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Riverview Law invests in artificial intelligence research

Partners with University of Liverpool to further automate legal work 

7 January 2015

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Riverview Law has partnered with the University of Liverpool to leverage its artificial intelligence (AI) expertise.

The knowledge transfer partnership gives the alternative legal services provider intellectual property ownership rights to the technology.

"If you go from litigation on one end all the way through the M&A on the other, and consider everything in-between, there are different parts of those processes and advisory work that lend themselves significantly to automation and AI," Riverview's CEO, Karl Chapman, told Managing Partner.

The areas covered will go beyond standard document review and will look to automate workflow processes and create visualised analytics.

The aim is to automate some of the cognitive abilities of knowledge workers to provide in-house legal teams at large organisations with "intelligent decision support tools".

"We're looking to make our customers' lives and our own teams' lives easier, so that they can focus on doing what they have been trained to do, which is to provide pragmatic commercial legal advice," said Chapman.

News of the partnership follows Riverview's recent launch of software modules to help in-house legal teams in large organisations to better manage matters, evolve their operating models and improve their effectiveness and efficiency.

Under its agreement with the University of Liverpool, Riverview has access to the university's computer science research in areas such as AI, text processing, network analysis, computational argumentation and data mining.

It will give Riverview and its clients the ability to automate end-to-end processes and to make quick, regular changes to the technology according to their evolving needs.

"This is the holy grail of technology," commented Chapman. "Our platforms are highly configurable, such that knowledge workers can do it - you don't have to be a professional IT developer - you or I could do it with one day's training. You could create end-to-end workflow processes and all the analytics would come out of it."

Big data analytics and visualisation is another important output of the technology, enabling users to leverage "the power of data and the way in which we should be using it".

Certain details of the agreement between Riverview and the university - including profit-sharing arrangements - are confidential.

But, Chapman confirmed that Riverview owns the intellectual property for the technology and is looking to license it to in-house legal departments.

Law firms could also license the technology platform via Riverview's new technology business, which it plans to set up as a separate entity.

For Chapman, there is little risk in sharing this technology with his firm's competitors.

"The thing about technology is that, if you and I were given words and were told to write a book, we would still use the same technology to work, but we would write different books. It's the same with our technology - we will license it to different firms, but everyone will use it in different ways," he said.






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