On December 7, 2023 Wolters Kluwer released the following announcement:

Legal & Regulatory division continues to redefine the landscape for legal professionals

Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory (LR) today announced an innovative feature for legal professionals: Generative Pre-training Transformer (GPT)-generated summaries of court rulings. GPT summarization harnesses generative AI (GenAI) to simplify legal research

The 2023 Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory Future Ready Lawyer Survey Report includes insights from 700 legal professionals across the U.S. and nine European countries – namely Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Hungary. The survey shows noteworthy differences between the countries surveyed.

The report documents the broad awareness of Generative AI’s promise and an expectation of a speedy adoption of Gen AI solutions over the next twelve months. The responders don’t seem to recognize the “headwinds” which are likely to slow both adoption and impact. Top of mind is the ongoing economic uncertainty combined with firms’ need to address the ethical, IP, security and privacy issues associated with using GenAI in legal practice.

Although the key trends below include many issues which have been around for decades, I can’t help but wonder how many of these challenges will be improved or resolved was GenAI matures and becomes pervasive across the business and practice of law.

Key trends expected to have a significant impact on legal in the next three years:

  • Growing complexity of compliance areas
  • Increasing importance of legal technology
  • Ability to recruit and retain talent
  • Increased demand for specialization and a decline in generalist work
  • Law departments moving more work in-house (insourcing)
  • Greater price competition/new and alternative fee structures/cost-containment pressures
  • Growing impact of generative AI/ChatGPT
  • Coping with increased volume and complexity of information
  • Meeting changing client/company leadership expectations
  • Emphasis on improved efficiency/ productivity
  • Growth of alternative legal service providers (ALSPs), including expansion of Big Four into legal services

I thought the two most interesting sections of the report dealt with Generative AI and ESG.Continue Reading Wolters Kluwer Releases 2023 Future Ready Lawyer Report

As the 2024 budget planning season ramps up, we all look to both internal and external intelligence to support renewal, cancellation and acquisition decisions.

In August many of my readers participated in the annual Start/Stop survey which was open during the month of August 2023. I partnered with Harbor to conduct the survey and present the results On Thursday, September 14, 2023, at the third annual Legal Information + Knowledge Services Conference (LINKS)— a full day of virtual thought leadership conference.

As in the past, this survey was intended to  gather feedback on both products and projects which readers started or stopped during the past year or plan to start or stop in the near future. For this years survey I added new questions related to the emergence of generative AI. Thirty-tree organizations participated in the survey (93% were law firms)

Some overall trends – Generative AI trending up. Analytics Market Shaking out.

Generative AI although legal publishers have been embedding and utilizing AI in their products for decades, the emergence of large language models (LLMs) has captured the market in a rather feverish way. There are firms out on the bleeding edge, but most are  holding back and struggling to create an AI policy and select from the ever expanding galaxy of products. Vendors are plunging ahead with AI offerings.

The most dramatic “shape shifting” market event was Thomson Reuters acquisition of Casetext, less than a year after the launch of WESTLAW Precision. The move was clearly designed to catapult TR  over competitors, who are developing  muti-modallarge language models  based AI products internally.Continue Reading The 2023 Start/Stop Survey: CoCounsel Best New Product, Analytics Segment Shakeout.

The American Arbitration Association (AAA®), the global leader in arbitration and mediation services and data analytics, announced that Steve Errick will join their international division, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution® (ICDR®), as Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer.

Steve has been a highly visible presence at legal tech

On July 6th Wolters Kluwer and Above the Law released a survey Generative AI in the Law: Where Could This All Be Headed? The survey queried lawyers and other business professionals in the legal industry to assess the expected impact of Generative AI on the Legal Profession. It seems that every day there is a survey or a webinar offering to answer the big question – can AI replace lawyers and other allied legal business professionals? It is a kind of anticipatory l marketing – lets just plant a flag on “Planet AI.”

The long term impact of Generative AI may well be profound, but today there is no consensus on how soon or how dramatically it will impact the practice of law. The survey respondents suggests a pessimistic future for law librarians and knowledge professionals. I have heard it all before. For the past 20 years the end of law librarians was immanent and yet for those 20 years we have been at the forefront of introducing new technologies that eliminated some traditional work and made room for us to climb the value ladder…. analytics, insights, APIs….New roles in support of Generative AI testing are already obvious.

