A stage for good
The first thing that we are honoured to announce is the Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UK, Mr Vadym Prystaiko, will be opening our conference on day one (28th Sept). It was thanks to our friends at Radiant Law that we were able to secure his attendance. Serena Wallace-Turner, their Managing Director, comments, “The team at Radiant has been horrified by the invasion of Ukraine, the devastation it has caused, and the still-unfolding humanitarian crisis. We have a long-term team member in Ukraine and have recently been joined by another, both of whom are fabulous technologists and people and have seen the impact this has had on them and their families. We are keen to hear from Ukraine’s Ambassador about how we, as an industry, can further support Ukraine and build long-term bridges with Ukrainians in the legal and tech industries.”
Ukraine Legal Tech
The second thing we have planned is to carve out a dedicated area of our conference to showcase Ukrainian businesses. Having seen and heard of such resilience from the tech community in Ukraine, we are keen to provide exposure to the Legal Geek community. One such company is Legal Nodes, a platform that helps innovative tech companies solve their legal needs, all in one place, and they have shown how they have adapted to the unprecedented times.
Their Co-Founder and CEO, Margarita Sivakova, has spoken openly about the war’s impact on the business. Pre-war, Legal Nodes was a partner across over 100 companies, many of which were based in Ukraine. After only two months of the war commencing, the company had lost 20% of its customers from Ukraine, so they had to think fast and expand into other markets, launching a new product line. In partnership with Finmap, they have been offering a free legal resource for Ukrainian entrepreneurs and ‘purchasing and delivering night vision devices, thermal imagers, tactical backpacks, and knee pads to the Ukrainian armed forces, and launching a charity NFT (non-fungible token) digital art project.’ Read article.
It has been amazing to see how they looked after their team throughout, paying salaries in advance, so the team had cash for the impending emergency, and organising a team-building event to keep morale high.
In an interview with AIN.Capital, Margarita speaks about how her team fought on two fronts to both defend their country but also to save the company;
“Our marketing department shared the information about the war and corresponded with the media and our partners; our engineers joined the cyber army of Ukraine. At the same time, our legal department contacted every founder of Ukrainian startups that were clients of Legal Nodes to find out who required our aid. We also launched a communication campaign with foreign banks that started blocking our clients’ accounts because of the war.” Read article.
With lawyers needing legal tech more and more to support the industry, the internet (although patchy) has allowed Ukrainian-based tech companies to continue with their business. Contributing to the economy helps with the country’s war effort, and legal tech helps support the digital economy.
We are also happy to announce that we LIGA Zakon have signed up to join us in our dedicated Ukrainian exhibition space. ‘Developers of modern information technologies, platforms and IT tools, working with information for business professionals and governments in various countries of the world.’
As well as businesses founded in Ukraine, many in the legal tech world have colleagues in Ukraine, often working hard behind the scenes. One of these is one of our conference sponsors, Legatics, and similar to Legal Nodes, has pulled out all the stops when it comes to their team. Their CEO Anthony Seale, shared a post on LinkedIn about what the company were doing to support, including ‘offering direct, material support to ensure the wellbeing of team…relocated people outside of the country, given them funds to assist their move and provided accommodation to them.’ See Linkedin
It is not only our industry that has stepped up to do their bit to support the people of Ukraine, restoring our faith in humanity. Epic Games raised $144 million, donating two weeks’ worth of proceeds from their game Fornite, Airbnb provided free accommodation to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, and the CEO of Dell, Michael Dell, donated $15 million to help support Ukrainian families. Read article.
We want to make a call out to any Ukraine tech start-ups that would like to be involved in our conference. We are offering free stands and involvement in the event. Please get in touch with us to hear more and share with all your Ukrainian colleagues at [email protected]
If you want to support Ukraine in some way, head over to this government page with some clear steps, as well as the Red Cross, which is accepting donations.