What being named as a Gartner Cool Vendor in AI means for us (and more importantly for the future of law)

Noory Bechor, CEO LawGeex

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We are incredibly proud to announce today that LawGeex has been selected as a Gartner Cool Vendor.

Every year, Gartner selects tech companies with a product or service that is “interesting, new and innovative”. More importantly, the global consultancy also flags to the business world major new disruptive sectors they need to know about.

The distinction of being Gartner Cool Vendor has been achieved in the past by names such as Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Cloudera, and Instagram—then operating in disruptive spaces they created, but which we now take for granted as obvious leaders and benchmarks.

This year for the first time ever Gartner recognized legal Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies making a “profound efficiency impact on the way legal services are delivered.” (Cool Vendors in AI for Legal Affairs, 2017). See the full press release here.

LawGeex is proud to be named in this first ever report, along with three other great legal AI companies: Neota Logic, Onna and Ravel Law. LawGeex was selected for its success in shortening contract approval processes, the innovation of our customized ‘playbooks’ and continuous improvement of our AI engine. Gartner points out the significance of these advances for businesses, including:

  • corporate compliance and legal teams (needing to manage many contracts);
  • procurement managers (requiring fast execution of contracts) and
  • contract review lawyers (needing reviewed based on standards imposed by their company, client or regulator).

Main takeaway: AI in Legal has now arrived

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More fundamentally, the inclusion of Legal AI into the canon by the world’s leading research and advisory company is a marker in the ground. The legal AI genie cannot be put back in the bottle. Gartner analysts adds that by 2020, the current amount of manual billable legal work will be reduced by 15%. Gartner recommends that to remain competitive, businesses need to take a good look at these “innovative solutions supporting contract analysis, legal research, knowledge management and case-predictive analytics.”

The amazing work being done by AI players changing these daily practices of law is echoed in  The In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyers Guide. Through research we found more than 100 must-know companies in LegalTech, 40 of which are AI solutions (shown in our infographic).

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Legal AI has arrived. So what next?

Having now helped bring legal AI into the bright shining lights of recognition, Gartner’s analysts will return to inspect this new sector in a year. They will assess, as they have done in these reports over the years, what has changed—both in advances, new players, innovation and shifts in mindset. Gartner objectively points out that one of the main challenges for all companies in this new space is a “conservative audience” when it comes to new technology adoption.

In a year, I expect to see double or triple the number of players in legal AI. We will see remarkable advances, both from current players shown in our infographic, and yet unknown entrepreneurs arriving. There will be more shared knowhow, best practice and collaboration as highlighted recently as a major theme in the CLOC conference. The tech, such as AI, will only continue to advance and improve with greater adoption.

Gartner: be sure to start your journey

The Gartner report makes a powerful suggestion to its thousands of clients: start your LegalTech journey in a small way, but make sure to start. Gartner recommends: “Begin with the identification of a set of business problems and use cases. These projects should have clear statements on what they need to achieve in terms of business outcomes and how the goals will be measured. Early projects that were successful tended to focus on a small number of use cases or processes.”

We have seen some incredible results with clients adopting this approach, in our case for instance working with us first to automate the Big Five energy draining contracts (the top five most popular contracts run through LawGeex’s each day are NDA, service agreements, SaaS agreements, software Licenses and Purchase Order Contracts).Overall legal teams are in a much more excited place than they were a year ago .Our clients  are working to change their processes and their mindset, seeing many  immediate enhancements, but recognizing the need to walk before they can run. I believe these ‘early’ adopter lawyers will see some major benefits now (savings in time and money), but will truly see the fruits of their labor exploding in the years to come when they are more competitive as a legal function and as a business.

The stamp of approval provided by the leading research and advisory firm today, may accelerate many more lawyers into seeing the power of these new and innovative solutions (our guide would be a great starting point for those looking at such solutions).

The hope is that Gartner will return to this space next year to find lawyers even more energized by the possibilities at their disposal and this exciting new chapter in legal services.  Now that really would be cool.

Noory Bechor CEO and Founder of LawGeex is a man on a mission: to revolutionize the legal world through innovative technology. Noory combines his entrepreneurial spirit and years of experience as an international commercial lawyer to help other lawyers #lovelegal again, making their work easy, efficient and impactful.

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