New Innovator: Legalshine

Softare aimed at large organisations helps manage legal spending

Ian Nolan and Thomas Rabazo, founder and lead developer of Legalshine

Ian Nolan and Thomas Rabazo, founder and lead developer of Legalshine


Legalshine is a new software product for large organisations designed to help them manage their legal spending.

“Our software uses new technologies to read legal bills and give chief financial officers and in-house solicitors an insight into their spend,” explains Ian Nolan, who set up Legalshine in October last year.

The company employs four people and is based at the National Digital Research Centre where it is part of the launch pad programme for high-potential tech start-ups.

Legalshine will officially launch its first product in a few week’s time and has come this far on a shoestring budget of just €20,000 and huge time input by Nolan and lead developer Thomas Rabazo.

Nolan has been working in product development in the legal technology sector for the past seven years and completed an MBA at the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School prior to setting up his company.

“The legal industry is changing globally and we are seeing a lot of smaller technology-focused companies driving efficiencies in the legal sector,” he says.

“Companies like LegalZoom are transforming public access to legal help and there’s lots of other developments in areas like e-discovery and document review. Traditionally the legal industry was slow to adopt technological change, but that’s no longer the case. We are also seeing an acknowledgment that greater transparency is needed within the legal industry particularly in terms of costs and value for money.”

Typical Legalshine customers are Government bodies, insurance companies and large multinationals, and the company recently landed its first paying customer.

The software is also on trial in two other large organisations. The company’s initial target markets are the UK, the US and Australia. The revenue model is Software as a Service.

While the company’s initial focus is the legal industry, Nolan says the software can be applied in any sectors with complex billing procedures.

“The problem for many people is that reading legal bills can be a bit like reading a foreign language,” Nolan says. “Even to people with legal backgrounds they can be hard to decipher. If an organisation is dealing with thousands of individual invoice lines split across a panel of different law firms, there is no easy way to get insights and make decisions accordingly . . . We also spot overcharging using benchmarking and big data analysis to catch any irregularities.

“It is not possible yet to say how much we can save companies with our software but once we have built up a critical mass of customers we will be able to put numbers on this.

“There is huge potential for new technologies like text analysis and big data within the legal industry and we are only touching the tip of the iceberg with Legalshine.”

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