WITH ANTHONY BEKKER, APAC Managing Director and Principal

How Practical Law empowers Biztech Lawyers to compete with large law firms

Biztech Lawyers is a boutique technology law firm with offices in Sydney, New York and London. It has an agile team of 20 private practice lawyers and former general counsel who advise technology businesses on complex and time-sensitive matters around the clock.

Anthony Bekker
APAC Managing Director and Principal

Our clients look to us for the vision and the confidence to move forward in their global growth journey.

The Challenge

Accessing expert templates, precedents and legal research

Biztech’s APAC Managing Director and Principal, Anthony Bekker, founded the firm in Sydney in August 2018 after identifying a gap in the market for technology-focused legal counsel. However, a key challenge facing the new firm was that it had “very few” documents and precedents to support its legal work. It also lacked access to international legal research and know-how resources.

“The absence of reliable documents and precedents posed a significant challenge,” reflected Bekker. “It meant that we sometimes lacked a solid starting point for our legal work. This led to time-consuming efforts in researching, being creative with publicly available documents or creating documents from scratch. This affected our efficiency and productivity.”

It rapidly became clear to Bekker that his firm needed “the best legal resource technology” to meet client expectations and achieve international growth plans.

He reviewed a range of legal research products and then determined that Practical Law was best suited to his organisation’s needs. “I subscribed to Practical Law pretty much from the beginning to fill that gap,” he said.

For Bekker, Practical Law is the most reliable legal know-how solution in the market. “I looked at some of the other available offerings and found them to be lacking in terms of both the quality of the content and their comprehensiveness,” said Bekker.

Biztech Lawyers needed a legal research resource that could be depended on to support its delivery of high-quality legal advice, both in the short term and long term. Bekker found that Practical Law was the only viable choice to secure the future of his business.

“Practical Law's solid reputation and its dynamic nature, always evolving and enhancing, made it a clear choice,” he said.

Without Practical Law, we would likely have had to rely on a patchwork of solutions, rather than having the convenience of a single, comprehensive resource.

Major boost to the efficiency, effectiveness and value of legal services

The firm identified a substantial return on investment, creating more time to dedicate to strategic work rather than document creation

Real-time access to global legal research on emerging client issues

Biztech Lawyers found an immediate solution to the key challenge of rapid access to legal resources, enabling the firm to address complex client queries in real time and provide timely legal guidance.

Trustworthy resources enable Biztech Lawyers to practice with confidence

 “Practical Law's solid reputation and its dynamic nature, always evolving and enhancing, made it a clear choice”



The Solution

A comprehensive legal know-how resource with global standing

Bekker gained a favourable impression of Practical Law in the decade leading up to him founding Biztech Lawyers. This helped to convince him to acquire the software when the time was right for his firm. “I encountered Practical Law earlier in my career in the UK, where it has a longstanding reputation,” he recalled.

Bekker’s confidence in Practical Law proved well founded when he assessed the solution’s suitability for his new firm. “Practical Law’s extensive range of precedents stood out to me,” he said. He found that these precedents and templates provided a “reliable starting point” for his team to solve legal issues facing multinational clients that were scaling their businesses.

He was also pleased by the quality of legal know-how contained in Practical Law’s comprehensive global database. “What impressed me was the rigorous editorial process, with contributions from specialist and top-tier law firms ensuring the content’s quality. This credibility was further reinforced by Practical Law’s established reputation in the legal community," said Bekker.

The way that Practical Law is designed with lawyers’ needs in mind also assured Bekker that it would be the right solution for Biztech Lawyers. “Practical Law’s content is easily discoverable, well structured, and the topics are well thought through – the ‘matter maps’ are particularly helpful for planning a transaction from end to end. The search functionality is also good,” he commented. 

Practical Law breaks down the issues in a way that is very easy to use and easy to digest, with related content that is easily accessible.

Bekker found that an added benefit of the software is that it supports the continuing professional development of his firm’s lawyers. “The inclusion of explanatory notes is significant. It has enabled junior lawyers to engage with the documents while learning, which has not only expedited their learning process but also allowed for leveraging their efforts effectively.”

Biztech Lawyers subscribed to Practical Law in Australia, the UK and US because of its excellent legal know-how and documents for each jurisdiction. It also subscribed to Westlaw in Australia and the US for its comprehensive and up-to-date expert database of legal information. “Practical Law is the main game for us. We can start in either Practical Law or Westlaw and then drill through to the other,” commented Bekker.

