Legal IT Latest: Your Friday round up of all the week’s news 

Welcome to the legal tech weekend. Here’s some of the week’s biggest news including:

  • Kirkland & Ellis faces class action for MOVEit data breach
  • Filevine launches DMS with very punchy announcement
  • Draftwise launches Markup by Draftwise with lots of law firm backing
  • Lexis+AI is generally available for UK customers
  • Document verification vendor Atticus raises £5.6m in first fund round
  • Canadian-founded ‘AI for litigators’ platform Alexi raises a US $11m Series A
  • FirmPilot raises $7m
  • Sirion Acquires Eigen Technologies
  • Ascertus partners with ActiveNav to help firms manage dark data
  • Aderant partners with BigHand to provide Expert and Sierra clients with BI and pricing insights
  • Stanford says leading AI legal research tools are prone to hallucination
  • Ashurst publishes qualitative gen AI data from firm wide trials

Kirkland & Ellis faces action for MOVEit data breach 

A proposed class action has been filed against US law firm Kirkland & Ellis and others, alleging that they did not do enough to safeguard personal information accessed as a result of the hack of Progress Software’s MOVEit Transfer file management software. 

The case, brought in the US District of Massachusetts by Judith Wilson on behalf of herself and others, says that Kirkland acted for  Trilogy Home Healthcare, which transferred files to Kirkland using the MOVEit tool used by the firm. According to the claim, between 27 and 31 May, ransomware group c10p hacked into MOVEit and obtained the files, giving the impacted companies until 14 June to contact them to negotiate payment. The claim alleges that Kirkland did not notify Trilogy of the breach until October 26 and that Trilogy did not notify its affected consumers until March 2024. According to the claim, the personal information included contact information, data of birth, social security and other government issued ID, financial account information, health information, and health insurance information.  

The plaintiff is claiming for compensation as a result of the fear and stress suffered, as well as the potential repercussions of her information no longer being private. The proposed class includes “at least 4,700 members who are geographically dispersed.” 

The class action claims negligence in not identifying vulnerabilities in the system and preventing the breach; violation of HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules and the FTCA; breach of contract; breach of and covenants of good faith and fair dealing; invasion of privacy; and unjust enrichment from, the claim alleges, saving costs that should have been spent on data security measures to secure the plaintiff’s PII.  

The plaintiffs is claiming injunctive relief, saying that the defendants have not made an announcement that they have changed their data or security practices or remedied the vulnerabilities. 

The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction requiring that the defendants disclose to them the full nature of the data breach and provide lifetime funds for credit monitoring and identify theft insurance.

Kirkland & Ellis declined to comment.   

Filevine launches DMS with very punchy announcement

Filevine this week announced the launch of Docs by Filevine, a standalone document management system (DMS) built on AWS that Filevine says challenges incumbents like iManage and NetDocuments. 

In a very punchy press release, Filevine, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, said: “For years, law firms have been held hostage by the high costs and restrictive practices of some DMS providers. These DMS providers charge exorbitant fees for limited storage and functionality, while locking firms into closed ecosystems that hinder innovation. Filevine is shattering this status quo.” 

“Law firms deserve better,” said Ryan Anderson, CEO and co-founder of Filevine. “Docs by Filevine offers unlimited storage, robust security, and powerful features like AI-powered OCR and e-signatures, all at a fraction of the cost of competitors.” 

Filevine says that Docs by Filevine comes in at roughly half the price of competitive solutions. Strong & Hanni Law Firm, PC switched to Filevine and Denney Fifield, director of technology services at Strong & Hanni said: “The switch from NetDocuments to Docs by Filevine has been a game-changer, especially considering the exponential growth of data we’re seeing. We were getting hit with ‘luxury taxes’ on our storage like crazy. Not only have we cut our costs, but the features and functionality offered by Filevine have improved our workflows and collaboration tremendously.” 

Dissing your competitors out of the gate is a bold move, particularly when they are established players like iManage and NetDocuments, who themselves seem to have matured in their marketing. We look forward to learning more about the product.

Draftwise launches new Markup by Draftwise with lots of law firm backing

In other product launches over the past week, New York-headquartered AI contract and negotiation platform Draftwise on 13 June announced a new offering, Markup by Draftwise, which uses Anthropic’s Claude 3 Opus – Anthropic’s most intelligent large language model, released in March this year. DraftWise has worked closely with some of the most respected firms in the industry on the new product, including Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Gunderson Dettmer, Katten Muchin Rosenman, Womble Bond Dickinson, and Mishcon de Reya, among others. Orrick and Mishcon co-hosted an event at LegalTechTalk in London on 14 June and we’ll bring you some of the key points from that gathering shortly.

