Top Australian law firm Allens has brought in the tech of legal AI company Luminance for contract review in both M&A and real estate transactions, as part of a hat trick of client wins this month for the UK-based AI business.
The deal with Allens, which is the alliance partner of global firm Linklaters, means the Australian lawyers will also be using rival legal AI company, Kira Systems, for doc review, with which it already has a good relationship and with which it has also developed alongside Neota Logic and HighQ an AI-driven real estate application.
This suggests that law firms are experimenting with different systems that perform similar tasks. For example, Linklaters, in London, uses Eigen Technologies‘ AI system for review, in part as an element of its internal AI system Nakhoda, along with other AI review tools such as Kira, Leverton and iManage/RAVN, also.
How much each firm will use each system remains unclear, given that in most cases there is considerable overlap in review capabilities, with differences often focused on the UX/UI, or the breadth of pre-set clause detection capabilities. It is possible that the firms themselves do not know entirely either, and are perhaps still to some degree seeing what works best in different situations, or is best at certain practice specific tasks.
Firms may also be looking at price and service comparisons in order to find the right suppliers of legal AI tech for their needs – and naturally – to do that properly, the firms need hands-on experience of different systems.
The expansion of AI tools follows the news that Allens and University of New South Wales in Sydney have officially launched the Allens Hub for Technology, Law & Innovation, which involves 10 research streams ‘to tackle legal issues surrounding data, artificial intelligence, privacy, online social collaboration, intellectual property and digital platforms’.
The Allens Hub’s research streams have the aim to ‘investigate wide-ranging issues, from data as a source of market power, to the concept of legal responsibility for artificial intelligence, to the legal status of synthetic life forms, to legal models governing cooperatives’ use of digital platforms’ the firm said.
Meanwhile Luminance has also bagged Swedish law firm, Gernandt & Danielsson Advokatbyrå (G&D), and also Baltic law firm Ellex, where it will be used in Lithuania in what is apparently the first example so far of a Baltic law firm using an AI system for due diligence review.
Mark Malinas, Corporate Partner and Co-Head of Private Equity at Allens, said of the arrangement with Luminance: ‘Allens is committed to knowing our clients and innovating to find solutions to meet their needs. We are excited to be using Luminance to enhance our due diligence processes.’
Emily Foges, CEO of Luminance, added: ‘We are delighted to be continuing our momentum in the Asia-Pacific region and working with one of the most prestigious law firms based there.’
The UK-based company, which counts leading corporate firm, Slaughter and May, as a client and investor in the business, now says it has over 75 customers in 23 countries across five continents. It also is understood to have a growing number of UK 100 law firms that are experimenting with the system.
With regard to the Baltic deal, Rolandas Valiūnas, Managing Partner of Ellex Valiunas, commented: ‘Given that AI technology is already being used successfully in the day-to-day processes of some of the largest law firms in the world, we are working to keep pace with these global trends and invest in tools to allow our lawyers to streamline the contract review processes of complex legal matters.’
While in Sweden, Manfred Lofvenhaft, Managing Partner at Gernandt & Danielsson, concluded: ‘The platform is highly intuitive and we immediately saw the benefits of the unsupervised machine learning. From day one of the Pilot, Luminance gave the team an instant insight into the data room, revealing anomalies and identifying legal concepts in multiple languages.’