The giant legal services provider, LexisNexis and Knowable, one of the leaders in enterprise contract intelligence, today announced that they have entered into an joint venture agreement. Knowable was spun off from Axiom Global Inc. in February 2019. Mark Harris and Alec Guettel, Axiom’s co-founders, will lead Knowable as CEO and CFO respectively.
Knowable provides machine-learning enabled contract data analytics and related contract intelligence solutions. Knowable’s products allow their corporate clients to peer deeply into the contract relationships and gain greater understandings of their business activities, risks, and values. Knowable essentially converts the massive amount of non-structured data in its clients’ contracts that are often in non searchable PDF format and which frequently contain arcane and non standardized prose. By converting this language into structured data, Knowable helps its clients understand the vast amount of information in their contracts, providing a global view of risks, obligations, entitlements and compliance. It can also enlighten exposures created by contracts as well as businesses opportunities, says Harris.
The legal profession is still in the early days of using sophisticated analytics to crack open contractual information that could previously be obtained only by time consuming manual review of contracts one at a time.
According to Harris, the legal profession is still in the early days of using sophisticated analytics to crack open contractual information that could previously be obtained only by time consuming manual review of contracts one at a time. Knowable analytics programs can also help companies standardize their contracts and simplify them, eliminating ambiguity and risk and, of course, saving time.
Knowable will operate independently and, according to the LexisNexis press release, will benefit from access to LexisNexis’ leading brand, resources, and infrastructure. The partnership will further enable LexisNexis to help customers improve decision-making and achieve better outcomes. Harris hopes that the partnership will help Knowable get better at what it does and achieve greater penetration in the industry as well as making its products more accessible and affordable.
At present, Knowable does not sell its products to law firms. However, it does partner with law firms especially in the M & A area so that lawyers can stick to handling the exceptional problems associated with the acquisition (see my recent post why this is important and what the concept of practicing to the exception may mean for lawyers) while automating much of the routine contractual comparative work.
The importance of this joint venture is that it will inevitably spur the greater use of contractual analytics,
The importance of this joint venture is that it will inevitably spur the greater use of contractual analytics, which Harris labels as document solutions, as opposed to automation type functions, which Harris calls document management. And contract analytics of the type Knowable and LexisNexis are now advancing could down the road create contract preparation efficiencies, best practices and even reduce disputes. Yet another example of analytics transforming the practice of law and business by creating transparencies and shining a light on previously hidden solutions.