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The rise of the AI-powered In-House legal team

14 May 2021 | Eleanor Weaver, CEO, Luminance

The remit of in-house counsel has seen a remarkable change in recent decades. Whereas previously, General Counsels and their teams were only expected to deliver support on specialist legal issues, managing risk and compliance as well as formulating business strategy has come to form the job’s most basic architecture. Conducting these types of reviews without assistance is a vast drain on resources, whilst outsourcing projects to law firms is costly. Embracing AI technology like Luminance is empowering in-house teams of all sizes to ensure compliance within their organisation with fast-moving regulatory changes, save costs and drive business growth.

In-house legal teams in the age of data explosion

With the advent of the explosion in corporate data, in-house legal teams are now reviewing vast amounts of documentation every day. This is especially true of in-house counsel that operate within global organisations across multiple jurisdictions, who must find a way of understanding their contractual or legal landscape. All too often, information is siloed in different repositories such as on laptop hard drives or within email accounts – gaining an accurate overview of a company’s contractual landscape can be challenging.

In addition, the introduction of data privacy laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has meant that stringent measures are being placed on organisations with respect to regulatory compliance. For instance, failure to comply with the GDPR can result in fines of up to 4% of a company’s annual global turnover, or 20 million euros (whichever is greater). A serious example of this was when in 2018, British Airways compromised 500,000 of its customers’ personal data and were subsequently fined £183.39 million ($230 million). So now, in-house teams must not only ensure they are aware of the information they hold, but thoroughly examine it to ensure compliance with changing regulations.

To cope with this shift, many large multinational enterprises have developed global in-house legal functions, resembling the kind of internal structures as seen in multinational law firms which work across several jurisdictions. Indeed, in-house teams are now interacting with all sections of business operations, whether that be sales, finance, IT as well as risk and compliance teams. Adopting technology that allows in-house teams to work closely and collaborate with other parts of a business is therefore critical.

Luminance’s cutting-edge AI is revolutionising in-house legal processes

With Luminance, in-house teams can fulfil a whole spectrum of legal needs within a single, streamlined platform. For instance, Luminance’s contract analysis tool ‘Diligence’ can be applied to everyday contract reviews including the review of NDAs, employment contracts and supplier agreements as well as risk and compliance work, such as Brexit or LIBOR reviews. One example is Delta Capita, a top financial services business, who are using Luminance to review and remediate financial contracts tied to the LIBOR benchmark in preparation for its impending dissolution.

Beyond contract analysis, Luminance’s AI-powered e-Discovery tool has been used by in-house teams, including firms such as the information security provider, Ward Solutions, to complete Data Subject Access Requests arising from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). With Luminance automatically identifying Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as party names, addresses and security numbers, the technology allows Ward Solutions to analyse vast datasets in record time and maintain maximum compliance, whilst also reducing overall costs.

With Luminance drastically reducing the amount of time and resource required for a review, in-house teams no longer have to outsource routine work to external providers, saving them a vast amount of money. Moreover, by allowing in-house teams to have more oversight over and insight into internal processes, AI is actually enabling in-house teams to collaborate and work more cohesively with other parts of a business. For instance, by having a more efficient way of reviewing and managing customer agreements, in-house teams can work with sales to flag which sales contracts do not contain auto-renewal clauses and when they are due to expire, in turn driving business growth.

In-house legal teams: the new disruptors?

Tech-savvy in-house teams will be a force to watch in the coming years, as they increasingly adopt next-generation technology allowing them to conduct a huge array of legal reviews, save time, money – and become key business enablers in the process.