UK-based global law firm Freshfields has announced a strategic partnership with Canada’s Kira Systems. The firm will use Kira in its Legal Services Centre in Manchester, UK, to support transactional work across all practice groups.
The firm also stressed how using AI systems would allow the firm’s junior lawyers and paralegals to focus on more complex work, though this does perhaps undermine the original reason for having the Manchester process centre, which became a flagship element of the firm’s business strategy.
It is not clear yet if the firm will continue to grow Manchester after adopting the use of AI for transactional document review work.
Freshfields made the decision to adopt Kira after a yearlong trial of different machine learning technology solutions.
Freshfields’ Director of Legal Services Innovation, Isabel Parker, said: ‘Kira [will] help to free up the Legal Services Centre team to focus on more complex areas of work’.
Commenting on the partnership, Joint Managing Partner, Stephan Eilers, added: ‘Kira is an important part of our wider innovation agenda.’
Kira Systems’ Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Alexander Hudek commented: ‘We are proud that Freshfields selected Kira after evaluating various tools over the past year. To be selected by such a prestigious and innovative firm is a satisfying validation of our work.’
The news marks the latest deal among major commercial law firms adopting AI. Other recent deals and trials of note include the newly launched Luminance and its partnership with Slaughter and May and the pilot project between Travers Smith and RAVN. And Kira also announced another partnership deal in July this year with Freshfields’ rival Clifford Chance.
In fact, it would now appear that all of the so-called UK-based Magic Circle law firms are making use of AI systems in one shape or form.
Last week the CEO of the Law Society of England & Wales, Catherine Dixon, made a speech to the International Bar Association, calling on lawyers to embrace the efficiencies and value of AI.
Also, as with both the Luminance deal and the Travers Smith pilot, the latest Kira deal appears to be focused on due diligence matters, given the focus on transactional work at Freshfields.