Leading Irish law firm McCann FitzGerald has announced that it is the first legal practice to sign up for Courtsdesk, an Irish technology company that has taken a revolutionary approach to making courts data accessible to businesses and the public.
Courtsdesk is an online data service offering search, tracking and analysis of 593,000 Irish cases involving 1.3m individual parties to date. Its archive, updated daily, includes all hearings of the Circuit Court since early 2017 and every case in the High Court since the 1950s.
Speaking about the decision to adopt the service, McCann FitzGerald’s Head of Dispute Resolution and Litigation, Sean Barton, said Clients today expect more from their suppliers. At McCann FitzGerald, we are committed to investing in technology-based, innovative and cost-effective solutions that offer our clients a premium service and allow us to find ways of delivering more for less.”
“Courtsdesk is an innovative tool that allows us to achieve best practice in assessing, tracking and managing litigation on behalf of our clients. As a law firm on the cutting edge of legal services delivery, the addition of Courtsdesk is an important offering for our clients.”
Courtsdesk co-founder and CEO Enda Leahy, said McCann FitzGerald has been fantastic to deal with from day one.
“It was the first firm to sign up for a commercial trial, and we are delighted that it has now become the first of the top Irish firms to become a client.
“We are trying to solve case management and research problems that legal and corporate organisations have had for years – for example the ability to automatically cross-reference the Companies Registration Office with the courts.
“Courtsdesk is an important tool for every solicitor and corporate researcher in Ireland. And obviously for news journalists it’s already become a hugely important resource - we can see stories every week which they spotted or researched on Courtsdesk.”
“Most importantly from an Irish perspective, Courtsdesk has opened up the Circuit Court for the first time – a hugely important set of records for Irish society which has never been searchable before. Courtsdesk offers the first search, archive and case tracking system, with almost a year of cases already available.
“We see Circuit Court access as being particularly important for regional law firms and newspapers - significant litigation at this tier is played out every day in courts across the country.”
Speaking about McCann FitzGerald’s announcement, Leahy, a former newspaper editor and Law Society Justice Media Award winner, said:
“For solicitors the pace of change in technology affecting their industry can be challenging - even clear value-add solutions can seem hard to adopt. The team at McCann FitzGerald was the opposite - making valuable suggestions which have improved the service. It’s now a solution not just for lawyers but for journalists, corporate researchers and the public.”
Courtsdesk offers many ‘firsts’ in terms of improving access to the Irish courts system. It is the first streaming newswire of court cases - like a twitter feed for litigation, and counts the Irish Times, The Sunday Times, theJournal.ie and the Irish Mail on Sunday among its clients.
It is also the first advanced search of the High Court, allowing for queries within the details of any case; e.g. to find filings and orders, and to generate relationship maps of all cases related to any person or company.
Courtsdesk is one of the most successful emerging technology companies in Dublin. Last year it was the first Irish company accepted into the prestigious Barclays Techstars programme in London, one of ten companies selected out of 600 applicants from all over the world. It is currently representing Ireland in the ‘Legal’ category of the European Startup Awards.
Its investors to date include some of the most prestigious figures in UK and Irish business and the US investment fund Techstars Ventures.