Legal Business Blogs

Clifford Chance latest to partner with tech firm Kira as major players make AI push

Clifford Chance (CC) has become the latest firm to increase its investment in technology initiatives, announcing this morning (5 July) that it has entered into partnership with artificial intelligence (AI) provider, Kira Systems.

The Canadian tech firm provides software that searches and analyses text in contracts to deliver improved levels of speed, efficiency and quality to processes. Firms can utilise this to better add value to clients under continuous cost pressures.

The Magic Circle firm said it selected Kira as it works ‘out of the box’ with little set up time and because it can be easily trained by lawyers to learn specialist expertise.

The firm aims to reduce the time spent on traditional due diligence methods and potentially expand qualitative analysis. Examples include having the ability to review a higher number of documents.

CC’s chief information officer Paul Greenwood said: ‘The legal industry must adapt if it is to deliver what clients value most – whether that is about speed, accuracy or risk management.’

He added: ‘There are increasing numbers of intelligent tools on the market that can help law firms service clients and we want to be at the forefront of identifying and deploying those systems that will make a real difference to our clients. We are showing our commitment to emerging technology by integrating Kira into our processes and building its knowledge through teaching and training.’

CC’s head of innovation and business change, Bas Boris Visser, added: ‘Clients are under substantial pressure to reduce legal spend. At the same time, they need more support to manage the increasing risks and complex issues that their companies are facing. Deploying Kira is an exciting next step in helping our clients address this demand for greater value.’

Visser was appointed to the innovation role by managing partner Matthew Layton in January 2015, and tasked to revitalise the firm’s pioneering streak alongside chief operations officer Caroline Firstbrook. Part of that saw Visser holding a series of meetings in New York last February, where he was working with IBM Watson to assess how the firm can use technology for carrying out e-discovery and investigations work.

Also intent on driving automation throughout the business is DLA Piper which in June signed up with Kira to launch an artificial intelligence tool for document review during M&A transactions.

The deal came just three months after Kira Systems secured a similar deal with Big Four accountant Deloitte.