IT conferences and startup competitions in Ukraine. This year they won a $50K Grant from Ukrainian Startup Fund. 

Other Winners

Entrepreneurship

Anna de Stefano

Legal Innovation Hacker, Start Up Advisor & Mentor, Business Angel

Entrepreneurship

Rosa Espín

co-CEO, Ambar Partners

Spain

Bio

Rosa Espín is co-CEO and one of the founding partners of Ambar Partners, a disruptive legal firm which provides legal services on a flexible and tech enabled way with on demand high caliber legal talent. Rosa Espín is a lawyer specialized in Regulatory and Compliance with more than 12 years of experience in the legal sector. Throughout her career, Rosa has been selected in the Chambers and Partners ranking within the energy sector, as well as being recommended as Best Lawyer in Litigation. 

Contribution to Legal Tech

In 2020 she participated in the founding of the law firm Ambar Partners, of which she is co-CEO. Ambar has irrupted in the Spanish legal market with a disruptive and innovative model that relies on technology. Rosa Espín has helped to define the company’s technology strategy by partnering with leading companies in the industry implementing technology in machine learning, contract data, event-driven analytics (including M&A, complex litigation and other projects that require document review). In addition, she has designed for Ambar the first Bootcamp in Spain which gathers computer engineers and lawyers in order to develop new models and tools to automatize, digitalize and innovate in the legal sector.

Other Nominees

Entrepreneurship

Dr. Elena Mechik

COO & Co-Founder, INHUBBER

Germany

Bio

•Elena Mechik is the CEO and co-founder of the INHUBBER, a Contract Lifecycle Management Platform. At INHUBBER she leads the development of the trusted, transparent and affordable Legal Tech software. In 2009, she founded the Non-Governmental Organization “umWELTweit” where she empowers the timber supply chain transparency based on the blockchain-based contract management. She is a guest lecturer for strategic management at the Touro College Berlin, holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business from Touro College Berlin (2008), master’s degree in engineering and economics from the Technical University of Berlin (2011), and a doctorate in earth sciences from the University of Hamburg (2017). At the London School of Economics, she has acquired her expertise in Development Economics (2014).

Contribution to Legal Tech

Elena got her legal background from her studies in Industrial Engineering and Business Administration where she has received a deep understanding of business law. During her Ph.D. studies, she has analyzed how legal rights contribute to a transparent timber supply chain, can reduce the illegal logging of tropical forests, and mitigate climate change.
Her deep understanding of Legal Tech she has received as the COO and later CEO of INHUBBER. Under her leadership, INHUBBER developed from an R&D project at the Humboldt University in Berlin to one of the fastest growing Blockchain and AI-based contract management platforms in Germany. By combining the methods of legal design thinking and the philosophy of access to justice, Elena and her team create Legal Tech solutions that are intuitive, transparent, and affordable. Her work has and will continue having a major impact on Legal Tech especially in the field of contract automation through Blockchain-based smart contracts. 

Other Nominees

Entrepreneurship

Birte Gall

Managing Partner der Heritas GmbH, Erblotse.de

Germany

Bio

Birte helped companies to understand and take action in the digitizing economy. With lectures and (online)workshops on digital business transformation, agile working methodologies and leadership in digital change, she has shown law firms and legal departments the opportunities that lie in digitization. Furthermore, she has initiated projects to change the firm’s and law departments way of working and leading in a digital world. 

In 2017 she co-founded asgaro GmbH to identify and validate projects at the interface of digitization and law. This is where the idea of the Erblotse was born.

Contribution to Legal Tech

The Erblotse aims at simplifying the inheritance process for heirs. For this purpose, Birte and her team have developed a user-friendly application that helps heirs to get an individualized overview over the legal and organizational tasks that they need to take care of. Additionally, the app guides heirs through the difficult process of listing and valuating the assets of their inheritance. To this end, the team has developed, among other things, Germany’s first digital estate register for heirs. 