Librarians Invented Prompt Engineering One of the key challenges to using Generative AI is learning how to construct the right query to generate the best result. Well law libraries are already “prompt” experts. Their skills reach back to the early days of “dot command” platforms that practically required a programming language to extract research results. Prompt Engineering sounds a lot less demanding than the technologies we mastered in the past.

The Chief Query Officer In 2013, I predicted the rise of a role I called “The Chief Query Officer” writing that “In a Big Data world, advantage will be  gained by asking better questions….In a Big Data world, every firm will be striving to be one question ahead of the competition……..And it will need to be the right question!” Librarians have mastered the “art of the Query.”.. step aside…

Key Findings of The Wolters Kluwer ATL Survey:

Continue Reading Another AI Survey– Another Cliché about the End of Librarians — But I See the Rise of The Chief Query Officer!

This coming Sunday I will participating in a panel at the American Association of Law Libraries Meeting and Conference in Boston. “Exploring the Opportunities & Risks of Generative AI” is sponsored by Wolters Kluwer. Ken Crutchfield, of Wolters Kluwer will moderate the panel which includes Vishal Agnihotri , of Alston & Bird and Courtney Toiaivao

Thomson Reuters’  deal to purchase  Casetext has driven the legal tech hype cycle to a fever pitch. Don’t get me wrong. I am a big fan of Casetext. I have been an admirer for over a decade. More than once, I have watched them not just beat the market, but redirect the market and invent whole new categories of legal research products. I have spent a lot of time over the past few years musing about innovation,  new product categories and market advantage.

When Casetext created the “brief analysis” tool CARA, it was three years before even one of the largest legal information companies launched a brief analyzer and it was four years before all three,; Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis and Bloomberg Law, had a brief analyzer on the market.

Note: vLex (Fastcase) launched the Vincent “brief checker” in the international market in 2018., two years after the launch of CARA. The above graphic was focused on the U. S. market.

Similarly, with Compose, Casetext introduced “parallel search” and a new category of concept searching was born. Or as Casetext co-founder Pablo Arredondo likes to exclaim “parallel search freed lawyers from the prison of the keyword.” This time The market responded in less than two years. LexisNexis launched “Fact and issue Finder” which leveraged extractive AI technology built on a highly tailored version of Google’s BERT to present insights to researchers.   Westlaw responded with Westlaw Precision built with a large editorial team to help with machine learning. The response time in the market is growing shorter.

Industry Insiders’ Perspectives I have spoken to several legal tech industry insiders and the consensus seems to be that within 6  to 12 months, Thomson Reuters competitors Lexis, Bloomberg Law, and vLex (formerly Fastcase)  are likely to have developed capabilities which can compete with CoCounsel. No one is starting from scratch. According to Ed Walters, Chief Strategy Officer at vLex, “we already have global AI products in the labs. We don’t release vaporware, but these products are coming no matter who owns Casetext.”Continue Reading Thomson Reuters $650M Bet on Casetext CoCounsel. Did They Buy Market Dominance or Just Time?

Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, U.S.   has announced a suite of new and enhanced features in Legisway.  their legal management software for in-house counsel . Legisway is  an AI enabled SaaS solution which offers to steamline corporate workflows.

Legisway offers AI-powered contract lifecycle management (CLM) that enables document creation, editing and version control, as well as self-service templates and a legal ticketing system. Outside of CLM, users can leverage a range of modules to manage legal entities and corporate governance, intellectual property rights, legal claims, real estate, outside counsel spend, and more. The solution enables flexibility to easily create and manage custom reports, operationalize business processes and create automated alerts on key milestones, and more.

“Users now have access to a suite of tools to enable more streamlined task management, faster contract drafting, and AI-powered risk management,” said Ken Crutchfield, Vice President & General Manager of Legal Markets at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. “Wolters Kluwer has a strong, longstanding track record of providing best-in-class solutions for the corporate legal market. With these new additions, we are showing our customers that we are committed to continuously improving an already powerful, intuitive solution that evolves with their needs and brings them the best possible outcomes.”Continue Reading Wolters Kluwer Enhances AI Enabled Workflows in Legisway for In-House Counsel