This promises to be quite a week in legal AI. Today’s post is the prelude to what I expect to be a deluge of news from ILTACON 2018. I’ll be traveling all day Tuesday, so getting a slow start on my ILTA coverage.


  • Early news from ILTACON via Artificial Lawyer: “Thomson Reuters has developed an application that creates ‘smart documents’ using Contract Express and the blockchain capabilities of Integra Ledger.” “….(T)the aim is to have the POC work seamlessly with NetDocuments.” Details here.


  • A2J news from Artificial Lawyer: “Australia-based legal tech company, Legaler, has raised $1.5 million to help build blockchain-based solutions for the future of legal services and to boost access to justice.”


  • Hogan Lovells announcedThe Hogan Lovells law firm advised on the first ever blockchain technology-based transaction on the Polish office market. “The parties involved were Business Link (the Landlord), and Ricoh (the Tenant). … The innovative solution based on blockchain technology was implemented in order to ensure the safety of the lease transactions, the indisputability of the commercial and legal conditions, as well as the reduction of agency and consultation costs.”


  • From Mayer Brown’s Rebecca Eisner, this is an interesting financial services-focused discussion of the need for AI laws and regulations, and how one should (cautiously) proceed until more are in place.


  • Legal Futures reports that “(t)he company charged with digitising the (UK) courts (CaseLines) is to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) to assist lawyers in understanding complex evidence, ….CaseLines … will use the technology to create a ‘mind map’ – a visual way of presenting information said to mirror more closely the non-linear way the human brain handles data.” “Paul Sachs, chief technology officer of Netmaster Solutions, the company behind CaseLines, (said AI is) a ‘terribly powerful’ tool to extract data such as ‘nouns that are not simple nouns, verbs that are not simple verbs, so places and people and so on.” “What I want to do is to create a mind map… which a lawyer can then basically use as a search tool to search the evidence in a way that is very practical.”


  • Here’s the final installment of Information Age’s Artificial intelligence in the legal industry: The future – Part 3. It covers the rise of Chief Technology Officers, how to facilitate the inevitable infiltration of AI into firms and the importance of data. “As with any other business, in any other industry, failing to innovate and improve will lead to extinction. Transform or die. … AI will soon become the standard. Those who don’t have and use it will, by definition, be sub-standard and in turn will be left behind by their clients, their competitors and the entire legal industry. Those that don’t adopt AI will fall behind their competitors, lose their clients and be entirely disrupted.”


  • This is my third inclusion of the Riverview/EY news. It’s one of the most thoughtful pieces yet, so I’d be remiss not to include it. The post discusses Riverview’s revolutionary focus on data, and (in my opinion) even more important: “Since its inception Riverview has advocated an ethos to which it has stayed faithful throughout, which is quite simply to put its customers at the centre of the design and evolution of its business model. Unlike any other organisation in this market, it set out from day 1 with an unwavering focus on defining value from a client perspective and then seeking to develop a model to deliver services, profitably, in line with this. The best and most prominent illustration was its decision to loudly and proudly eschew the billable hour. Standing by this has involved swimming against the market tide and genuinely taking risks in the pricing of work, not by reverse-engineering hourly charges but by putting faith in its ability to make efficient use of people, process and technology.  Failure is inherent in this approach – risks are risky, and don’t always pay off – but it simply leads to learning, recalibration and improvement.” More here.

Here’s a related story about the Big Four as threats to mid-sized law firms, and how those firms perceive the encroachment into their clients. “(L)aw firms may be able to seize on opportunities to collaborate with non-law firm competitors.”