Markup provides recommendations based on deal history and the language used by a firm. Key features include: 

  • Contract Autopilot: generates the first round of markups based entirely on how a lawyer previously executed redlines.  
  • Automated issue list generation based on deal history:  allows lawyers to create highly curated playbooks based on their best past work and/or each client’s preferred language to ensure consistency across contract draft cycles.  
  • Intelligent legal AI assistant for rapid revision: answers user questions about negotiation history and recommends revisions of clauses. It also generates redlines to reflect client preferences across contracts. 
  • Critical issue identification and resolution: enables users to quickly spot and address problems or sticking points in contracts based on past deal work. The software auto-generates revisions that can be instantly approved. 

“Our goal is to align the greatest tech capabilities with the problems and workflows related to contracts. Integrating Anthropic’s Claude 3 Opus is just one example of putting the best tool to a task,” said James Ding, co-Founder of DraftWise. “We are thrilled that Anthropic is a part of our work to empower law firms and attorneys as we usher in the next phase of our platform with the launch of Markup, as Markup is the only contract review automation solution that provides tailored recommendations for an organization based on their deal history and best language, making DraftWise even more useful to legal teams of all sizes.” 

DraftWise says it will leverage Anthropic with a zero data retention policy, meaning Anthropic will not hold onto or train its models on DraftWise customer data.  

Draftwise in March this year announced a $20 million Series A fundraise and has made a number of key hires. 


Lexis+AI is generally available for UK customers

Also on 13 June, LexisNexis Legal & Professional announced that Lexis+ AI is now generally available for UK customers. This follows the commercial launches of Lexis+ AI in both the USA and Australia.  

Lexis+ AI combines generative AI with proprietary search technology. It is grounded in Lexis’ content repository, including primary, secondary, analytical content and expansive Practical Guidance modules.   

It has been developed with input from global law firms such as Macfarlanes, Eversheds Sutherland (International), Pinsent Masons and CMS UK. Legal IT Insider’s editor Caroline Hill spoke to Eleanor Windsor, a partner and director of knowledge management at Irwin Mitchell and you can listen to that podcast here:

Lexis+ AI features include: 

  • Conversational search simplifies complex and time-consuming legal research by enabling users to conversationally interact with Lexis+ AI, explore new insights, and ask for adjusted and refined output. 
  • Document drafting produces contract clauses and client communications from a simple user prompt.
  • Summarisation quickly delivers case summaries  
  • Document upload capabilities enable users to rapidly analyse, summarise and extract key insights from legal documents.

“This is a pivotal moment in the history of the UK legal industry. We are delighted to deliver a generative AI solution that will safely and securely enable our customers’ success,” said Gerry Duffy, managing director of LexisNexis UK. “We have had unprecedented levels of interest in Lexis+ AI from our market and as of today, many of our customers will be enjoying the competitive advantage of having access to our rich and authoritative content combined with our leading AI technology”. 

Wins and Deals 

Document verification vendor Atticus raises £5.6m in first fund round 

Fast-growing Australian verification software company Atticus has closed a £5.6m (AUS $10.84m) minority investment from Skip Capital and Blackbird Ventures.  

Developed as a faster, easier way to fact-check critical documents including IPO prospectuses, ESG statements and annual reports, Atticus counts 12 of the UK’s top 20 law firms as clients including Slaughter and May, Linklaters, Pinsent Masons, Travers Smith, Ashurst and Herbert Smith Freehills, as well as companies such as National Grid, Aston Martin and Kingfisher. It has been bootstrapped to date and is already profitable. 

General manager Patrick Skinner said: “Over the past four years Atticus has been used as a key tool to corroborate information on some of the UK’s biggest transactions and listings and is now the go to verification product for a range of listed companies on the London Stock Exchange. We’re excited to be a pillar of the UK’s capital markets industry for many years to come.”  

Canadian-founded ‘AI for litigators’ platform Alexi raises a US $11m Series A  

Canadian legaltech company Alexi on 10 June announced an US$11m Series A fundraise led by Ohio venture capital firm Drive Capital. This brings Alexi’s total funding to over $20m. Chris Olsen, a partner at Drive Capital, will join the company’s board of directors.  

