ContractPodAi, the NLP-driven contract lifecycle management (CLM) and doc review platform, has formed a re-seller partnership in Africa with leading multi-jurisdictional firm, Bowmans, as part of a drive to win clients there.
Bowmans will act as a re-seller of the tech platform to its corporate and banking clients across Africa, where it has offices in seven countries, with over 400 lawyers.
Craig Kennedy, Head of TMT at Bowmans, told Artificial Lawyer: ‘We want to work with our clients to improve their focus on, and execution of, CLM processes. Where there’s a need for a technology solution, we will be introducing them to ContractPodAi.’
While known for its NLP doc review capabilities, which are built upon IBM Watson, ContractPodAi took on a more-CLM focused strategy early on in its development, in effect building a more platform-style approach, rather than a point solution.
For example, they offer a contract repository, contract automation, document e-signatures, seamless workflows, contract review, negotiating and collaboration tools, and analytics
As to why Bowmans is doing this, Kennedy added: ‘Part of the value we add to our clients’ businesses is the ability to support them in exploring and identifying suitable digital solutions to streamline their legal services…..[and with this they can ]…implement a technology solution that replaces time-consuming manual efforts.’
Sarvarth Misra, co-founder and CEO, ContractPodAi, added: ‘We are thrilled to partner with an innovative African law firm like Bowmans to introduce our contract management solution to the African market.’
Is this a big deal? It’s another example of a law firm taking up a re-seller strategy. Such deals can be a win/win. The tech company extends its reach via the law firm’s own client list, while the law firm gets kudos for helping businesses with complex needs that would be hard to achieve without the added NLP tech capability on offer.
It is also important in terms of opening up new markets for this type of technology. The continent has seen the growth of hundreds of significant corporates, moving far beyond the oil and mining giants of the past, as well as a steadily growing range of commercial law firms.
While the region is facing a downturn due to the economic shocks of Covid-19, the 54 nations of Africa provide a complex and interesting potential client base with long-term growth prospects across multiple sectors.
Moreover, Africa as a region has a rapidly growing legal tech market of its own, with dozens of companies launching there – see this new report for more information – Global Legal Tech Report – Africa.