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The robots keep coming: DLA Piper makes major AI play with Kira software deal

Intent on driving automation throughout the business, DLA Piper has partnered with Canadian tech firm Kira Systems to launch an artificial intelligence tool for document review during M&A transactions.

The move comes just three months after Kira Systems secured a similar deal with Big Four accountant Deloitte and follows a 200-person UK redundancy round by DLA Piper as part of an attempt to shift towards automation.

‘We believe that this innovative technology will do for corporate transactional work what e-discovery has done for litigation,’ said Jonathan Klein, chair of DLA Piper’s US M&A practice. ‘It will not only make due diligence faster and more efficient, but will mitigate risk throughout the process, all of which are important benefits for our clients and the firm.’

Kira Systems has developed machine-learning software, which will be available for DLA Piper lawyers across the global firm, to search and analyse text in contracts. Billed as something of a Summly, but for legal contracts rather than shortening news for people in a rush, the software can handle standard and non-standard forms and provisions, including documents in more than 60 formats, by automating the extraction and analysis of key contract provisions and creating summaries in seconds and analysis in just a few minutes.

DLA Piper has already piloted Kira in deals handled by its corporate and IP and technology practices, and was able to measure tangible improvements in speed and accuracy. The firm plans to quickly roll the program out to its corporate lawyers around the world, while looking at opportunities for expansion into other practices by teaching Kira to identify provisions needed for contract review in these other areas.

Andrew Darwin, international chief operating officer at DLA Piper, added: ‘New technology is emerging at a rapid rate within the legal sector. It’s crucial that firms are constantly evaluating and implementing new technologies to complement their existing service delivery models. Part of that means committing to bold investments, such as Kira, on an ongoing basis.’