Clio snaps up document automation startup in latest acquisition

  • Lawyaw deal marks second acquisition for Clio in two months
  • Tie-up comes amid broader legal tech dealmaking spree

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(Reuters) – Law practice management software company Clio on Wednesday announced its acquisition of Lawyaw, a legal document automation company that previously participated in Silicon Valley startup incubator Y Combinator.

The move cements an existing partnership between Vancouver, Canada-based Clio and San Francisco-based Lawyaw, which has included data integration between products, Clio said. Lawyaw serves solo, small and midsize legal practices, according to its website. The financial terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.

Lawyaw marks the third acquisition for Clio, which added automated court rules-based calendaring company CalendarRules in July. That tie-up came a few months after a $110 million funding round by Clio that valued the cloud-based legal tech company at $1.6 billion. Clio’s first acquisition, client intake and client relationship management company Lexicata, was in October 2018.

The CalendarRules and Lawyaw acquisitions in particular allow Clio’s customers to “better interface with courts, especially in the United States,” said Shubham Datta, vice president of corporate development at Clio.

Reducing inefficiencies in the process and creating a more digital interface will “allow our customers to become more client-centric,” he said.

Lawyaw, founded in 2016, offers software to auto-fill court forms, turn Microsoft Word legal documents into online templates and send documents for electronic signatures, according to its website. Lawyaw CEO and co-founder Tucker Cottingham and his team will join Clio.

The acquisition “accelerates our ability to modernize legal documents and the delivery of legal services,” Cottingham, now general manager of Lawyaw, said in a statement.

Under the previous partnership between the two companies, Lawyaw was an integration partner in Clio’s app directory, which allows software vendors to plug directly into Clio, according to Datta. The relationship between Clio and Lawyaw over the years has “evolved and grown for the mutual benefit of both of our customers,” making the combination attractive, he said.

“We have been so impressed with the Lawyaw team and their dedication and innovation to streamlining the creation of important court forms and legal documents,” Jack Newton, CEO and founder of Clio, said in a statement.

Newton has personally invested in other law-related companies this year, including Hello Divorce, DoNotPay and Athennian. Most recently, he participated in a $3.5 million round for legal tech company Clearbrief last month.

The Lawyaw acquisition comes as dealmaking in the legal tech and services sector continues at fast clip. Last week, Frontline Managed Services acquired legal information technology consultancy LOGICFORCE, and enterprise legal management software provider Onit brought in legal-spend analytics company Bodhala.

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Sara Merken

Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at

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