Emily Foges, CEO of legal AI company Luminance, is upbeat when Artificial Lawyer catches up with her on a busy afternoon. The company has just announced it has created a new advisory board comprising four senior lawyers to help navigate a path through the rapidly changing legal market and its evolving needs.
According to Foges (pictured above), Luminance now recognises that the implications of AI tech are ‘more far reaching’ than it had realised when it first launched in 2016, and the potential for it to significantly change the legal profession for the better is huge.
‘So, we need help navigating that. We need help from lawyers who are at the top of their game, at the top of their profession, who are respected, who understand all of the various forces within the profession that we are working within and can help advise us and guide us through that journey, because it is a huge responsibility,’ she explained.
Hence the creation of the board, which comprises:
- Vodafone Group General Counsel, Rosemary Martin,
- Slaughter and May Senior Partner, Steve Cooke,
- Portolano Cavallo Founding Partner, Manuela Cavallo,
- and Vagn Thorup, Former Chairman of the International Bar Association’s Technology Committee and a lawyer at Danish law firm, Lundgrens.
The board is made up of individuals who already have a good knowledge of Luminance and have a strong interest in innovation.
‘If you look at Rosemary Martin (from Vodafone) she’s really interesting because she is looking at the way the legal profession is operating and getting really frustrated because she knows that the technology is available. So she is going to be working with us to accelerate the pace of change,’ Foges said.
‘And then you’ve got Manuela … she’s been working with us very closely almost since we launched. Portolano Cavallo … have been very staunch supporters of us ever since,’ she added.
About Cooke she says ‘he’s been working with us since the very beginning’. And, as readers will remember, Slaughter and May is not only the company’s first client, it is also a minority investor in the UK-based legal AI pioneer.
Foges was equally upbeat about Vagn Thorup.
‘He is really excited about the way that technology is transforming the legal profession. [In fact], the catalyst for the advisory board was actually Vagn himself.
‘He and I have been talking … about the potential for Luminance and what he sees as a kind of a real game changer. Earlier this year he said to me ‘You know what, I’d like to be directly involved in helping you with this.’ So, he was the person who actually sparked this whole idea.‘
‘Being part of this leading next-generation technology, joining the advisory board and helping to bring Luminance to the next level as a company is a privilege and will be great fun,’ Thorup added in a statement.
All four are working with Luminance in one way or another.
With regard to Vodafone, Foges said: ‘We are working with them on a solution that is something they care very passionately about. [The company is] doing a detailed analysis of some of their contracts from an exposure analysis perspective.’
So it seems Vodafone is, or possibly is about to be, also part of the Luminance family of customers.
And then the rest of the world….
Artificial Lawyer noted that all four are from the UK and continental Europe. Asked if she believed that there are some issues specific to the European market as opposed to other markets around the world, Foges replied: ‘The reason for them being a European board is purely because of logistics, … [as] there is no way we are going to get a partner from an American law firm in the same room as this group on a regular basis, it would just be too hard.
‘However you are probably right, there probably will be a different flavour to the kinds of opportunities that they are helping us with in Europe. I think from the very beginning of Luminance’s journey we’ve had a very, very strong customer base particularly in mainland Europe,’ she concluded.
Foges added: ‘In the future we will probably have a US advisory board and an Asia Pacific advisory board.’