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Why the sky is the limit for today’s LegalTech market

30 July 2021 | Eleanor Weaver, CEO, Luminance

Covid-19 fuelled the digital transformation of the legal sector, with lawyers turning to technology that would allow them to gain maximum insight into their documents, unearth crucial information and deliver strategic, valuable advice to their clients and businesses. In this article, I examine why the appetite for innovative technology like Luminance continues to grow within the legal sector.

The explosion in data and legaltech

With the explosion in data over the last twenty years, it is no longer feasible for lawyers to manually sift through the volume of documents involved in an M&A transaction or an investigation. Legal technology like Luminance is therefore providing a real solution for lawyers: using supervised and unsupervised machine learning to read and form an understanding of datasets, Luminance can instantly surface crucial information like clauses, document types, languages and anomalies, helping lawyers to respond rapidly and proactively to key legal issues.

This appetite for next-generation technology could not have been clearer than during the past year, with Luminance seeing a 40% increase in the uptake of its technology in 2020 alone. Driving this growth was law firms and in-house teams turning to technology to complete unexpected and time-sensitive Covid-related reviews. For instance, the world’s largest law firm, Dentons, used Luminance’s AI during the height of the pandemic to identify a critical yet unexpected force majeure clause within a set of real estate contracts, effectively nullifying the contracts on the first day of the review.

Meeting client expectations with Luminance

But as we continue into 2021, it’s not just lawyers who are actively embracing innovative technology. Indeed, clients are also growing wise to the benefits of AI technology and are demanding their lawyers embrace it. Take the example of ‘Global Top 100’ law firm, Eversheds Sutherland Italy, who recently adopted Luminance to meet their clients’ ‘AI expectations’. Riccardo Bianchini Riccardi, Executive Partner and Head of Corporate at Eversheds Sutherland Italy, said: “Our clients expect us to be using AI on their legal matters and Luminance will help us to deliver added insight to the advice we give, in a fraction of the time.”

The new dawn of tech incubators

Numerous established law firms have already introduced forms of legal technology incubators, including the likes of ‘Magic Circle’ firms like Allen & Overy with their legal tech incubator ‘Fuse’ and Mishcon de Reya with their programme ‘MDR LAB’.

This interest in building new technologies and innovating legal work is starting to make its mark- indeed, just the other week, UK Magic Circle law firm Clifford Chance announced the launch of its research and development hub which is focused on developing products that can help lawyers work digitally. Bas Boris Visser, global head of innovation and business change at Clifford Chance, said about the move: “The business of law is changing faster than ever, and pandemic disruption in the wider business world has set the stage for accelerating demand for digital legal products.”

This is just the beginning

Legaltech is transforming the work of lawyers across the globe, with over 300 organisations using Luminance’s AI platform. Crucially, innovative legal technology is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ but a fundamental necessity, allowing lawyers to proactively respond to critical business and legal issues and keep abreast of an evolving legal landscape.