Mishcon de Reya agrees commercial relationship with LegalTech startup ayora

Mishcon de Reya agrees commercial relationship with LegalTech startup ayora

Mishcon de Reya is delighted to announce that it has entered into a commercial relationship with ayora, a London-based startup that empowers lawyers as revenue managers.

Earlier this year, ayora, co-founded by Stefan Ciesla, a former principal investor in professional services, and scientific technologist Dr. Gordon McKenzie, PhD, took part in the firm’s MDR Lab programme, which is designed to help LegalTech startups to launch, improve and scale. During this period, it developed and tested its proprietary AI technology.

Ayora’s models, trained on over 30,000 unique matter-level indicators, proved able to generate consistent, real-time improvement recommendations across the entire matter lifecycle. It also demonstrated that its embedded, easy-to-use, Smart Lockup Assistant was enthusiastically received by the fee earners who took part in beta testing.

Ayora will now roll out their solution to multiple practice groups as part of a controlled implementation programme that will allow for a rigorous outcome assessment.

Stefan Ciesla commented: “Our time in MDR Lab proved transformative for our business. When we joined, it quickly dawned on us that a big part of the challenge comes down to the fee earners effectively moonlighting as revenue decision makers, without being properly equipped to do so. Fast forward, and we left MDR Lab with a unique product proposition that shifts the traditional approach to revenue management in law firms. Sub-par lockup and realisation cost the BigLaw industry approximately $18bn per annum, and we want to help close that gap.”

Gordon McKenzie added: “Our product, the Smart Lockup Assistant, is the world’s first AI assistant designed specifically to help lawyers manage their non-fee earning responsibilities. LegalTech has been traditionally dominated by products helping with the practice of law itself. By contrast, we help lawyers make better business decisions, faster. In doing so, we combine AI with insights from behavioural sciences – our approach is not dissimilar to that found in high performance sports teams.”

Matthew Tilley, Finance Director at Mishcon de Reya, said: “Fee earners play a major role in improving legal lockup and realisation, and yet, they have been historically underserved by technology in that context. The team behind ayora cleverly designed their Smart Lockup Assistant to fill that gap, and this will help us optimise our working capital. That’s a major, board-level priority for the legal industry. We are looking forward to working with ayora and seeing the impact of their system across the firm.”

Dan Sinclair, Head of MDR Lab, added: “Working with ayora helped us understand the working capital challenge at a granular level, and proposed an innovative solution that draws on the latest scientific advancements in technology and decision sciences. We are excited to move to the next stage with Ayora, who will now roll out their solution to multiple practice groups.”

About Ayora

Ayora is the company behind the Smart Lockup Assistant, an AI assistant that helps fee earners make faster and better revenue decisions for matters. The Assistant generates personalised, actionable recommendations on topics such as scope management, billing and debtor oversight, all based on matter-level data insights. The ISO27001-certified system integrates with the firm’s practice management system, slots into existing processes and delivers its recommendations by email and a companion web and mobile application.