Today Thomson Reuters announced the “Buy Now Program” which will enable law firms and legal departments to lock in pricing before the official rollout of their new CoCounsel Drafting solution.

 Rawia Ashraf, VP, Product, Legal Technology at Thomson Reuters provided a product walkthrough. She described the product as an end-to-end workflow solution for both transactional lawyers and litigators. The beta version of the transactional tool is currently available to 20 law firms and legal departments.

According to  a recent Thomson Reuters survey,  lawyers spend 40 to 60% of their time drafting and that 96% are dissatisfied with their drafting tools.

The CoCounsel Drafting tool is grounded in Practical Law content and will also allow firms to access their own Sharepoint document. The tool does not currently integrate with document management systems but that linkage is being developed.

Integration with Other TR products – the full functionality of the Drafting Tool  requires customers to also have subscriptions to Practical Law, Deal Proof and Westlaw when the litigation drafting tool is launched. WestKM, Thomson Reuters knowledge management solution was not mentioned as a potential component. Since many law firms still have not built workable KM solutions, is there an opportunity to address the KM gap by creating an AI enabled version of WestKM?

The Knowledge Management Gap.  many firms have not yet developed their own playbooks or curated precedent repositories, TR is prepared to help firms develop their own playbooks. As AI is integrated into the DMS products these new features should help firms identify and tag their precedent documents.

How it works.  Workflow is driven by CoCounsel drafting tool.

  • Ask CoCounsel – Start with a query  stating the type  of document or clause you want
  • Find – CoCounsel will identify starting points, within Practical Law or a curated internal Sharepoint repository.
  • Clause Finder – Locate a specific clause type. The tool search Practical Law, internal documents and documents filed with the SEC. The  SEC clause library includes not only clauses from the actual SEC documents, but also clauses from exhibits attached to SEC filings. This broadens the scope of the document types it include valuable materials such as executive compensation agreements  and commercial documents.
  • Refine – allows users to use generative AI to refine the draft. You can   copy and paste the clause into the tool and ask it to make the clause for example,  more pro-buyer. RAG technology is used to validate results using the Practical Law knowledge base
  • Playbooks -for firms that have their own playbook CoCounsel Drafting can analyze how the document deviates from the playbook and give suggestions on how to modify. They are also planning on offering playbooks for firms which do not currently have their own.
  • Finalize – the finalization process integrates with DealProof which is part of the TR Drafting Assistant suite.  Deal Proof does a legal proofread to identify technical inconsistencies or omissions (e.g. numbering or definitions) and enables lawyers to quickly finalize a lengthy transactional document.

What I liked The workflow model makes sense. I especially liked the fact that the clause finder included content from SEC exhibits. These Exhibits are a great source of harder to find documents and TR has identified the document types and tagged the clauses. According to Ashraf the grounding of generative AI in the Practical Law content dramatically improved the quality of the drafting tool.

Caveats and Market Competition CoCounsel Drafting is not exactly a stand alone product. I would describe it as a workflow integration point. In order to have full functionality users must subscribe to Practical Law Dynamic and Deal Proof (TR Drafting Assistant) as well as Westlaw Precision when the litigation features are launched. It is also optimized if an organization has their own KM repositories and playbooks which can be analyzed by CoCounsel Drafting. While no competitor is currently offering CoCounsel Drafting’s exact workflow,  both Lexis and vLex both  drafting functionalities within their core AI product suite. This is a hot competitive space there are dozens of smaller companies offering drafting products including Legal On. Bloomberg Law recently purchased Dashboard Legal to compete in this space. In the end it all comes down to value – will customers see sufficient value in the new  drafting workflow  to justify the combined cost of the Thomson Reuters products which support the drafting solution.

Integration with MS Word. There is a Word plug in which is available in the Microsoft store.

Availability The Drafting product will be generally available in July. Today customers are being offered a lock-in price in advance of the launch.

Is this a stand alone product or part of CoCounsel Core? Well, that hasn’t been determined yet. Stay tuned… I assume we will find out when the product is launched in July.