Can AI read my contracts? An introduction to modern contract intelligence

Sharri Wilner
Head of Customer Success - US
New York
Nov 5 • 3 min read

Although many of our team members have their roots in eDiscovery, contract intelligence is one of our cornerstone offerings, so we spend a lot of time talking to our clients about the evolution of contracts. Here are some of the questions that we hear come up over and again.

Can AI read my contracts?

When companies are involved in a significant corporate event or they are evaluating the impact of new regulation, the team will have to review a large number of agreements in a very short period of time. Traditionally, companies hired large teams of attorneys, who could review agreements with great speed and pick out the relevant clauses. Today, software is allowing attorneys to augment that process. No, the AI cannot read contracts, but it can identify the important information that a business needs.

Contract AI is saving companies time and changing the way businesses are engaging with their contracts. Good contract technology can ingest and process a huge volume of agreements and then extract the relevant information at scale. Once we have identified the key data in the contracts, we have automated workflows to repaper the problematic agreements. So, for example, not only can we identify an agreement with a change of control provision, we also have built-in workflows to generate and track third party consents that we are going to have to obtain to deal with those contracts. This is why, in addition to diligence for the transaction, our clients will typically keep us on after the transaction to help them with post merger integrations. 

Does AI replace lawyers?

No. Our contract intelligence does not replace attorneys, but it certainly helps augment their decisions. Our contract data extraction tools give lawyers insights on day one that would have once taken weeks if not months to produce. The fact that we are a subsidiary of Reed Smith LLP allows us to work closely with top attorneys to help them develop a modern, data driven approach to contracts.

So is contract intelligence only for M&A due diligence?

No. Contract intelligence goes way beyond M&A. Currently, companies are engaging us to help evaluate their exposure to LIBOR, which is due to be sunset in 2021 and affects trillions of dollars of contracts. Following the onset of COVID19, many companies wanted to evaluate their force majeure clauses to assess liability and build a playbook. Our technology and our team of experts fundamentally change these reviews from being unreasonably burdensome to eminently manageable. 

Frankly, contract intelligence does not necessarily need a triggering event. In fact, some companies for information governance, obligation tracking and aligning contract data with financial data. Simply put, they need to know what their contracts actually say. Some companies are using our contract intelligence as a starting point for the business to evaluate strategic initiatives. The bottom line is that converting your contracts from prose into structured data will make them more actionable, and when you marry technology with teams of specialists, reviewing scores of contracts goes from being burdensome to eminently manageable.

Interested in learning more about our contract intelligence? Contact us.