Dentons, the world's largest law firm, announces new leadership roles at Nextlaw Labs and Nextlaw Ventures Dec 7 2017 | Dentons

Marie Bernard has been named the new CEO of Nextlaw Labs, an accelerator of early-stage technology startups focused on the legal industry. Launched in 2015, Nextlaw Labs is an autonomous, wholly owned subsidiary of Dentons, dedicated to developing and deploying new technologies that transform the business and practice of law.

Dentons formalised its combination with Maclay Murray & Spens in October.

Dan Jansen, who currently serves as the CEO of both Nextlaw Labs and Nextlaw Ventures, effective immediately will focus on Nextlaw Ventures as CEO. Ventures had a successful first investment round in which it invested in ten innovative legal tech companies located in the US and abroad. Seeking to build on that success, Jansen will spend his time preparing for a second round of investment so Dentons can continue to support its  brand for innovation.

In her new role, Bernard, who will be based in Berlin, will work closely with Dentons' leaders across the globe to develop Nextlaw Labs 2.0, helping to bring competitive advantage to Dentons, as well as design, develop and deliver “innovations as a service” to Dentons' clients.

Jansen will remain very closely involved with Nextlaw Labs, as a Strategic Advisor, and continue to manage relationships with Nextlaw portfolio companies.

Bernard was most recently Europe director of Innovation at Dentons, has served as Strategic Advisor to Nextlaw Labs, and she has been recognized in the Fastcase 50 as one of the world’s leading innovators in law. She will work closely with Dentons, clients and industry leaders to help shape the future of the legal industry.

"We welcome our dynamic new leadership structure as we enter the exciting next phase of our Nextlaw enterprises," said Dentons Global CEO Elliott Portnoy.

One year later, Dentons announced the Nextlaw Global Referral Network, an innovative global platform that is now the largest legal network in the world, with over 500 members firms and more than 30,000 lawyers covering every major jurisdiction in the world.

Then, earlier this year, Dentons continued to execute on its vision and launched the Nextlaw Global Public Affairs Network, a bold venture representing the Firm’s ability to deliver a digitally based, fully integrated, cross-functional solution that it can truly say solves clients' business problems, not just legal ones.

Last month, Dentons rolled out its newest Nextlaw initiative, Nextlaw In-House Solutions, providing clients with sophisticated consulting solutions that go above and beyond the practice of law, taking the Firm into the new realm of the business of law.

"Dentons, through Nextlaw Labs and Nextlaw Ventures, is poised to take another step in challenging the status quo of the legal profession," added Dentons Global Chairman Joe Andrew.

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