Laura Keily is a barrister, an entrepreneur and the founder and managing director of Immediation, a tech startup that’s not dissimilar to Netflix… for lawyers. In this episode, we talk about innovation, automation and the wider battle for access to justice which sits firmly at the top of Laura’s priority list.
In broad strokes, Immediation is a virtual courtroom and mediation tool for courts, tribunals and lawyers. Laura also went a step further by adding her own dispute resolution services to the platform, AKA creating her own content (the Netflix link).
When Laura launched her company in March 2020, she didn’t expect it to grow from zero to 2,000 users in five days. That incredible upswing was partly due to good timing, since the platform’s offering of courtroom digitalisation coincided with Covid-19’s impact on remote working policies:
“At the start of the pandemic, no one really knew what to do. But we’d been thinking about remote hearings for three years already so our process was ahead of where the market was up to.”
So, Laura has her own good foresight to thank. But more than that, Immediation is a sign of the times, proof that some members of the legal profession are interested and invested in changing the way that people access the legal system for the better. Customers can use and benefit from Immediation despite being unrepresented or not having large amounts of capital to back them up.
To any listening lawyers, Laura has this to say: “When you see a client who needs an alternative solution, which is to go straight to a dispute resolution process, Immediation is something to have in your toolkit. It’s also about being aware that if someone comes to you who can’t afford you at all, we are a point of referral.”
Listen for advice, for insights into technological change and for a rundown of how a new legal business operates. But also listen for the story of a woman who has single-handedly (without minimising the efforts of her team) created a positive business despite the fear and risk-aversion that – she says – is conditioned into all lawyers.
“In the wake of Covid-19, old ideas are being swept away so new, fresh ideas can come in which I think is fantastic for our younger generation, for the environment and for legal practice in general which needs to keep up with other industries lest it become an esoteric thing which only wealthy companies can afford.”
More about Laura Keily
Laura Keily is a thought leader on improving access to justice using technology and a barrister, specialising in complex commercial litigation. Prior to joining the Bar, Laura was a corporate lawyer with over 13 years’ experience in top tier firms, including in London’s Magic Circle. She has advised listed, public and large private companies, government and not-for-profits, delivering high value and high-risk transactions (e.g. at Slaughter and May, London, she was the lead Senior Associate on the global sale of hotels by Hilton Hotels International to Hilton USA, (£3bn).
Laura has three first class degrees (BSC (chemistry), LLB(Hons) and Masters of Commercial Law), and is a qualified company director and arbitrator. She also has a Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution. Laura was shortlisted in the Women-in-Law Awards for ‘Innovator of the Year’ in 2019, ‘Barrister of the Year’ in 2016/2017 and Women’s Agenda, Leadership Awards in 2016. Laura won the SBE Enterprises Dolphin Tank ‘People’s Choice Award’ in November 2020.
Immediation is a confidential online dispute resolution platform, providing advanced hearing and mediation technology to courts and tribunals, and an alternative fixed-fee, easy, secure and highly efficient method of resolving disputes outside court.
Find out more at www.immediation.com.
Laura Keily quotes
- “At the start of the pandemic, no one really knew what to do. But we’d been thinking about remote hearings for three years already so our process was ahead of where the market was up to.”
- “The platform itself has grown and changed enormously since March because of the volume of people we’ve taken on. We didn’t expect to go from zero to 2000 users in five days, so a lot of development!”
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