I, Lawbot? Cyril Amarchand first Indian law firm to adopt artificial intelligence

Bar & Bench

Disruptive technologies are increasingly influencing industries around the world, and the legal profession is no exception. Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has announced that it will deploy artificial intelligence software, making it the first Indian law firm to do so.

The firm will tie up with Canada-based technology company Kira Systems with a view to providing legal services more efficiently and accurately to its clients.

Kira is a software that uses artificial intelligence to identify, analyse and extract clauses and other information from contracts and other types of legal documents. It includes integrated machine learning models for a range of transaction requirements, across the firm’s practice areas. The tool can also identify different clauses across a large volume of legal contracts with a high degree of accuracy.

In a press release, Managing Partner Cyril Shroff was quoted as saying,

“Our clients expect us to be at the cutting edge of the practice of law, and of the business of law. We recognise that the business challenges of our clients come first, and that we need a suite of different tools and advanced skills to address these.”

Noah Waisberg, co-founder and CEO of Kira added,

“The firm has outlined a clear transformation and innovation strategy to us that includes not only the adoption of artificial intelligence, but the productisation of their legal knowledge and the introduction of unique skills not yet seen in the Indian market…”

Law firms around the world are increasingly opening up to AI technology, with a host of software available in the market. Last year, Baker & Hostetler, became the first law firm to employ the IBM Watson-powered lawyer ‘ROSS’– the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney.

Kira alone has already tied up with international firms such as DLA Piper, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Clifford Chance, and King & Wood Mallesons, among others.

Whether other Indian firms will follow suit in this endeavour is what remains to be seen. It will be interesting to see the extent to which this technology will affect the legal market in India, particularly with respect to recruitments.

The jury is still out on whether these technologies will end up aiding lawyers at firms or eventually replacing them. The most likely scenario though, is a mix of both. Some tasks such as legal research, basic due diligence could well be handed over to AI-enabled technologies.

Apart from AI, there are other technologies like Blockchain, Legal Analytics and Cloud Computing that could well play a significant role in shaping the future of the legal profession.

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