From Barrister to boardroom: How Laura Keily is transforming the legaltech industry and providing justice to all

From Barrister to boardroom: How Laura Keily is transforming the legaltech industry and providing justice to all

Since entering the legal industry in 1998 as a Barrister, I’ve seen the legal system become increasingly inaccessible for many people and businesses across Australia due to overburdened courts, high costs, and lengthy and archaic processes. However, during that time I’ve also witnessed the growth and proliferation of technology across all aspects of life, and the potential it has in bringing greater efficiency and accessibility to how we practice law.  

This is why I founded Immediation in 2017 — to alleviate the pressures on our court system and open up amicable and cost-effective pathways to have disputes and complaints heard and resolved. 

Created by lawyers, Immediation is a platform that delivers the judiciary, lawyers and neutral parties the capacity to successfully handle complex legal interactions online through 30+ tools and an expert global panel of 140+ mediators and arbitrators. 

 

Background as a Barrister 

Moving into the world of litigation during my time as a barrister for the Victorian Bar, I was shocked at how expensive and gruelling the experience was. Add in an inundated legal system, handling thousands of cases a day, and for those without the time or resources to pursue lengthy legal battles, justice was out of reach.  

Working first-hand in the industry gave me the insight to recognise the issue at face value: the current system is falling behind in its ability to fulfil its core function. It was clear to me that without real and actionable change, the legal profession and justice would continue to be inaccessible to certain members of the public - those that might need it most.  

 

Disrupting a centuries-old industry  

Immediation was designed to support the legal system and create more options for accessible justice.  Working closely with our ex-Google tech team, I was able to create a platform that would work to mimic the function of court mediation in a digital setting, meaning users would be able to access the justice systems while eliminating the costs of travel and minimising the possible trauma faced in a courtroom.  

The biggest challenge faced when we initially launched was convincing the very procedural and traditional legal industry that this technology would be an asset. With our initial testing in 2019, we were told that it was a great solution, but it was too soon and too different to adopt. In 2020, I joined SBE by Springboard Enterprises Tech program to further develop my skills and expand my network. 

 

Pandemic forces a pivot towards legal tech 

As the legal system transitioned online almost overnight, the need for purpose-built legal technology became clear. With the onset of COVID, we were able to pivot to provide a whole suite of specifically designed video conferencing and secure legal services on one singular platform.

Immediation has been used by major courts and tribunals across Australia and New Zealand, including  Australia’s busiest tribunal, VCAT, and most recently, we’ve been working with the NT government to provide remote Australians with access to courts. 

We’re excited to continue expanding globally, having just announced our expansion plans to the US. We’ve added two incredible women, Christine Christian AO and Rachael Neumann to our Board, and Afterpay Chair Elana Rubin, to our Advisory Board to support our journey. With the new additions and a  supportive team behind us, Immediation is ready to tackle new international markets, such as the United  States and Europe. There is a demand and need for the kind of offers we provide, and now we have the team, capital and resources to expand further ashore. I care deeply about our mission to provide justice for all and am excited for what is to come.

 

 Laura Keily

Founder and Managing Director of Immediation