A digital ecosystem also for the legal market: CLP in the Gaia-X Cloud

So far, the legal system has been able to benefit little from digitization. For most companies, legal issues are associated with uncertainty, high time expenditure and significant costs. This is because there is as yet no digital marketplace with uniform and open standards for the collaboration of law firms, legal tech service providers, public administration and courts. This affects start-ups and SMEs without their own legal departments in particular.

Launching in 2022: The Common Legal Platform CLP

This is now set to change. Specifically for the legal market, a range of data rooms is now being created on the Gaia-X cloud infrastructure. This European initiative is developing an independent and open infrastructure. Other economic sectors such as finance, healthcare, mobility or energy have already set up digital platforms or so-called data rooms in Gaia-X.

Now, under the consortium leadership of the Liquid Legal Institute, a Digital Ecosystem Law (DIKE) in the form of a Common Legal Platform (CLP) is to be developed and launched as early as 2022.

A digital marketplace for legal assets

The CLP should develop into a digital marketplace where legal assets such as generally accepted documents, e.g., sample contracts, NDAs, SLAs, codes of conduct, etc., but also procedures, seminars, events, innovative ideas, talents, know-how, etc., can be shared.

The implementation project was deposited on GitHub, a network-based version management service for software development projects. There it is laid out in four layers:
• Utilization Layer
• Application Layer
• Data Layer; and
• Technology Layer

Driving the transformation of the legal market

The Utilization Layer is the top level and provides the most abstract, but also the most valuable contribution to users. Users include lawyers, law firms, in-house counsel, heads of legal departments, but also explicitly legal laypersons who are involved in the processes and workflows in some way.

At this level, existing workflows can be improved (efficiency), new processes developed (effectiveness), and even new business models introduced (disruption). The Utilization Layer is complemented by the levels below, from which business opportunities arise through seamlessly integrated applications, data, and infrastructures, including the Common Legal Platform.

LegalTech and individual legal advice

The goal is to drive forward the digital transformation of the legal market in Europe. CLP aims to ensure uniform and open standards and simplify cooperation between law firms, public administrations, courts and legal tech providers. We welcome this initiative and are convinced that legal tech and individual legal advice can complement and benefit from each other and together deliver added value for those seeking legal advice.

Maren Bianchini-Hartmann, LL.M. (Fordham University School of Law), Rechtsanwältin | attorney-at-law (New York)