Alexi’s AI platform can be used to generate research memos and identify relevant legal issues or arguments, and it leverages an AI assistant ‘Alexi Chat’ for routine litigation tasks such as helping to draft correspondence to clients. Founded in 2017 Mark Doble and Sam Bhasin, its clients include Canadian-UK law firm Gowling WLG.   

“We evaluate over 6,000 companies a year, most of which position themselves as an ‘AI company.’ Alexi is one of the very few examples, however, of using AI to solve a business problem,” said Olsen. “Lawyers who use Alexi run more successful law practices. It is only a matter of time until attorneys all over the world are using Alexi to be better lawyers.”    

FirmPilot raises $7m 

FirmPilot, the AI marketing engine for law firms, announced on 10 June that it has closed $7M in funding to help services-based SMBs increase revenues with AI-driven digital marketing.  

Blumberg Capital led FirmPilot’s latest Series A round, with participation from new and existing investors Valor Ventures, SaaS Ventures, FJ Labs, and Connexa Capital. The company raised Seed funding in 2023. 

“A personal Injury firm without marketing-muscle will cease to grow and exist. AI is here and it is essential to law firms, especially in the area of marketing,” said John Romano, partner at Romano Law Group and respected law industry lecturer and author. “Our work with FirmPilot has demonstrated ‘wow-level’ results.” 

FirmPilot’s patent-pending AI marketing engine analyzes FirmPilot customers’ competitive landscapes and market trends online to identify tactics that have the best probability of ranking them above competitors in Google search results, ads, and social media. The engine is built on proprietary technology learning from a database of more than 3,000+ legal cases. 

“FirmPilot’s early traction and strong customer retention underscores the growing opportunity for AI as a marketing and revenue-generating tool for SMBs,” said Jacob Katz, principal at Blumberg Capital and FirmPilot board member. “Law firms now have access to sophisticated and easy-to-use marketing tools that create tangible value for both their business and clients. We believe FirmPilot has the team and technology to transform marketing for law firms and SMBs across a number of service industries.”  

Sirion Acquires Eigen Technologies  

Contract lifecycle management vendor Sirion has acquired Eigen Technologies. The deal combines Sirion’s contract intelligence with Eigen’s Document AI and intelligent document processing (IDP) platforms. Sirion says that the addition of Eigen’s AI technology will elevate its contract intelligence to full document intelligence, meaning that Sirion’s customers will be able to pull insights from all business documents, from contracts to invoices to purchase orders and engineering reports.

Ajay Agrawal, founder & CEO of Sirion, said: “We have been at the forefront of teaching computers how to read contracts the way lawyers do. This combination of Sirion with the Document AI and IDP platform built by Dr. Lewis Liu and his Eigen team creates the world’s largest labelled contract dataset and allows us to extract valuable insights from a wide range of commercial documents adjacent to contract – such as invoices, purchase orders and performance reports – and drive deeper value realization for the business.” 

“Unstructured data, specifically billions of documents and contracts that sit in enterprises, is one of the biggest problems that face businesses today” said Dr Lewis Z. Liu, Founder & CEO of Eigen Technologies. “By combining Eigen’s best in class Document AI and AI governance with Sirion’s category leading CLM and document workflow capabilities, we are creating an unstoppable natural leader in the contract and document AI world.”

Ascertus partners with ActiveNav to help firms manage dark data 

UK legal technology consultancy Ascertus has entered a strategic partnership with data privacy and information governance specialists ActiveNav to help solve the data management challenges that corporate enterprises and professional services firms are facing. ActiveNav helps organisations to identify where their data is and bring it into one searchable location so you can see what duplicates you have and what data held is out of its retention period and needs to be disposed of. 

Ascertus, which provides document and email management solutions to law firms and corporate departments in the UK, Europe, and the Middle East, is ActiveNav’s first UK implementation partner in the legal sector. 

Roy Russell, CEO of Ascertus, said: “Unstructured data is a rapidly growing business risk many enterprises severely underestimate today. We are delighted that ActiveNav has chosen us as their implementation partner in the UK. Together we can truly deliver value to our customers.” 

Aderant partners with BigHand to provide Expert and Sierra clients with BI and pricing insights

Aderant on 12 June announced a new partnership with BigHand, which provides strategic financial data insights including pricing and business intelligence solutions.

While Aderant has historically competed with BigHand with its BI solution Aderant Spotlight, this partnership is said to allow Aderant to focus on its AWS-hosted practice management system Sierra and new AI cloud platform Stridyn.

