Over the past decade, the demand for eDiscovery software has grown dramatically, and there is now a multi-billion dollar market for it. As such, a lot of legal industry people are familiar with eDiscovery software. Contract analysis software has been in the midst of its own little boomlet. New companies keep entering the market, and at least a couple businesses in our space are making money. If you are more familiar with eDiscovery than contract analysis software, this post is for you.
| Tagged Buyer's Guide
As software automates more white collar work, does this mean there will be less white collar jobs? This weekend's New York Times Magazine features Nathanial Popper's interesting article "The Robots Are Coming for Wall Street." It is primarily a case study of Kensho, a heavily-funded fintech startup that builds software "capable of answering complex financial questions posed in plain English." In even plainer English, according to the article, Kensho appears to automatically create research reports which previously might have taken days of human effort to create (or not been done at all, a critical point). The article posits that as "Hundreds of financial analysts are being replaced with software", white collar workers are in a lot of trouble.
This past Monday, I spoke on a panel at the opening of LegalX at MaRS. LegalX is MaRS' newest industry cluster, focused on connecting technologists, designers, coders, engineers and lawyers to drive change in the legal sector. LegalX has been put together by Aron Solomon and Jason Moyse. There was a good crowd out for the event, apparently some 200 people.
| Tagged Kira speaking
Watson is almost certainly the most significant technology ever to come to law, and it will give lawyers permission to think innovatively and open up the conversation about what is possible in a field that has been somewhat “stuck.”
—"10 predictions about how IBM’s Watson will impact the legal profession", Paul Lippe and Daniel Martin Katz, ABA Journal
As an M&A lawyer, I did due diligence and supervised it. From that experience, I know that virtual data rooms are central to the M&A process. An early step in a company putting itself up for sale is loading documents into a VDR, so that deal teams can learn what they need to about the target.
While there are a lot of companies that offer VDR functionality, Intralinks stands out; it is a dominant player for good reason. Intralinks originated the VDR market and have stayed at the leading edge of it technologically. They are fully focused on M&A, and know it deeply. They are also a core part of of being a junior M&A professional: I suspect that many lawyers and bankers have learned they were staffed on a new deal from receiving an automated message from Intralinks that have been added to a new Dealspace.
Today, we're ecstatic to announce that we're partnering with Intralinks to provide a better due diligence experience. Intralinks is the leading place to store diligence documents; Kira Diligence Engine is the fastest and most accurate way to review and analyze diligence documents. Together, M&A professionals can do better reviews in less time, and with less pain. This complete storage to review offering is great for users. In the words of Matt Porzio, vice president of strategy and product marketing at Intralinks, “Together, Intralinks Dealspace and Kira Diligence Engine help ensure high-stakes transactions are brought to a fast close. The partnership will save our customers time and expense and help prevent costly human error during due diligence.”
We couldn't be happier about this combined offering. Click here to read the full press release about the partnership.
Sunday, at the South By Southwest Interactive Conference, Nicole Bradick of CuroLegal and I presented on "Will Your Next Lawyer Be A Machine?" It—and SXSW in general—were quite fun. Based on the lots of questions we got, our audience was engaged. Here are our slides:
Prior to co-founding DiligenceEngine, I was an M&A lawyer at a leading New York City firm. I did due diligence contract review myself, I supervised due diligence, and I spoke with people at other firms who did and supervised due diligence. Based on this experience, I realized there was a better way to do due diligence contract review, got together with Alex (who has a PhD in computer science from a leading program), and we set to work under the "DiligenceEngine" banner. "DiligenceEngine" perfectly fit what we were building: our software helped lawyers do due diligence contract review faster and more accurately. We have seen real use of our system as a diligence tool:
I've been a longtime reader of Lawyerist, and it was very nice to get to walk Sam Glover through trying our system. M&A due diligence contract review is not something he's ever had to do, but he got how there are lots of instances when lawyers review contracts to extract data, and how our system could help with these. He found DiligenceEngine "really a pleasure to use." Here's his nice writeup:
Mitch Kowalski is a favorite legal market commentator of ours, and we're blushing at his kind Financial Post writeup of our recent team additions announcement. "Canadian legal tech darling"! Check it out:
DiligenceEngine is looking for a financial analyst in Toronto to help us manage our growth. Our contract review software is used by professionals to accelerate corporate transactions while reducing risk of errors. Our clients include some of the world’s largest corporations and professional services firms.