The Erblotse’s purpose it to improve the inheritance culture in Germany by offering easy access to legal help in a digitally untapped area relevant to a broad spectrum of the society. The team’s vision is to have a positive impact on the development of society and to provide a stimulus for further legal tech initiatives aiming for social impact.

Other Nominees

Entrepreneurship

Hanny Vonderstein

Global Product Manager- Document Application, Wolters Kluwer Deutschland GmbH

Entrepreneurship

Charlotte Falk

Co-Founder, SFS Legal Tech Beratung

Germany

Bio

Charlotte holds a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Communication Science and Business Administration from the University of Mannheim. Since 2017, Charlotte has been studying law at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and is currently preparing for her first state examination. Her university focus was on intellectual property and competition law.

Contribution to Legal Tech

In 2017 she co-founded the Munich Legal Tech Student Association (MLTech), which draws the attention of students and academia to legal tech. A year later Charlotte co-founded the Legal Tech consultancy SFS, which supports law firms, legal departments and companies in using Legal Tech.She also moderates and produces the Legal Tech Podcast, where legal professionals are interviewed about their challenges and opportunities. 

As program director of the Legal Revolution 2020, she organizes part of the speakers and uses her network to create a diverse and forward-looking event. Charlotte recently started supporting the German Legal Tech Association in its communication and PR work in order to make Legal Tech known in politics and the public. The German Legal Tech Association fights for an innovation-friendly legal framework in Germany.

Through these projects, Charlotte brings together her interdisciplinary background. She believes that there will be major changes, especially in the field of law, in the next few years, which must be actively shaped. 

Other Nominees

Entrepreneurship

Hanny Vonderstein

Global Product Manager- Document Application, Wolters Kluwer Deutschland GmbH

Entrepreneurship

Christina Blomkvist

Founder, GreenCounsel AB

Sweden

Bio

Christina Blomkvist is a concert organist and business lawyer with more than 15 years of experience practising law. She started coding 30 years ago and as a lawyer, she created applications to handle her own and others’ tedious work. Three years ago, she founded GreenCounsel to automate everything that a human does not need to do and bring in the lawyer where and when he or she brings the most value. When not succeeding to get external funding, she built the SaaS platform on her own and today it is up and running, saving 80 % of lawyers’ time.

Contribution to Legal Tech

On GreenCounsel’s platform, customers start simple or complex legal matters online. The matters are automated from start to end, using building blocks such as information collection, custom automatic analysis, approvals, document generation, e-signing, online meetings as well as a multilingual chatbot with machine learning. The building blocks are configured in a map which a software robot use to push matters forward ensuring that the right person does what he or she should do in the right time. Some of the workflows available are sale and purchase of shares and commercial arbitration.

Christina Blomkvist has also pushed for more equality in the legal industry, both as inhouse counsel initiating the first larger private procurement of legal services with equality as a criteria in Sweden and as a frequent debater on the subject. She is also a frequent debater on the huge investment gap for tech startups.

Other Winners

Entrepreneurship

Magdalena Oehl

CEO, TalentRocket GmbH

Germany

Bio

Magdalena studied law and communication sciences at the University of Passau at the same time and is doing her doctorate at the University of Münster. Even during her studies, she realised that the search for the right employer is not yet digital as it is in other areas. So she founded TalentRocket together with Yacine Coco. TalentRocket is a tech-based HR recruiting solution for special professional groups, such as lawyers. Meanwhile TalentRocket is a leading platform for employer branding and recruiting in the legal sector. Together with Yacine Coco, she won numerous awards for her start-up.

Contribution to Legal Tech

With the Co-founding of TalentRocket, Germany’s leading legal career platform, Magdalena disrupted the conservative recruiting in the law-sector. The Company with its HR-Tech-Solution was founded in 2012 and contributes highly to an important component of the Digitalization of the legal market: Using complex matching algorithms, TalentRocket brings together jurists and legal employers efficiently.

Other Winners

Entrepreneurship

Laura Fauqueur

(Freelance) Design Thinking Facilitator, Director of Masters in Legaltech at CEU IAM