DeepJudge launches natural language search solution for DMS and hires Kennan Samman as CRO

DeepJudge has formally launched a KnowledgeSearch solution to enable legal professionals to search their document management system using natural language, as the Zurich-founded startup also announces the appointment of former Kira Systems global sales director Kennan Samman as chief revenue officer to kick-start its global expansion.

DeepJudge was founded by ‘ex-Googlers’ Paulina Grnarova, Yannic Kilcher and Kevin Roth, and is supported by advisors Jan Puzicha, who founded and scaled Recommind (now OpenText) as CTO, and Steve Obenski, who was Kira’s first non-founder executive. 

“Across the globe, law firms and legal departments have accumulated hundreds of millions of documents containing decades of invaluable expertise, but they wrestle with error-prone keyword searches to surface relevant information or resort to sending firm-wide email inquiries,” said Grnarova, CEO of DeepJudge, who has appeared on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. “That’s where we come in. We connect legal professionals to their internal documents, eliminating the hassle of finding and creating time for higher-value tasks such as strategy development, client engagement and more, ultimately increasing their productivity and revenue generation.” 

DeepJudge’s Knowledge Search is powered by the company’s proprietary Colinear Technology, which we’re told blends the capabilities of semantic and keyword search. It uses a proprietary large language model to understand the content within each document “regardless of document type”, and enables legal professionals to search in their own words. The DeepJudge team say that each document is automatically classified into an extensive taxonomy for easy filtering and AI-predicted tags enrich existing metadata. 

Grnarova told Legal IT Insider over email: “We use our own proprietary LLM trained to understand natural language and on top of that comprehend legal concepts. Here, we really utilize our background (time spent at Google working on search + PhD in AI) to achieve very high quality, while still being able to scale and search over the full DMS. This is a problem that has not been successfully solved so far.”

When asked how the solution ensures that users find only the most relevant content, Grnarova said: “Our search engine understands the intent behind the query which makes it much more precise. In addition, it can (automatically) filter by any metadata that is in the DMS. On top of that we superimpose a lot of additional structured information via AI-predicted tags, we classify each document into extensive taxonomies, detect redlines, executed versions, duplicates etc which even further enhance the experience of finding a precedent or answer within hundreds of millions of documents.” We have yet to see a demo of the solution.

The founders say that unlike some AI technology, DeepJudge’s Knowledge Search ensures that no information is shared with external third parties, respecting existing security protocols whether deployed on-premise or in a secure cloud environment. The tool automatically integrates to the DMS via a secure single sign-on, including iManage Work and Microsoft SharePoint, maintaining native ethical walls and access permissions.

“We’ve built a truly robust solution using the latest research on LLMs. With the ability to scale to hundreds of millions of documents while ensuring absolute privacy for sensitive data, we created an intuitive search experience that integrates effortlessly into existing systems,” said Kilcher, DeepJudge’s CTO, who played a leading role in the development of OpenAssistant, an open source alternative to ChatGPT.

DeepJudge has developed a strong presence in Switzerland since its founding in 2021. The company is backed by investors such as Dr. Felix Ehrat, ex-general counsel of Novartis, Daniel Sauter, ex-chairman at Julius Bär, Dr. Christian Wenger, partner at Wenger & Vieli, Dr. Thomas Hofmann, former director of Google and Professor in AI at ETH Zurich, and Dr. Thomas Duebendorfer, serial entrepreneur and president of SICTIC.

Samman, who has been part of Litera since its acquisition of Kira at the end of 2021, has been brought in to spearhead DeepJudge’s expansion initiatives globally.  

He told us: “When I first met Paulina, Kevin, and Yannic, naturally I was immediately blown away by their achievements in the fields of Machine Learning and AI. Each of them with their own unique successes. So, the first thing that captured my attention was them as founders. Then I looked at the problem they are solving and there is no one solving this problem in a secure, scalable and meaningful way today. So the second thing, the business problem, check. Finally, the tech, it blew me away. They truly built the first-of-it’s-kind knowledge search that enables legal professionals to search their entire document management systems effortlessly using natural language. For these three reasons is why I was attracted to them, and am honored they would have me part of their journey.”