Dentons employs AI to boost Brexit advice


Jansen: Nextlaw Labs was created for exactly this type of challenge

Jansen: Nextlaw Labs was created for exactly this type of challenge

Global firm Dentons has made its play to be a key adviser to companies on the impact of Brexit by developing a cognitive search engine tool that can be used for Brexit-related contract reviews

It is also working on a software application that automatically creates a ‘Brexit action plan’ for clients based on their key areas of risk exposure.

Dentons and Nextlaw Labs – the IT development company launched by the firm last year – are collaborating with artificial intelligence software business RAVN Systems to use an application of its applied cognitive engine (ACE) robot.

The technology will automatically review high volumes of contract documentation to identify provisions that could potentially be impacted by the UK’s secession from the EU.

The firm said that once contracts have been interrogated according to pre-determined ‘touch points’ using a bespoke algorithm that has been developed by RAVN with input from Dentons, a report is produced highlighting areas that merit further investigation and where appropriate giving legal advice as to the steps they should consider.

Separately, Dentons and Nextlaw Labs are the ‘action plan’ software. Clients will be able to log into a secure website that will ask them to select the key issues their businesses are primarily concerned with, such as data protection, the environment or immigration. Based on this information, an action plan will be produced that identifies concrete steps clients need to take in order to understand their exposure and plan an appropriate response.

These latest moves come on top of the launch of ‘Brexit Connect’, a secure online portal enabling clients to access information such as briefing notes on the impact of Brexit across different sectors; materials from the firm’s internal ‘Brexit Bootcamp’ fee-earner training sessions; recordings of webinars that have been delivered to clients across North America, Europe, Asia and the UK; third-party source material; an events calendar; and key partner contacts.

Jeremy Cohen, Dentons’ CEO for the UK, Middle East and Africa Region, said: “Brexit will lead many of our clients into uncharted territory, and our experience since the referendum is that both domestic and overseas companies are looking for legal advice that ‘cuts through the noise’ and helps to deliver practical and cost-effective guidance with respect to the many complex challenges that leaving the EU will present them with.”

Dan Jansen, CEO of Nextlaw Labs, added: “Nextlaw Labs was created for exactly this type of challenge. By drawing on feedback from lawyers across Dentons’ regulatory and risk group covering industries such as financial services, IP, media, transport, environment and telecoms, we are collecting ideas on products and services that will help them to deliver better service, and then engaging the technology community to develop innovative solutions.”

Earlier this month, alternative business structure Radiant Law started giving away a Microsoft Word-based tool to help in-house counsel check the impact of Brexit on their commercial contracts.

Berwin Leighton Paisner signed up to ACE last year. For a detailed look at this technology and what it means for the legal market, see our latest feature: AI in the law – The industrialisation of cognition.




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