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The end of 'Legal-ese': ThoughtRiver Launches new AI-powered Legal Language

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  • Data scientists find legal contracts have more than 300,000 ways of expressing one statement
  • ‘Lexible’ AI software analyses four million documents to create standardised approach
  • Digitisation of analogue contract will save millions of man-hours

London, UK. 25th June, 2019: ThoughtRiver, the market leader in intelligent pre-screening, has publicly launched ‘Lexible’, a radical new legal language that will save millions of working hours every year for global businesses by standardising the interpretation and review of contracts.

Currently the legal industry suffers a drain on time and resource from ‘legal-ese’; the lack of standardisation across commercial and consumer contracts caused by the tendency of lawyers to tweak wording. Data scientists at ThoughtRiver looked at the ‘governing law clause’ (a short paragraph in most agreements) across 1.4 million documents and found lawyers had come up with 330,000 different ways of making this simple statement.

Lexible represents more than 200,000 hours of expert analysis across 4,000,000 legal documents. This has created a dictionary of reference terms, expressed as simple, universal legal questions crafted by a team of lawyers. This provides a clear picture of the details of any contract, combining Machine Learning with human legal intelligence to produce recommendations in plain English that anyone can understand.

“Currently, the whole of a contract needs to be reviewed by a human lawyer, because they simply don’t know what it says without reading it – there’s so much variance”, said Tim Pullan, founder of ThoughtRiver. “Because contracts often run to hundreds of pages, you can easily see how hundreds of millions of hours of lawyers’ time are wasted every single year. We’ve developed Lexible to save that time and immeasurably improve the entire contracting process. The AI technology will summarise every variation using the same set of data points, which translates into massive time savings.”

Global businesses are already signing up to use Lexible and digitise their currently ‘analogue’ contract process. Lexible Studio, an in-depth toolkit that allows companies to extend Lexible to meet their specific needs, has also been made available to users.

Pullan continued: “The universal design of Lexible is its true power, with the potential to become the standard contract description language. Ultimately, this will help people and businesses understand the complex agreements they are frequently asked to enter into.”

“The launch of Lexible represents a true shift in the way contracts are read and interpreted, a fresh approach,” commented Matt Meyer, CEO, Taylor Vinters. “At Taylor Vinters we’re most interested in how we can change the game with new products that solve problems which the legal industry couldn’t previously effectively address. By combining Machine Learning with human legal intelligence, ThoughtRiver have created a solution which drives consistency and removes bottlenecks, giving corporate legal users an alternative and freeing up experienced lawyers to pick up higher value parts of the process. It’s also creating valuable data for clients, which is the future of predictive legal services. Lexible is a fine example of AI having a positive and very tangible impact on the way not only lawyers work, but the ease with which non-lawyers understand the contracts they are getting into.”

Joe Stephenson, Partner, Shoosmiths, heads up the law firm’s commercial contract review and negotiation service – Spotlight – and has been working closely with ThoughtRiver to embed the AI into their offering.

“Integrating ThoughtRiver’s AI into Spotlight not only has enhanced the speed and precision of our contract reviews, but we’ll be imminently launching a new service – Spotlight AI – enabling our clients direct access to the Spotlight ‘AI brain’ we’ve created to carry out their own commercial contract reviews, saving three to four hours of review time per contract” comments Stephenson. “The launch of Lexible and the Lexible Studio will further enhance our proposition, allowing us to constantly customise our AI brain to identify issues that are most important to our clients and keep pace with evolving market practice. This is why we chose ThoughtRiver. We wanted an AI partner that had a clear roadmap to develop its technology in a way that is useful to us and our clients.”

To support the vision of simple, standardised contracts, ThoughtRiver’s Lexible partner programme will collaborate with law firms, industry thought leaders and other legal tech organisations to constantly improve and refine the Lexible framework.

Pullan concluded: “We recognised a long time ago that we couldn’t deliver a global standard of writing and reviewing contracts by ourselves. A key part of our journey is collaborating with our partners, whose invaluable contribution to the Lexible platform will help us simplify the world of contracts for all.”

ENDS

About ThoughtRiver
ThoughtRiver is a legal tech company that addresses a fundamental problem for in-house counsels and lawyers: you don’t know whether you need to read a contract without reading it. ThoughtRiver’s contract pre-screening technology uses machine learning and legal intelligence to automate the initial scan and analysis of contracts to produce a actionable recommendation on what to do next with the contract – and why. This is similar to a manual checkpoint review, only faster and provides an organisation-wide view of all contractual risk. Headquartered in Cambridge, ThoughtRiver works with in-house legal teams, general counsels and law firms, and is funded by LocalGlobe and Crane Ventures. Find out more: www.thoughtriver.com

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