Travers Smith has become one of the early law firm adopters of CheckRecipient, a tool that automatically predicts and prevents misaddressed emails from being accidentally sent to the wrong recipient.

The machine learning-based software company was established around three and a half years ago and formally launched 18 months ago, with a number of major international law firms known to be at different stages of engagement with the young company. Penningtons Manches went live with CheckRecipient in May 2016.

CheckRecipient first started working with Travers in May 2015 and the UK top 50 law firm’s feedback was built into a final product launched in February 2016. Travers rolled out CheckRecipient across the firm at the start of September.

Aside from the fact that CheckRecipient at the end of the pilot presented Travers with a list of emails that it had prevented from going astray, the firm liked the adminfree nature of the product and the minimal disruption that it causes.

CheckRecipient, which uses a blend of data science and machine learning algorithms to automatically spot mistakes based on historical email sending patterns, has received significant investment, including from BigHand founder Stephen Thompson, who has spent time working with the company, helping it go to market and grow.

Other investors include QXL founder Tim Jackson, the venture capital arm of investment manager Winton, ex-Clifford Chance partner Keith Hyman, and former head of investment banking EMEA at Nomura, Christian ThunHohenstein. CheckRecipient has also received a six figure government grant from Innovate UK.

CheckRecipient was founded by three former junior investment bankers who have engineering and mathematics backgrounds. Speaking to Legal IT Insider, co-founder and CEO Tim Sadler said: “We saw lots of data lost through emails sent to the wrong person.”

Sadler was a young analyst at HSBC, while cofounder Tom Adams worked in a corporate advisory M&A team at Santander. The third co-founder and CTO, Ed Bishop was an analyst at RBS.  All three studied mechanical engineering at Imperial College London from 2007.

Sadler said: “The Information Commissioner’s Office reports its findings every quarter and missent emails are one of the top data security incidents. In accordance with the SRA handbook, client-attorney privilege is one of the cornerstones and lawyers communicate everything over email, so it’s a recipe for disaster.”

Ann Cant, IT director at Travers Smith, added: “CheckRecipient’s ability to prevent misaddressed emails using artificial intelligence is unrivalled in the market and it is now something we consider a crucial part of our firm’s cyber security strategy.”

This story first appeared in the September Legal IT Insider

See also: Travers pilots RAVN ACE to speed up due diligence work

And: Travers Smith to virtualise desktop and outsource data centre