This is a guest post by Bekki Hawkes of RAVN.

There’s been a perception that the adoption of technology in legal services has been slow over the past few years. However, according to the ALM 2015 Law Tech Survey this is certainly beginning to change as 95% of firm leaders and technologists respondents agreed or mostly agreed with recent decisions by management regarding the firm’s technology.

Law firms have faced a number of challenges over recent years. Although the UK is recovering well from the 2009 financial crisis this also led to stricter compliance regulations. With the increase in regulatory demands there is a need for better finance and risk mitigation. Regulators are encouraging firms to innovate in order to mitigate risk.

Clients are putting pressure on law firms for alternative fee arrangements as well as wanting to work with firms who use the latest technologies to deliver legal services better.

Law firms themselves want to work smarter and more efficiently in the face of inevitable change to remain competitive.

The introduction of collaboration tools

Recently, collaboration tools has become an important for law firms with the increase in projects needing input from multiple teams of people across the globe, trying to share information both within the organisation as well as externally.

With contracts and legal information scattered across multiple systems as well as various email trails from different people and multiple document versions, law firms have typically struggled from information chaos. Not only can this jeopardise the efficiency of the project but can also increase risk to regulatory demands as well as reputational risk to the institution by not having the correct information to hand at the right time.

It has become vital for law firms to leverage collaboration platforms to work more efficiently and more productively by unifying internal and external collaboration in one secure space that can be accessed from anywhere and from any device. Collaboration platforms, such as HighQ Collaborate, allow firms to break down boundaries in different departments, ask questions and share knowledge within a global workplace.

Artificial intelligence for automated data extraction

Even with the benefits of collaboration tools firms are increasingly looking for innovative ways to differentiate themselves in a competitive market.

Organisations no longer have to select one technology to only partially meet all their requirements. Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions are one example of technologies that have become interoperable allowing law firms to combine them with collaboration platforms, for example.

Artificial intelligence is currently being leveraged by the legal world to automatically read, interpret and extract key data points from thousands of documents and unstructured data. These documents could be anything from contracts to ISDA agreements. The AI robot can review these documents much faster and more accurately than a human would do leaving staff that once manually performed this task to focus on other work in the business.

AI solutions, such as these, can enhance collaboration platforms so the requested data points are automatically populated into collaboration platforms for teams to immediately start working on in a secure manner. An example of this is RAVN ACE which automatically reads through thousands of documents, like a human would do, and extracts requested KPIs. These KPIs can then be automatically uploaded into iSheets.

This process allows organisations to take the next leap in information retrieval and further increases efficiency throughout the organisation. Most importantly, law firms can take on a higher workload, in less time resulting in the best possible service for their end clients.