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Get the upper hand in your review with Luminance

26 February 2021 | Eleanor Weaver, General Manager, Luminance

When reviewing documents as part of a project, it is critical that lawyers are aware of all the risks contained within a dataset to ensure that their client or business has their best foot forward. Using Luminance’s game-changing AI technology, lawyers are able to uncover potential red flags or pieces of evidence at lightning speed. Armed with this knowledge and insight, lawyers are able to best serve their clients and businesses, giving them the competitive edge in every review.

Lawyers have more information to review than ever before

A recent study by Symantec found that lawyers are now expected to review up to 50% more electronically stored information per review than they were five years ago. As a result, lawyers today are not just reviewing hundreds but thousands- often hundreds of thousands in the case of eDiscovery- of documents for a single review. To meet tight deadlines and resource constraints, ‘sampling’ methods have become commonplace. However, this risks ‘playing with fire’ as lawyers run the risk of missing something very crucial. Indeed, who can forget cases like the AOL-Timehouse merger, where, amongst other factors, a rushed M&A due diligence process led to a record $99billion loss for the company.

And whilst there are a lot of legacy systems which claim they can solve this issue, these clunky, primarily rules-based technologies require intensive pre-programming and training before they can even be used- far from ideal if you are given a matter of days to find a crucial piece of evidence for an investigation or to conduct due diligence for a high-stakes M&A transaction. Not only that, because these systems need to be intensively pre-programmed in order to generate insight, they lack the flexibility to uncover the information that may be unexpected or unforeseen, including the anomalies. For instance, this could be a clause which is worded differently but is conceptually similar to another clause- such as, under Singaporean law a ‘Change of Clause’ clause is more commonly referred to as a ‘Change of Constitution' clause. These are the hidden risks that, if discovered early on, can give lawyers the upper hand.

The Luminance approach: Shed light on your entire dataset

The power of Luminance lies in its ability to instantly surface pertinent information without the need for intensive programming or machine ‘pre-training’. Instead, deployed via the cloud and using a powerful combination of supervised and unsupervised machine learning, Luminance is able to immediately read and form an understanding of the data, surfacing key datapoints, patterns and anomalies on a visual, intuitive interface. Further, as language-and-jurisdiction-agnostic tool currently working in over 80 languages, Luminance works out-of-the-box to identify key information across multilingual datasets. As a result, lawyers are freed from the repetitive, admin-heavy work and are able to focus on the more meaningful analysis and critical thinking that allows them to get ahead in their review.

As well as allowing lawyers to understand an entire project at a glance, Luminance is also able to illuminate to the lawyer hidden risks or subtle discrepancies in language. Indeed, a major difficulty when conducting a high-volume contract review or even an analysis of emails for a fraud investigation, is that a lot of the data can follow the same format. This can make it more challenging to expose where potential risk or critical information may be lurking.

Instead, Luminance can find the ‘unknown unknowns’ within datasets- these are the hidden risks in the documents that the team did not pre-programme or set out to look for- and flags these as anomalous results that might warrant further investigation by legal teams. An example of this in action is leading law firm, Dentons, who recently used Luminance to perform a Covid-19-focused review of over 150 real estate agreements. On the first day of the review, Luminance was able to surface a crucial yet unexpected force majeure clause which nullified the agreements in their entirety, allowing the team to shave ten hours off their review time. Examples like this show how Luminance can put lawyers at the forefront of the review whilst also achieving significant time and cost savings.

Leave no stone unturned with Luminance

Further, by forming a conceptual understanding of documents, Luminance ensures that no stone goes unturned. For instance, if users are interested in the subject matter of a certain document, Luminance’s supervised machine learning is able to immediately surface conceptually similar documentation to lawyers, saving them from manually searching and reading through all of the documents. This was vital for boutique law firm, JAP, who used the platform for a real estate due diligence exercise and by tagging just one example of ‘charges’ in Spanish, Luminance could then identify and apply this tag to all other similar clauses across the entire project. This allowed JAP to read huge quantities of documents “at a glance."

This can be further bolstered by Luminance’s Automatic Document and Clause Compliance technology which allows lawyers to set a model ‘clause’ against which all others are compared, enabling lawyers to pinpoint areas that might comply or deviate from the standard. This might be crucial for an M&A transaction for instance, where the buyer has a standard protocol for an NDA and wants to understand how this differs from the company they are acquiring.

Similarly, in the field of eDiscovery, Luminance is able to observe the lawyer as they review documents and then learn from this expertise in order to predict document relevance. Luminance can then take steps to speed up the review by highlighting to the lawyer areas that have been under-investigated. This is all displayed on an interactive ‘heatmap’ which clusters together conceptually similar documentation.

Outrun your competitors

Artificial intelligence is rapidly becoming the new norm for today’s legal industry. Not only do tools like Luminance allow lawyers to rapidly analyse huge datasets, but by allowing lawyers to identify key information at an earlier stage in their review, Luminance gives legal teams that crucial first mover advantage. This allows lawyer to get better results and become better lawyers in the process.