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In the face of the emerging coronavirus epidemic, Luminance can be used to understand and mitigate contractual obligations, rights and risks

9 March 2020 | Luminance

In the face of the emerging coronavirus epidemic, Luminance can be used to understand and mitigate contractual obligations, rights and risks

The recent outbreak of coronavirus has sparked worldwide concern, as governments implement plans for dealing with the epidemic and businesses cancel travel, events and investment decisions whilst simultaneously instituting working from home policies and preparing for mass staff sickness.

In the light of this significant disruption, businesses wish to understand their contractual rights, obligations and risks and are calling on their legal counsel to quickly provide that understanding. Areas of focus include force majeure clauses in commercial agreements; travel clauses in employment agreements; other contractual obligations and financial commitments, and ascertaining the location of suppliers or manufacturers. Yet, at this time of increasing demand on legal services comes a potential shortfall in numbers of legal personnel due to sickness, and lawyers are being restricted in travelling to client sites or even to their own corporate offices.

Luminance can help ensure that legal professionals are best positioned to deliver their clients’ demands. Luminance’s machine learning technology allows lawyers to review all contracts and documentation quickly and effectively, without the need for sampling. Luminance’s project management tools allow lawyers to coordinate this review from any location, mitigating the need for travel. Luminance’s technology allows for vast time savings with reliable results extracted from entire data sets, freeing up lawyers to provide high value analysis to their clients at this time of increased need.

AI-Powered Contract Review

ADVISE QUICKLY

With major disturbances to businesses and supply chains, it is no surprise that many businesses are looking to conduct a review of their contracts to assess liability, risk and the option of recourse for contractual failings from other parties. With rapid data ingestion and no machine or user training required, legal professionals can begin a full-scale analysis of all contracts within a matter of hours. Working with lawyers, Luminance has a proven track record in identifying relevant provisions, saving lawyers days of work and allowing them to advise their clients at much earlier stages, putting their client in the best position possible. This is a significant benefit in a situation where the world is scrambling to understand the potential impacts of a disease such as coronavirus. For example, using Luminance to identify force majeure clauses and draft advice to a client, a lawyer can reduce their time spent on review by 70%.

The earlier a lawyer can deliver advice to their client, the better position their client will be in to tackle the situation. For instance, in a recent M&A due diligence investigation, within 15 hours of the data room being available, a global top 100 law firm used Luminance to identify that 30% of customer agreements contained auto-renewal provisions (vs an estimated 90%). This highlights the power of machine learning to rapidly identify relevant provisions to legal professionals, who can then analyse these and act accordingly for their client.

ADVISE THOROUGHLY

Using Luminance, lawyers can advise their clients with greater depth, in shorter time frames.

In situations like those created by coronavirus, it is important that organisations understand their full risk profile and not rely on advice from sample exercises, which may mean not all areas of potential risk are identified. Luminance means lawyers no longer need to sample and can provide advice to their clients based on a full and thorough review of their contracts. Across various different industries, Luminance has been used to facilitate contract reviews with lawyers reviewing 100% of contracts, rather than a 10% sample they would previously have provided advice on.

Whilst previously legal professionals might have been forced to rely on sampling, with Luminance, legal professionals can be appraised of risk, liability, force majeure provisions and any other important information for their client in every single document.

ADVISE IN ANY LANGUAGE

Luminance’s language-agnostic machine learning means that contracts in multiple languages can all be analysed in the same way, ensuring there are no barriers to a quick review process. With organisations using Luminance in over 50 languages, Luminance gives lawyers - and their clients

  • an unprecedented advantage in handling novel and constantly evolving situations, such as those posed by coronavirus. In advising a client with operations across multiple countries and in multiple languages, Luminance has a proven ability to deliver lawyers time savings of up to 95%, just in determining which lawyer should be advising their client on what documents (language, practice area and jurisdictional expertise).

RIGOROUSLY EXAMINE DOCUMENTS

Luminance can also be used to quickly examine compliance between standard or approved wording in a contract against all other contracts within the data set. In the case of coronavirus, force majeure provisions may be a particularly important provision for review. Using Luminance, lawyers can quickly identify all contracts with the same provision and at the same time, identifying those with wording that varies. Using Luminance’s model document and clause comparison tool, legal professionals can choose which wording they want as their standard - or model. Luminance runs an extra layer of analysis over the documents, allowing users to quickly see deviations from the model. Lawyers can choose very specific models, for instance, wishing to see provisions of force majeure which specify epidemic as an acceptable event allowing for contract suspension or non-fulfilment. Luminance can also run the same analysis over the documents and show lawyers those clauses that deviate from their model’s wording.

When lawyers find wording that complies with the model, Luminance automatically highlights every instance in which the same wording occurs. Lawyers can then ‘green-flag’ an example, with Luminance empowering the lawyer to extend the green flag to every document containing that identical provision, if desired. This means with one click, a review can be extended to hundreds or thousands of other documents without a lawyer having to manually find the clause themselves, vastly cutting down the time spent reviewing. In the case of examining the impact of coronavirus, for example, each force majeure including epidemic may be identified instantly. Clearly, in a situation such as this where time is of the essence and staff shortages may become commonplace, technology is going to become a great aid to lawyers in providing a quick efficient review into every single document within their client’s dataset.

LUMINANCE AS A PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOL

For many legal professionals, the outbreak of coronavirus in their domicile might mean working from home becomes a necessity, and business travel is severely curtailed. Using any Luminance module, the impact of this upon law firms is softened by Luminance’s project management capabilities that allow for an uninterrupted continuation of work.

With the introduction of the automatic Hyperlinker and e-Bundler into Luminance’s Discovery platform, all production references in a document are made live – allowing users to click on any link and be taken straight to the document. This is hugely important in a situation where lawyers cannot access their office, and consequently, their documents.

CONCLUSION

Regardless of the industry, working with Luminance assists lawyers to identify relevant provisions and provide speedy and detailed advice to their clients without the need for pre-training. The flexibility, time and efficiency savings and client benefits make Luminance’s technology a necessary tool when advising clients on potential risks posed by evolving situations.

If you would like to learn more about how you can work with Luminance to advise your client, please contact [email protected]