Slaughter and May has a 5% equity stake in machine learning-backed due diligence tool Luminance, Legal IT Insider has learned, after an early stage collaboration that saw the magic circle firm invest its lawyers’ time in helping to develop and shape the product.
The stake emerged after a rival vendor privately complained to Legal IT Insider that Luminance Technologies, which is backed by Mike Lynch’s investment vehicle Invoke Capital, is not being sufficiently transparent about Slaughter and May’s monetary interest.
Luminance described Slaughter and May as simply a “client” in a recent press release announcing Norwegian firm BA-HR as a new client win, and in much of the recent publicity surrounding Luminance, Slaughter and May is most often described as having “adopted” or “worked with” the solution.
Legal IT Insider has spoken to one CIO of a top 50 law firm that Luminance gave a demonstration to who said the investment was made clear. However, a partner we spoke to who was involved in a Luminance pitch at a firm that has since become a client, was unaware of Slaughter and May’s stake in the business.
A spokesperson for Luminance said: “Luminance is very proud that Slaughter & May has a stake in the company, and has not hidden this fact from potential customers. This information is publicly available in Companies House.”
A spokesperson for Slaughter and May, which is also often described in public material as having ‘collaborated’ with Luminance, said: “Slaughter and May has invested substantial amount of intellectual capital into Luminance and has played a major part in its creation and development. In return, the firm’s partners have been given a small equity stake in Luminance Technologies Limited, the company which owns the Luminance software. We are always open about this, whether in reference calls with potential purchasers of Luminance or in more formal written documentation.”
While Slaughter and May will use ad hoc technology as directed by clients, as a result of its investment in Luminance, it will not habitually use rival due diligence analysis software tools such as RAVN Systems or Kira Systems.
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