HighQ Expands AI Contract Analysis, Makes Native Contract Express Integration

Thomson Reuters has announced a new, all-singing, all-dancing, version of HighQ, that will offer native Contract Express integration and an expanded AI-driven contract analysis capability that is all home-made, along with a Legal Tracker integration and more.

The giant company said of the new 5.4 version launch: ‘With the new AI-driven contract analysis engine, users can compare hundreds of documents against a model form to quickly identify which agreements present the most deviation from the standard form, often a proxy for risk.

‘Documents, including contracts, can be clustered according to their similarity to quickly identify groups of documents. The contract analysis engine also can be trained to recognise new clauses, allowing customers to build their own clause banks.’

This is in effect an evolution of the HighQ AI engine that existed previously and was originally launched as part of the AI Hub in HighQ 4.4, back in 2018.

In 5.4 they have introduced new features to the HighQ AI engine that expand its capabilities, which are:

1) The ability to train the AI engine to recognise new clauses, so customers can build out their own clause banks.

2) The ability to cluster documents/contracts based on their similarity, to see which are related or similar.

3) The ability to score a document based on its divergence from a standard form, to see how much an executed or negotiated document has diverged from a template.

For added convenience it’s also allowing Contract Express and HighQ to function as ‘a single solution’, with Contract Express now powering HighQ’s Document Automation.

Contract Express templates can now be associated with HighQ sites and accessed to generate documents. These documents and associated data are stored natively in HighQ, enabling the user to integrate and establish workflows, collaborate, co-author, and utilise new data-visualisation capabilities.

Irish McIntyre, head of Legal Software and Workflow for Thomson Reuters, said: ‘In July of 2019, Thomson Reuters was thrilled to acquire HighQ, an open, best-in-class platform at the heart of the legal software ecosystem.

‘Now, just a little over a year later, two market-leading Thomson Reuters software products are integrated with HighQ and we are introducing the most significant HighQ release to date. There are more than 100 new features or enhancements in the latest version to solve our customers’ biggest challenges and to help them work better virtually.’

Other aspects include:

Project Management – HighQ 5.4 also allows customers to manage projects and processes more effectively. For example, the 5.4 release introduces sub-tasks, significantly enhancing project management capabilities for complex projects. And HighQ users can also create rules that trigger upon completion of a task, such as setting a rule to create another task or re-assign that task to someone else – all intended to keep the work and project moving along.

Legal Tracker Integrated with Document Management – HighQ 5.4 allows for Legal Tracker to be integrated with the document management capabilities in HighQ. This puts enhanced tools for work product collaboration in the hands of in-house teams, increasing productivity. Legal departments can use HighQ document management to securely store and search documents and emails, control and compare versions, view audit history, and access documents offline without having to leave standard productivity tools.

Is this a big deal? Clearly Thomson Reuters is not letting its newly acquired asset gather dust on the legal tech shelf and have put a lot of work into expanding and integrating what HighQ can do. In short, they’re super-platformizing it. And that makes a lot of sense when you’re a company like Thomson Reuters with more tech products than you can poke a stick at.

The expanded AI doc analysis capability looks very interesting and no doubt it is just the beginning of a much longer development path ahead.

And now for the big question: is this Thomson Reuters going to war against the main legal AI doc review companies…? At present it’s cutting into what they can do, especially around the clustering, and ability to extract targeted clauses via machine learning and NLP. But, it’s still some distance away from what else is out there in the market in terms of overall capabilities for doc analysis and review.

That said, Thomson Reuters rarely seeks to be first. What they are good at is creating a long-term road map for growth and then executing on that. Kira Systems, eBrevia, Luminance, Seal Software, ThoughtRiver, Eigen and many more will not be too nervous just yet. But this huge company rarely stops iterating its products. Who knows where they will eventually end up if they keep going down this road?