ThoughtRiver, the leader in AI-driven automated contract pre-screening, has announced today the opening of two offices in Singapore and New Zealand to support its rapidly expanding Asia-Pacific business.
The move marks an important landmark in the growth of the UK-based legal AI pioneer, and signals a growing client base in the Asia-Pacific region for what is now a global company.
Cambridge-based ThoughtRiver has pioneered the use of NLP and machine learning techniques to provide lawyers with a pre-screening capability for their contracts and has grown rapidly in the last couple of years.
The company told Artificial Lawyer that it has seen a 10-times client growth rate in just the last 12 months, across multiple sectors from media, to telecoms to financial services, with these clients based across Europe, the US, and the Asia-Pacific.
With two new offices in the latter region, new roles will be created to oversee things. The overall region will be headed by Singapore-based Commercial Director, Angus Chudleigh, with the Australia and New Zealand markets led by experienced Sales Leader, David Audley.
The move by ThoughtRiver is also further proof of the appetite among lawyers, in firms and within in-house legal teams, for AI and other automated solutions that provide efficiency gains and improvements in legal data insights.
Systems such as ThoughtRiver allow inhouse lawyers to greatly speed up the review of contracts, especially where there may be a high frequency of similar documents, allowing them to ‘triage’ risk and make far better use of their time, (see Explainer below).
Tim Pullan, CEO of ThoughtRiver, said: ‘It is a particularly proud moment to be opening our first regional HQ in the country in which ThoughtRiver was founded – Singapore. Companies in the Singapore and ANZ region have been reaching out to us for over two years now, and these office openings are heeding that call.’
‘As the AI hype clears, GCs and other business leaders are focused on the proven technologies that can really drive efficiencies in the organisation. Contract pre-screening technology – which we have been developing since 2012 – is now emerging as a powerful new category in legal office automation,’ he added.
And, Chudleigh concluded: ‘I’ve been tracking ThoughtRiver’s rise for the last few years and I’m thrilled to get on board at this exciting time in the company’s growth.’
But, What is Pre-Screening? Here’s a Short Explainer:
‘ ‘AI’ contract review technology has to-date focussed on providing intelligent document search and extraction capabilities for lawyers to help save time on large due diligence and other retrospective projects.
Pre-screening on the other hand is designed to automate day to day routing and prioritisation decisions in large and busy corporate legal functions and is emerging as a sophisticated and technically demanding advance – and new category – in legal process automation technology.
Pre-screening technology comprises a legal Q&A and risk analysis process undertaken at an unprecedented level of detail and precision. Whilst the typical due diligence exercise involves assembling clauses on a handful of issues which then need to be considered by a lawyer, each contract pre-screen undertaken by ThoughtRiver triggers 1,000s of software-answered questions on each contract in order to replicate what actually happens when a junior lawyer conducts an initial scan on a contract.
Pre-screening then rolls up the answers in order to deliver a single final context-sensitive recommendation about whether a contract needs further review and by who. Importantly, pre-screening also explains why it has made that decision in human terms business people and lawyers will understand.’
[ Main Photo: Singapore Gardens by the Bay. ]