Global law firm Allen & Overy has announced that it has licensed Kira Systems‘ AI-driven doc review system to be used across ‘a number of practice areas’. It is also embedding Kira in its Legal Service Centre in Belfast.
Kira will be used for due diligence, general contract reviews, deal points studies and regulatory compliance matters, among other use cases.
It is understood that the global law firm has been working with Kira for several months and eventually chose the company’s AI tech after a robust proof of concept study that also looked at other tools. It is also understood that Allen & Overy continues to use the AI capabilities of iManage’s RAVN AI platform, with the firm choosing to use either system depending on the particular use case.
IManage was a member of Allen & Overy’s first Fuse tech incubator group and Kira Systems is a member of its second cohort, which started in May, along with another very well established legal AI company, Neota Logic, which is best known for its expert systems.
Having a seat in Fuse makes a lot of sense if the firm is already using your software as it allows easy access to part of the team. And this is also the case with Neota, where its tech is used by the firm’s AOSphere digital legal services on demand group.
It is also understood that Allen & Overy sees the use of Kira and RAVN as offering the best balance to the AI review needs of the firm, with Kira seen as very helpful when lawyers want to be very hands-on and make immediate use of AI tech themselves, while the use of RAVN tends toward a more project basis.
Kira has long focused on making its system easy to use, such as pioneering the development of its Quick Study feature, which allows lawyers to very quickly train up the NLP capabilities of Kira to conduct review tasks.
The formal announcement marks a period of continued growth for Kira Systems. In a recent interview with Artificial Lawyer, CEO and cofounder, Noah Waisberg, said: ‘We have really seen our client base take off, and we have had some great successes with renewals, such as with [fellow UK-based global law firm] Freshfields recently.’
‘Overall we have now about 90 subscribing clients. About 75% of these are law firms. Today there are more legal AI doc review companies, but our revenue has expanded by more than 100% in 12 months. Last time I checked there were about 2,000 active projects per month run on Kira,’ he added at the time.
The positive step with Allen & Overy is more evidence of how rapidly legal AI review tools are bedding down in the legal eco-system and becoming a new benchmark for the ‘normal’ way to conduct business.
Readers will no doubt remember that only two years ago even the idea of using an automated system to perform doc review for paid client work still seemed unusual, even a little scary, to many lawyers.
Now, things have changed dramatically, with many of the world’s largest law firms making use of such software, whether via Kira, or other systems. Meanwhile, a growing number of corporates are making use of AI doc review systems across their inhouse functions, as well as in procurement, sales and risk teams, with companies such as Seal Software leading the charge there.
Sam Spivack, AI Practice Consultant at Kira Systems, said: ‘We are thrilled to be partnering with Allen & Overy in their commitment to innovation and look forward to hearing more as the firm incorporates Kira into their ongoing services for clients. Allen & Overy is a firm that always strives towards delivering the highest level of client service, and we are excited to work with them in streamlining their contract review processes.’
Kevin Oliver, Allen & Overy’s Head of Advanced Technology Delivery, added: ‘We are always on the lookout for innovative solutions that help our lawyers be more productive and we think Kira fits that bill. We want to ensure we continue to provide a high quality service to our clients.’
And, to conclude, Shruti Ajitsaria, Head of Fuse at Allen & Overy, said: ‘We are delighted to have Kira Systems join our latest Fuse cohort. It will be invaluable to have them based in our London office as we expand our firm-wide adoption of Kira Systems’ machine learning software.’