Taylor Vinters partners with contract intelligence startup ThoughtRiver

Just four months after it invested in legal technology startup Pekama, Taylor Vinters has announced a strategic partnership with contract intelligence startup ThoughtRiver and will this week begin beta testing its platform across the law firm’s international client base.

ThoughtRiver’s contract intelligence software applies a contract risk evaluation tool that scans and interprets information from written contracts used in commercial risk assessments and produces visualisations of the potential risks and other issues.

By quickly identifying risks from the structured information of a contract and presenting them in a visual format – all compiled in a central online dashboard – corporate in-house chief financial officers, general counsel and other contracting functions can make better decisions, more quickly.

Taylor Vinters has invested an undisclosed amount in ThoughtRiver, which will be co-located at the law firm’s offices in Cambridge, London and Singapore, as well as providing testing and other support services. Tim Pullan, chief executive of ThoughtRiver, was formerly Taylor Vinters’ head of technology and outsourcing in Asia. He founded ThoughtRiver in 2011 and has subsequently been developing the technology business with support from Taylor Vinters.

Pullan said: “The opportunity is the productivity gap.  It took the same amount of time 20 years ago to review a contract as it does today. While other professions such as accountancy and marketing have found ways of producing outcomes faster, cheaper and better using automation tools and daring to rethink things, the legal profession lags behind. This is not about replacing lawyers with robots; it’s about freeing up lawyers to focus on more valuable activities.

“By harnessing powerful analytical software, ThoughtRiver catches compliance and commercial risks that could be otherwise missed, brings the data alive with compelling visuals and puts powerful quantitative insights into the hands of risk management and legal staff.  More meaningful data and insight means more influence for corporate counsel in performance improvement and strategic decisions.”

The visualisations provided in the ThoughtRiver dashboard include risk scoring; clause scoring; and risk heat maps and gauge graphics, which help contracting teams to communicate risk information in a far more compelling and engaging way. In addition to commencing software testing with Taylor Vinters’ international clients, ThoughtRiver will begin trials with select corporate clients in Singapore and the UK in the next few months.

Taylor Vinters is quickly establishing itself as a legal innovator having just four months ago invested in cloud-based collaboration software startup Pekama.

The Cambridge-based startup, which last year closed a second over-subscribed funding round, allows lawyers, clients and third parties to communicate in real-time and eradicate email congestion, centralising access to legal documents and keeping clients up to date on the progress of each legal matter. The platform also populates data feeds with legal update feeds from IP offices and Companies House.

Ed Turner, managing partner at Taylor Vinters, said at the time of that investment: “Our investment in Pekama represents a considerable shift in the traditional law firm business model we see elsewhere, which only commits capital to initiatives the firms owns or accesses exclusively. Taylor Vinters is proud to be different; we believe in collaboratively nurturing innovative ideas so they can flourish for the betterment of the industry.

“LegalTech is a burgeoning sector, akin to FinTech, FashTech, AdTech and the ‘internet of things’, all fast-paced sectors where Taylor Vinters has seen increased client demand across all of our offices. This investment in Pekama is one way we show our ongoing commitment to participating in the Cambridge innovation ecosystem, supporting start-ups with high-growth potential and connecting them to our broad network across the UK and into Asia Pacific via Singapore.”