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ALTA shines a light on early-stage Aussie legaltech

The Australian Legal Technology Association (ALTA) is shining a light on early stage legal technology start-ups as part of its inaugural legal + technology conference, ALTACON, to be held in Melbourne on 31 May.

“ALTA’s mission is to foster the development of Australian legal technology,” ALTA President and Founder of Legaler, Stevie Ghiassi said.

“We wanted to use ALTACON as a platform to showcase home-grown solutions and give early stage innovators an opportunity to present their ideas to the market alongside Australian legal tech entrepreneurs who are further along the start-up journey.”

“We were thrilled with the response to our pitch competition and I am pleased to announce the four finalists of the ALTACON Pitch Competition are Croftbridge, Hyra iQ, Willbits and Cynapse,” he said.

Pleader by Croftbridge

Pleader is an extremely simplified word processor, designed specifically for pleadings and developed by Croftbridge.

Croftbridge Director and Lawyer, Tim Lethbridge explained that Pleader removes all the frustration and wasted time ordinarily associated with drafting pleadings and allows the legal team to focus on the law and to bill the client accordingly.

“Pleader can be used by litigation lawyers around the world – templates for each jurisdiction will be built in to the software,” he said.

“There is no similar software available – the vast majority of lawyers use Microsoft Word, which has substantial weaknesses when it comes to pleadings that can result in huge inefficiencies.”

Pleader is not intended to replace word processors but rather to be available as an additional tool for these specific documents, he said.


Cynapse is an end-to-end solution which seeks to completely transform how stakeholders interact within a class action, currently being  developed by a group of Monash University students with law and IT backgrounds as well as aspiring entrepreneurs.

According to team member, fourth year Commerce and Law student, Henry Wu, there is a strong disconnect between group members and their representative lawyers.

“Furthermore in a diverse pool of claimants, huge expenses are spent on experts to assess payout for each unique claimant,” he said. “This ultimately incurs cost and delay to the members’ final sum received.”

Cynapse will be positioned to resolve both of these issues through an end-to-end process, he said.

“Using AI assistive technology, we will drastically reduce times taken during expert assessment, help lawyers better understand their plaintiff group, and increase engagement to claimants via live portal,” he said.

Cynapse brings all stakeholders into one central place and, through harnessing technological innovations, increases the value of class actions as a tool for justice.

Hyra iQ

Hyra iQ helps automates high-volume high-value contract negotiation, for enterprise customers and their external law firms acting.

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Alastair Blenkin explained that Hyra iQ’s platform digitally transforms the contracting process – unlocking corporate knowledge and empowering individuals to complete complex negotiations.

“Artificial intelligence algorithms detect and match historical responses from the customer’s playbook to incoming negotiation requests for rapid application and consistency at scale,” he said.

“With granular, real time visibility across your contract portfolio, people and geography, legal is transformed from a “black box” to a source of strength that empowers business decisions.”

“Fundamentally, reducing deal cycle times has a significant bottom line – a game changer for your business.”


Willbits will help lawyers connect with the families of their clients in a secure and trusted way.

Founder Tobias Crush explained that Willbits will help families across Australia to solve commonly faced problems on the death of a loved one: Where is the will?  How do we know it’s the most current one?  Was the will made with due capacity?”

“Nobody wants to think about what happens after they die,” he said. “When they do, there aren’t currently any verifiably safe ways of recording those wishes and then storing that document until that inevitable moment.”

“Leveraging relationships within the legal sector and courts administration system, we will be creating an immutable register and storage environment that will not only safeguard a will against tampering and ensure that it will be found by those who need to know.”

Entries were open to Australian founded companies that had not accepted institutional funding and who had received less than $100,000 in seed funding.

The finalists will present their pitch during the final session at ALTACON, with the winner judged by an experienced panel including:

  • Jonathan Lay, Vice President, Macquarie Venture Capital Group
  • Oonagh McEldowney, former GC & Startup Advisor, Muru-D
  • Ben Hensman, Senior Associate, Square Peg Capital
  • Peter Dunne, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills
  • Niels Maartens, Chief Commercial Officer, YBF Ventures & member of Law Tech Hub.

ALTACON – Not your ordinary legal conference!

If you would like to learn more about the latest in Australian legal technology, join us at ALTACON!

ALTACON features two concurrent streams on legal technology presented by international and national thought leaders and technologists working at the cutting-edge intersection of legal + technology. ALTACON also features a LegalTech Expo where you can meet up with leading Australian legal technology companies and our partners, including Fincap Law and KPMG.


Tickets for ALTACON cost $350 and are selling fast, so if you are interested in meeting Australia’s leading legal techologists and entrepreneurs, register now.