Three leading City law firms have joined a high-powered international consortium to launch a platform that aims to bring artificial intelligence (AI) and smart contracts within the reach of other firms and set industry standards for their use.
Clifford Chance is co-chairing the consortium with US-based Latham & Watkins. The vice-chair is fellow US firm Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.
Fellow magic circle firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters are also members of the 12-firm group, along with other top US practices such as Skadden Arps and Cravath Swaine & Moore.
The platform, known as Reynen Court, was founded by former Cravath associate Andrew D Klein.
It described itself as “a services automation platform designed to assist law firms in deploying heavy computing applications efficiently and securely”.
Paul Greenwood, Clifford Chance’s chief information officer, confirmed to Legal Futures that the platform would “basically” operate as ‘software as a service’ (SAAS) – a model in which software is centrally hosted and licensed on a subscription basis.
He added: “There will be the platform itself and then apps on the platform that firms would be able to subscribe to in a couple of different ways.”
In a statement, Reynen Court said: “[The platform] aims to facilitate law firms to manage the implementation of software applications while maintaining a secure hosting and storage solution for all firm and client content.
“By setting common standards for how lawyers interact with applications, as well as how data is managed, the platform intends to help firms save time and money in certifying and deploying new applications.
“Vendors can also save time and money building applications that can be readily adopted by firms.”
Mr Klein said: “We are dedicated to enabling major law firms to accelerate adoption of AI, smart contracts, and other new technologies…
“Ultimately, we want to help law firms and vendors achieve a higher degree of interoperability between and among software applications by developing common data systems and communication protocols that will facilitate the emergence of new business models as firms increasingly integrate AI in the work they do .”
Mr Greenwood said Clifford Chance’s strategy was to invest in smart technology alongside its legal expertise.
He added: “However, as the number of technologies and their adoption grows, to remain efficient and secure they need to be managed and integrated smoothly and carefully.
“Reynen Court’s innovative platform will aim to bring an industry standard to the legal sector.”