Bekker found the Australian content in Practical Law to be exemplary. “The Australian product has been developed over time, with new competency areas being added, and improvements in depth and services is ongoing,” he noted.

Biztech Lawyers opted to implement Practical Law and Westlaw “straight out of the box without customisation”. This was the most rapid and cost effective process for the newly established law firm, which did not have legacy software complications.

Practical Law and Westlaw proved to be resounding successes from day one. “Our lawyers were able to start using Practical Law and Westlaw's features immediately,” recalled Bekker. “The comprehensive range of precedents and the explanatory notes were particularly useful, as they expedited the process of creating legal documents and enabled our team to provide more valuable insights to clients.”

These expert tools enable Biztech’s team of lawyers to better advise technology clients worldwide on high intensity and high value matters. “At one point, the issues in the local technology sector become global issues,” he said. “As an Australian business, you have Australian clients transacting with companies all over the world. You need to have an understanding of what the laws and issues are in those countries, even if you're only advising technically on Australian law.” 

The Results

Real-time access to global legal research on emerging client issues

Biztech Lawyers found that Practical Law immediately resolved its key challenge of rapidly accessing documents, precedents and know-how on client issues. Today, the firm’s lawyers can address urgent client queries on complex matters in real time. “There have been times when I’ve been on the phone with clients discussing a topic I’m not working on day to day,” recalled Bekker. “Being able to refer to Practical Law in real time has been incredibly helpful and allowed me to point clients in the right direction.”

The know-how portal has also empowered Biztech’s lawyers to shift away from time-intensive research and to focus instead on higher-value client work. “Practical Law and Westlaw provide us with a wealth of high-quality documents and precedents. This has enabled us to quickly access trusted resources, serving as a solid foundation for our legal work,” said Bekker. “The time saved in not having to start from scratch has allowed us to be more responsive to client needs, more cost effective and to focus on the strategic aspects of our work, ultimately improving our overall efficiency.”

Importantly, Bekker found that the quality and reliability of Practical Law and Westlaw’s content give his lawyers much-needed certainty in the foundations of their legal advice. “We have confidence and peace of mind from knowing that the content provided by Practical Law and Westlaw is of high editorial quality and reliability. This empowers us to provide well-founded advice to clients based on trustworthy resources,” he said. Ultimately, Practical Law has enabled Biztech Lawyers to serve its clients more efficiently and effectively. “The availability of comprehensive international content, especially for the US and UK jurisdictions, allows us to understand broader perspectives and provide more informed counsel,” said Bekker. “It perfectly complements our goal to provide clients with the vantage point needed to navigate challenges swiftly and confidently.”

Bekker has also recently considered using generative artificial intelligence platforms for certain drafting and research tasks, but finds that “it is prone to ‘hallucinations’ and therefore not always completely reliable. Generative AI is truly amazing — but you can’t trust it. It will be interesting to see how it is used and applied in the next generation of legal tech products.”


A major boost to the efficiency, effectiveness and value of legal services

Biztech Lawyers has identified a substantial return on investment from deploying Practical Law and Westlaw. “It has notably increased our productivity and efficiency, allowing us to dedicate more time to strategic work rather than document creation. This has positively impacted our overall performance and responsiveness to client needs, ultimately enhancing the quality of our work,” said Bekker.

Practical Law has enabled us to leverage our time more effectively. By streamlining the document creation process, it has freed up our lawyers to focus on higher-value tasks and complex legal matters. This has levelled the playing field, allowing us to compete with larger firms that have more resources at their disposal.

The investment has also given Biztech Lawyers a significant competitive advantage. “For lawyers starting off working in smaller firms, where you don't have the depth of resources as a larger firm, Practical Law can be an equalising force. I'm surprised when practitioners start out on their own and don’t subscribe — I wonder how they manage without it,” commented Bekker. The firm is now able to ‘punch above its weight’ and win work that typically would have been allocated to larger law firms.

For Bekker, Practical Law is underpinning the firm’s business offering. “Practical Law has helped our team develop a greater depth of understanding and has given us the confidence to service clients across the spectrum of matters they have on their plate,” he said.

As we grow, Practical Law will continue to support us in delivering high-quality legal solutions to our clients, so that they can realise their ambitious goals with confidence and clarity.
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