U.S. Markets close in 1 hr 5 mins

McDermott Will & Emery adopts AI platform Luminance for M&A work



McDermott Will & Emery has become the latest firm to adopt Slaughter and May-backed AI platform Luminance to streamline the due diligence process in its M&A transactions.

The US firm is the 13th global 100 law firm to embrace the tool, which uses machine learning to significantly speed up contract and document review on transactions.

McDermott initially trialled the tool on a live M&A transaction that involved more than 2,000 documents in six different languages, including Thai and Hungarian. According to McDermott corporate partner Thibaud Forbin, the firm was "impressed by the speed and ease" of using the platform.

He added: "AI technologies such as Luminance are changing the way due diligence and other contract review processes are conducted, and we are pleased to have found a product that can truly enhance our client service."

Other firms to have adopted the platform include Bird & Bird, Holland & Knight and Eversheds Sutherland.

Slaughter and May was an early adopter of the platform in 2016, and took a 5% equity stake in the company in early 2017. At the time, senior partner Steve Cooke said "a lot of due diligence work is not the most exciting work for lawyers", and platforms such as Luminance could give junior lawyers "their lives back".

Luminance CEO Emily Foges said: "Luminance Diligence offers legal teams a clear insight into their contracts, without having to relinquish any control to the machine. We’re excited to see the efficiency gains that the technology can deliver for McDermott.”

Luminance and rival Kira Systems are among the most prominent of the external AI providers. Kira raised just over £38m in its most recent funding round and has signed up Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and DLA Piper, among others, to its platform.