Edmonton-made tech for a legal profession that's slow to change
By Steven Sandor | September 9, 2021
Amir Reshef is a former lawyer. He worked at Dentons in mergers and acquisitions for three years, working on deals as small as a gas station sale and as large as a commercial transaction worth billions. And, while lawyers are often portrayed glamorously by those of us who aren’t in the legal professions, the truth is that there is a lot of paperwork.
Law school didn’t prepare Reshef for the amount of documents that needed to be printed out and signed…and printed out again when they come back with signatures in the wrong spots. Waiting for a courier to pick up documents. Waiting for the courier to return. Oh, and an amendment to the deal triggers another hundreds of pages worth of printouts, for which clients have to come downtown just to sign.
And what stunned him was that, as other fields have embraced innovation, the legal profession had not moved.
”I was shocked at how the process was so paper heavy and manual,” says Reshef. “The legal system is ripe for change because it has been so resistant to innovation.”
Reshef co-launched and is the CEO of dealcloser, a made-in- Edmonton app that aims to stream-line the process of legal documents and remove what Reshef calls the “soul-crushing grunt work.”
The app stores documents in the cloud, where they can be easily transferred between lawyers and their clients. Signing and amending deals can be done by simply logging in.
Reshef says that, since dealcloser was launched four years ago, over 200,000 legal documents have been uploaded.
It wasn’t easy. Reshef says that, at first, lawyers were hesitant to trust uploading their documents to an app. He says that he knows that lawyers are “naturally conservative” and it would take them time to adopt the technology.
The key was making the app easy to use. He says that, from his time as a deal-making lawyer, he saw that many people who were selling their businesses were older, and not that tech- savvy.
“We’re taking an inefficient process, and just saying, ‘There’s got to be a better way.’”