Over the last decade, embracing innovation has been integral within the Nordic legal process. Driving efficiency into legal service delivery has long been a key priority for lawyers in the region, so it is no surprise that the Nordics have consistently been among the first to embrace new technologies in order to meet this objective. Indeed, a study by ALTNordic showed that 55% of General Counsel in the Nordics were already using legal automation technology in 2020. Here, we take a closer look at how lawyers in the Nordics are embracing AI technology in particular.
One key challenge facing lawyers in the Nordics is the geographically fragmented region and client market in which it operates. With a cumulative population of just over 27 million spread across five countries, legal professionals must operate across different legal markets, languages, and jurisdictions where there is little to no legal unity. For instance, Norway and Iceland are not part of the European Union.
Furthermore, the explosion of data creation and storage (163 zettabytes of data are expected by 2025 - ten times the figure of 2016), demonstrates that there are simply not enough legal professionals available in the Nordics for the sector to withstand this pressure. This issue is further compounded by enhanced global regulation, with GDPR remaining an enormous compliance responsibility for a region that frequently engages in cross-border business with its European neighbours. Despite Norway’s absence from the EU, its membership to the European Economic Area (EEA) means that GDPR is still applicable in the country. Non-compliance is therefore a major concern for any legal professional. Indeed, in 2021 alone, data protection authorities imposed fines of more than €1bn on businesses for GDPR breaches.
The Rise of AI for Lawyers in the Nordics
One way in which Nordic firms are using AI to tackle these challenges is through Luminance’s AI-powered end-to-end eDiscovery platform. Luminance’s AI is language and jurisdiction agnostic, making it ideally suited to Nordic legal teams. Because of the Nordic population size, investment in legal technology is necessary to improve the efficiency of smaller teams with less manpower and resource, leading Svein Gerhard, Partner at BA-HR, to enthuse that Luminance’s AI “will raise the bar for how document review is done in every law firm”.
Luminance can help automate the review of vast amounts of legal documentation, using supervised and unsupervised machine learning to identify the key features across contracts (clauses, dates, party names, governing laws, etc.). This is crucial for smaller legal teams, allowing them to understand their dataset at a glance and drill down into specific areas of interest. Ultimately, this means less time is spent wading through documents to find information and lawyers can instead focus resource on analysing what the key features of the documents mean for their client or business.
In another case, Luminance was used by Swedish firm Norburg & Scherp on a high-profile litigation project involving 20 lawyers and forensic experts. Immediately after document upload, the AI-based de-duplication and data culling widgets reduced 500 GB of data to just 80GB. Norburg & Scherp estimate that they were able to work 10 times faster using Luminance, once again allowing more time to be spent on the high-value analytical work.
AI in Action: Visma
Leading European business software provider, Visma, chose to adopt Luminance as part of its M&A due diligence reviews. This was to support the Oslo-based company’s M&A growth strategy, which saw it complete a record 42 acquisitions in 2021. Due to the consequent increase in the legal team’s workload, which involved reviewing large volumes of data when assessing potential acquisitions, Visma deployed Luminance to gain unparalleled insight into their target’s contractual landscapes. Luminance’s ability to read and form an understanding of contracts enabled the platform to highlight key clauses relevant to due diligence exercise, such as assignments, change of control, and limitation liability. Furthermore, Luminance’s ability to highlight anomalies in contracts, such as deviation in clause wording or missing pages of agreements, would allow Visma to rapidly identify potential risk. As the only language agnostic tool on the market, Luminance can work in any language from day one. For Visma, whose offices are based across Europe and Latin America, Luminance’s language and jurisdiction agnostic capability ensures the seamless review and analysis of documents in Dutch, English, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.
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