This is the first time that BigHand and Aderant have officially partnered and BigHand is the first partner to join the Aderant technology partner program at gold level. While Aderant has long had a services partner programme, this technology programme in itself is a new initiative.

Aderant said that the partnership will ensure that law firms that use Aderant Expert and Sierra have “unparalleled access to additional market leading technology and support” and a press release said that this partnership will enable Aderant to continue building a roadmap that aligns with their current client needs. It is not immediately clear at the time of writing what this means in terms of the Spotlight roadmap.

“BigHand are delighted to be Aderant’s first gold partner in their new partnership strategy,” said Rob Stote, chief product officer at BigHand.

“Aderant is aware of our progress and plans for our BI and Pricing solutions: surfacing strategic financial data in an AI-enabled data and insights platform. With Aderant’s focus on Sierra and Stridyn, we believe the partnership gives our mutual customers the best technology and experience. The two organizations have always worked closely together but this formal partnership will enable a more proactive approach across all areas from development & integrations right through to our client-facing teams.”

Gen AI Research 

Stanford says leading AI legal research tools are prone to hallucination 

Stanford University has published an in-depth research paper that claims that legal research tools such as Westlaw and Lexis+AI hallucinate between 17% and 33% of the time.  

While the publishing giants say that the use of retrieval augmented generation means that hallucination is rare, the paper, Hallucination-Free? Assessing the Reliability of Leading AI Legal Research Tools, claims that these “bold proclamations” are not accompanied by empirical evidence.  

“Our findings, summarized in Figure 1, reveal a more nuanced reality than the one presented by these providers: while RAG appears to improve the performance of language models in answering legal queries, the hallucination problem persists at significant levels,” the paper claims. 

The paper claims that Westlaw is accurate only 42% of the time. It says Lexis+ AI is accurate 65% of the time. You can read that study in full here: 

Thomson Reuters has pushed back on the research, and in a blog post from head of Westlaw product management, Mike Dahn, says that their own research showed accuracy rates of 90%. One reason for the discrepancy, Dahn says, is that the Stanford research asked questions you rarely or never see in AI-assisted research. Dahn also said that customers are advised to use the tool to accelerate research, not replace it. You can read that post here: 

LexisNexis has issued a media statement saying that its own data analysis suggests a significantly lower rate of hallucination, saying: “The Stanford study introduces new hallucination definition criteria, including any element of an answer that researchers deemed inaccurate, or citation references determined to be non-supportive of an answer. In our view, these measures more accurately define answer and citation quality rather than hallucination. We continue to focus on continuous improvement in these areas.”

Lexis says it has extensive programs and system measures in place to improve the accuracy of responses over time, including the validation of citing authority references to mitigate hallucination risks.

LexisNexis focuses on AI answer quality through an enhanced LexisNexis proprietary Retrieval Augmented Generation 2.0 (RAG 2.0) platform. At this stage of large language model evolution, Lexis says that RAG and fine-tuning are the best methods available to ensure answer quality, saying: “Our proprietary RAG infrastructure allows us to ensure that Lexis+ AI responses are grounded in an extensive repository of current, exclusive legal content which ensures the highest-quality answer with the most up-to-date validated citation references. We are seeing week over week improvements in answer and citation quality due to ongoing RAG technology development.”

Ashurst publishes qualitative gen AI data from firm wide trials 

UK top 20 law firm Ashurst on 10 June published a thorough, scientific look at its trials of three different generative AI platforms, focusing on the qualitative and quantitative data from its evaluations. The in-depth study, which does not reveal the specific technologies that Ashurst evaluated, takes a look at some of the benefits of gen AI and provides guidance on how best to support people in their future adoption. 

The trials, which involved over 400 people spanning 23 offices and 14 countries, evaluated the use of a number of gen AI-powered tools, measuring their potential value and future impact in a legal context, as well as the best methods for navigating the exploration of gen AI.  

Tara Waters, Ashurst‘s chief digital officer, commented: “Generative AI offers huge potential gains, not only in terms of efficiency but also new value creation opportunities, for both law firms and our clients. Our experiments with gen AI-powered tools have helped us to assess the benefits and challenges that come with this technology and to plan how we can best use generative AI to deliver solutions for our clients.” 

For that story in full see:  

You can download the report, which includes a range of other findings, here in full: 

Watch this space for updates on other firms using this report as a benchmark.