Freshfields Wins New Business and Improves Efficiency by 20–40%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP ("Freshfields"), a "Global Elite" law firm headquartered in London, UK, with 27 worldwide offices, has been using Kira since September 2016 to handle a variety of projects ranging from due diligence to regulatory compliance.
Since the initial deployment, Kira has rapidly become a core technology for service delivery across the firm. As Isabel Parker, Director of Legal Innovation at Freshfields, put it, "Kira has become synonymous with innovation within the firm." The ability to customize the platform using the existing knowledge base within Freshfields has helped the firm to tailor its service offering to clients’ needs in a timely and cost-effective manner.
documents that required organization by contract type and allocation to appropriate reviewers
efficiency gains to provide a high quality review within a tight deadline
For Freshfields, the differentiating factor of Kira is the flexibility to use the platform on all use cases where visibility into contract provisions is critical—even when Kira has not been pre-trained to extract the specific provisions or language to be reviewed.
Kira can be configured around our own custom provisions, using our knowledge base, ensuring that it is perfectly tailored to clients’ needs. It complements our own legal expertise, and will further enhance the quality of work delivered to clients while helping to free up the Legal Services Centre team to focus on more complex areas of work.
A Representative Matter
For example, on a recent matter, Freshfields was tasked with reviewing contracts with healthcare professionals and medical facilities for a German client in the healthcare sector following a change in German anti-bribery and corruption law to assess its level of exposure.
The new law made it an offense, under certain conditions, for healthcare companies to invite professionals to conferences, sponsor training and hospitality, and/or offer payments in relation to observational studies. Freshfields needed to identify any potentially problematic interactions, represented in their contracts, and provide a rapid assessment of the client’s level of exposure.
Kira has become synonymous with innovation within the firm.
In order to assess and measure its client’s level of exposure, the Freshfields team needed to first organize an extremely complex document set of over 11,500 documents by contract type and allocate the material contracts to the appropriate reviewers. Reviewers would then need to abstract potentially problematic provisions from each of the contracts into a master document that would provide Freshfields’ client with an assessment of its potential exposure to the regulatory changes. Given the tight deadline, sheer volume of contracts and potential for severe penalties if not deadlines not met, the Freshfields project team, in consultation with the Freshfields’ Innovation Team, knew they would need to use software to deliver a cost-effective, thorough and timely review.
How Kira Helped
With the help of Kira, Freshfields was able to tackle this project quickly and efficiently. The matter team used Kira’s intuitive machine learning feature, Quick Study, to teach Kira to automatically recognize and extract the required provisions in German and create the necessary reports for the client.
Using a training set, the associates, in collaboration with Freshfields’ Legal Service Centre, taught Kira to identify the titles and types of the contracts (which ranged from Loan Agreements to Maintenance and Service Agreements). Once the training was complete, Kira automatically classified the remaining documents (not used in the training set) by the denoted contract type. This enabled them to quickly organize all the documents by contract type, making it easy for the team to assign the relevant contracts to the appropriate reviewers.
The associates also taught Kira to recognize six German "boilerplate" provisions, and to recognize certain provisions that might trigger a breach in law (for example, certain discounts or interest "holidays"). Once the training set was complete, they processed the remaining documents in Kira, with the Legal Services Center team reviewing the results (which are extracted into a summary chart within Kira) and passing selected documents to the associates for review.
Kira is an important part of our wider innovation agenda, which is driven by our commitment to outstanding client service. The significant benefits in speed of delivery and cost-effectiveness showcased by Kira on this matter is a great example of how contract review software is enabling our Legal Services Centre to deliver even greater value to clients around the world.
The finalized results could then be exported into Word or Excel format for review. And with the built-in Analysis tab in Kira, Freshfields was able to see a snapshot of the exposure across large numbers of contracts at once, and thus provide its client with an assessment of the level of exposure they faced.
With Kira, Freshfields experienced efficiency gains of 20–40% on the project and was able to provide its client with high quality review within the tight deadline. The firm was able to win additional work from the same client by leveraging the knowledge and know-how that had been captured in the initial review, including an additional contract review project of more than 5,000 German documents and 800 Spanish documents. And now, building further upon what they have taught Kira, Freshfields plans to make a similar service to available to its other clients as well.
Joint Managing Partner, Stephan Eilers, explained, "Kira is an important part of our wider innovation agenda, which is driven by our commitment to outstanding client service. The significant benefits in speed of delivery and cost-effectiveness showcased by Kira on this matter is a great example of how contract review software is enabling our Legal Services Centre to deliver even greater value to clients around the world."