Two Dutch lawyers, Caroline Korteweg and Ingrid van de Pol-Mensing, whose past employment includes stints at major law firms Jones Day and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek respectively, have launched Uncover, an NLP-driven litigation case management system.
The founders explained that the tool ‘creates a searchable, automatically structured set of documents [which are part of a litigation] and offers a drafting tool that makes referring to and attaching exhibits a mouse-click away’.
‘Where lawyers used to spend hours and hours on building a timeline of events that is foundational to building their case, Uncovers’ AI automatically generates that timeline. This frees up substantial amounts of precious time for lawyers to do what they are hired to do best: be a brainstorm partner for their client, provide the best possible legal advice, and win cases,’ they added.
While the two lawyers brought their legal experience to the project, some of the core technology was developed by Slimmer AI, a machine learning product development group.
The company also argued that by using Uncover lawyers are ‘future-proofing the art of litigation, while giving law firms a new competitive advantage’.
As to the origins of the product, Korteweg and van de Pol-Mensing (pictured), reiterated the familiar story of having to face hours spent on process work and wondering whether there was a better way….and of course, there was!
‘[Our] journey started from personal frustration, having spent many late-night hours manually searching for documents, reshuffling exhibits, and inefficiently drafting timelines. Uncovers’ unparalleled solution utilises unique algorithms to enable lawyers to digest the unstructured information in their case files in a structured manner, to work with that information in preparing their case, and to collaborate seamlessly with colleagues and clients throughout the entire litigation workflow,’ they explained.
Korteweg, co-founder and co-CEO of Uncover, added: ‘Today, lawyers spend roughly 30-40% of their time ploughing their way through documents focusing on the factual information, trying to make sense of the case file. It is fundamental but extremely inefficient and time-consuming work, resulting in lawyers longing for more hours in a day whilst clients are demanding more efficiency.
‘We searched long and hard for solutions in the market to attend to these issues but came up empty-handed: none seem to have been built with a litigators’ approach in mind. Uncover will be exactly that: a tailored solution by litigators for litigators.’
While van de Pol-Mensing, also co-founder and co-CEO, concluded: ‘Our experience working in law for so many years helped us see these issues first-hand: case files have become more extensive and complex, and lawyers face more distractions than ever. And the bizarre thing is, we are still trying to keep up using stickies and markers while the legal tech market is developing rapidly.
‘Uncover is pioneering new grounds, using the newest, most advanced NLP and deep learning technology that wasn’t available until recently. Combined with a litigator-tailored interface, Uncover will help lawyers worldwide be at the forefront of digitisation. Our goal for Uncover is to become a worldwide household name in legal practice.’
It’s great to see a new legal tech company coming out of the Netherlands, and the combo of experienced lawyers with a dedicated product development group bodes well. There are of course some similarities to other products out there, e.g. Opus Two overlaps in several ways. But it’s a huge potential market, so good luck to them.