BCLP talks Kira: Adoption, value, and the roll out to high volume work

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner announced yesterday (25 April) that it is embedding Kira Systems’ data extraction tool within its high-volume work streams globally, but what does that mean? We asked innovation solutions director (EMEA) Nick Pryor how Kira is being used already in the firm, what adoption is like, and how use of the technology is being extended.

When did you first start using Kira? 

Both legacy firms (BLP and Bryan Cave) had been using Kira in different contexts, on an ad hoc project-by-project basis, for several years. We have used it alongside several similar technologies (the most publicised of which was RAVN). Whilst we will continue to use a diversity of technologies to meet specific needs, today’s announcement confirms our commitment to a deeper level of adoption of Kira specifically.   We feel like Kira has reached a point of maturity as a technology, and a breadth of capability in terms of its pre-trained Smart Fields across multiple areas of practice, that this is the right time to take that step.

Which departments in the firm have used it to date?

Our Corporate (Commercial) and Real Estate departments have been the primary users so far, though we are currently working with stakeholders across virtually all practice groups in multiple geographies.  We have a wide range of initiatives underway to explore creative opportunities for applying the technology into different contexts, working closely with our Innovation Champions, our Kira Champions, and our Knowledge Development Lawyers.

Roughly how many transactions has it been used on so far?  Has adoption been higher or lower than expected?

The truth is that it’s been higher in some areas than expected, and more gradual in others.  We’ve not tracked statistics across all locations – with around 1,500 lawyers across multiple continents, we’re trying to find a balance in how far to centralise usage, to manage and control best practices, and how much to democratise the technology by making it widely available to support all potential pockets of interest and opportunity.   Suffice to say our Kira Champions are being kept very busy, and we’ve been extremely happy with the rate of uptake.

How would you assess the value of Kira’s technology to the firm so far?

Kira, and data extraction tools like it, are self-evidently useful tools for volume contract review workflows.  So there’s an immediate value proposition there. However, we also take a longer view on the value proposition – improving our capability to capture and manage data in a consistent and structured format has multiple payoffs for our clients, and for the firm.

Which areas are you now rolling it out to? 

Our highest volume work streams are our due diligence and bulk review projects – often those supported by our fantastic teams in Manchester and St Louis.  These have been our initial areas of focus, because the opportunity is so clear.  But we are also working closely with colleagues across the globe; in the past two weeks alone, I’ve been working with teams in Asia and in Russia to explore how they might be able to leverage Kira to support current projects.