It’s a David vs. Goliath battle: how can boutique law firms compete against well-established multi-jurisdictional legal giants?

‘New law’ networking platform NEXL has launched to change the way lawyers connect and collaborate across borders, evening the playing field relative to the large multinational firms.

NEXL facilitates the sourcing and actioning of cross-border connections, advice, and referrals, matching independent lawyers with new partners based on their unique practice needs, in part through a matchmaking algorithm and platform designed specifically for the legal-industry.

Users can create a free LinkedIn-style profile to search, connect, communicate and send/receive referral opportunities and access premium matchmaking and workflow tools to streamline network building, collaboration, task management and payments, with a convenient and cost-effective subscription-based model.

To date, NEXL has helped more than 200 boutique law firms across 50 countries and created more than 2,000 new business connections since launching in July.

“Networks are key to firms of all sizes – whether you’re a large organization leveraging a ‘Best Friends’ model or a boutique player looking for a better way to serve clients outside of your jurisdiction or compete for international deals.”

“But with expensive business development costs, clunky management of partnerships and no solution for referral tracking, few firms have a clear picture of whether their current partnerships provide true business value,” said NEXL founder Philipp Thurner.

“NEXL is using technology to unlock the power of networks and enable law firms to achieve the global reach and scale they need in a faster, more cost-effective way.”

NEXL already has the backing of leading investors and legal industry veterans. It recently closed a successful round led by Investible, with participation by Bright Minds Capital Partners. Early investors also include Danny Gilbert, Managing Partner at Gilbert + Tobin and Sam Nickless, COO and Partner at Gilbert + Tobin, who also serves as an advisor and Peter Dombkins, Director NewLaw PwC.

NEXL CEO and founder Philipp Thurner (L) with Investible’s Hugh Bickerstaff (R)

NEXL is also a member of the Lawtech Hub, sponsored by leading Australian law firm Lander & Rogers and YBF Ventures and is looking to work with existing law firm networks to accelerate its expansion.

“Philipp Thurner and NEXL truly understand the power of an elite law firm network like TerraLex.  With some 21,000 lawyers globally to connect across more than 150 jurisdictions, TerraLex is the perfect vehicle for NEXL to demonstrate its extraordinary capabilities.  Philipp has devised a platform which is memorable for its simplicity and its adaptability.  Nothing is too much trouble for Philipp and he must be congratulated for how quickly he has integrated into the TerraLex family,” said Derek Humphery-Smith, Partner and Head of International, Lander & Rogers.

“It’s rare to come across a founder like Philipp, with significant industry knowledge and credibility as well as complementary technical and commercial skills. NEXL has gained early traction as a result,” said Daniel Veytsblit, Investment Director, Investible.

“The ‘network effect’ is a significant business driver in any industry and while many firms claim to leverage it, NEXL is already proving the power of its network very early. We see an opportunity for NEXL to increase collaboration and improve cross-border advice in the legal industry at first and subsequently in the broader professional services market,” he added.

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