Dear Adobe (possibly dave_m_k could help in the first instance?)
I have an idea for use of an Acrobat.com-style product for use by law firms. It's a really cool product which I'm sure would be really popular and create substantial time/efficiency savings for law firms. I am currently developing a prototype with a developer friend, mainly for the purposes of demonstrating the potential to investors/partners.
Is there anyone at Adobe who would be interested in speaking to me about this? To me, the easiest way to get this product to market would be to use a company like Adobe to partner in developing it (whether or not with the Adobe brand on it). I think that Leonard Rosenthol, who from my web searches appears to be involved in the development of one very closely related issue, would be very interested to hear about it.
I am a Cambridge graduate and have worked as a lawyer in the City in London for the past 7 years.
Good day Owen,
I've moved your thread to the Acrobat.com Ideas forum.
Without going into the nitty-gritty, could you share the overall objective(s) of your lawyer-centric iteration of Acrobat.com.
I'll be sharing this thread with a pair of Acrobat.com Product Managers so they're aware of it.
Acrobat Community Manager
Many thanks for your interest David.
In a nutshell:
Transactional lawyers (ie those running corporate and finance transactions) are collaborating on documents all the time - with clients, opposing law firms, and other advisers. It is the essence of what they do. Yet the only tool of any use anyone has come up with to assist is the dataroom (eg Merrill).
My product helps lawyers manage the closing of a transaction, which is a document-intensive, labour-intensive and stressful task. The product is straightforward, but only a lawyer would be able to come up with it and develop it. Law firms earn £billions each year in fees and a tool which assisted with this process would be valuable. The corporate/finance departments of the top 15 UK law firms earnt £5.3bn in fees in 2011 - and a higher proportion of that figure than you might think is attributable to time spent on document management on transactions, rather than legal advice.
In five or ten years' time, corporate deals will be closed electronically, rather than by signing paper documents. My product does not try and do that, but if it gained traction, it would be a natural precursor to that progression. That is why I mentioned Leonard Rosenthol, who (if I am correct) is involved with groups looking at improving and standardising electronic signatures. There is a lot of work to be done before the point at which law firms can be comfortable advising clients to close a merger or acquisition by eletronic signature. But my product, if picked up by the profession, would help bring that closer.
I would love the opportunity to explain further to someone in the product team under NDA. Is this a possibility?