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Managed legal services business, Mattersmith, builds out LawTech platform


Amidst growing concern internationally on the use of AI in LawTech applications, Mattersmith has recently implemented a new release of its proprietary rules-based platform, delivering massive productivity improvements of 30% in the cost and speed of its services. Regulated by the SRA in the UK, Mattersmith solves clients’ everyday matters by offering a range of services, from outsourcing to use of its platform out-of-the-box. 

Decades of experience of legal services on the front line and in law firm management have gone into developing a “lawyer’s platform”, which speeds up the delivery of advice, enables new services to be formulated, all whilst leaving key decisions – big or small – to the lawyers.  

Most recently, the firm has overhauled its technology assisted review or TAR component by implementing a Solr indexing and enterprise search solution. The Mattersmith team has compiled a comprehensive lexicon of words and phrases for searching any number of documents for legal provisions. Search results interconnect to the platform’s proprietary knowledge base, providing users with seamless access to playbooks, guidance and contract models to support their nuanced review and negotiation of everyday contracts.

Founder and CEO, Andrew Scott, explains the inspiration behind the platform was Dave Brailsford’s approach to professional cycling – don’t aim to produce a silver bullet, but marginal improvements throughout the workflow will have a cumulative effect that boosts overall performance. The firm’s internal benchmarking data on handling NDAs for investment managers and technology companies corroborates the theory.

The firm remains open-minded about AI but is wary of the pitfalls inherent in machine learning and so is conservative in its approach to regulatory compliance. The inability of an algorithm to identify and account for the context in which contractual language was agreed creates real risks which, according to the Mattersmith philosophy, are not justified as things stand in the context of its offering. The recent research by the Law Society in the UK and the ABA in the US suggests the caution is widespread – clients are not yet convinced by AI and machine learning based legal automation. 

For the time being, the firm will continue its current strategy of focussing on its areas of expertise and allowing clients to choose how much or little of a matter on which to give instructions. Three years on from launch – and a doubling of revenue – sees the firm working with multinational clients on a range of matters from routine contracts to advising on, negotiating and drafting complex customer and supply chain deals, all supported by the platform. According to Scott, there are exciting times ahead, with a full roadmap of development and expressions of interest from actual and potential clients to engage with Mattersmith to deliver legal advice and assistance in a more productive way, whilst preserving transparency and, above all, allowing lawyers to be lawyers.   

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Mattersmith Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales with registered number 11320618, whose registered office is at 11 Telford Court, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2DB, United Kingdom, and is a recognised body authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with number 650058. © Mattersmith, 2021

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