This week has been a big one in the world of legal operations. The Corporate Legal Operations Council (CLOC) US Institute gathering is drawing to a close today in Las Vegas. With over 3,000 attendees this year, it has exceeded all expectations from its earliest incarnation in 2016 at the Westin, Union Square in downtown San Francisco to the vastness that is the Bellagio Hotel on the Vegas strip. Arguably it is one of the most important events in the legal industry calendar and one that Seal has been proudly supporting since being one of the original sponsors. Although the saying is that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, the reality is very different. Vendors mix with General Counsel, academics discuss the finer points of contract law with legal operations pros, futurologists debate where the industry is going with blockchain gurus and so on. It is a melting pot of everything that is vibrant and happening in the world to make the legal profession and its application in the corporate environment more efficient and effective. So if it all stayed in Vegas it would be a bit of a shame and little would have been achieved.
There is always lots of news, products being launched, relationships promoted, and new contacts being forged at the conference and it is easy for some to get lost in the noise and perhaps something significant may be missed. One important relationship was announced to coincide with CLOC which may well have far-reaching effects on how contracts get negotiated in the future and how they are then managed and analysed.
UnitedLex, the enterprise legal services provider established in 2006 to drive transformation throughout the entire legal ecosystem, announced a significant partnership with Seal. UnitedLex is committing to deliver a contract negotiation solution leveraging Seal’s industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI) platform which will focus on those two aims of optimizing efficiency and improving effectiveness. What this means is that UnitedLex will integrate their “end-to-end” contracts lifecycle services with the Seal contract analytics AI platform so that third-party contracts and language can be compared against a client’s contracting standards and highlight areas that need addressing. Third-party paper is often problematic in the contracting process and given that for many organisations the number of contracts that are agreed on third-party paper can range from 25% – 75% (depending on the company size and their power in the value chain), dealing with them can be complex, time-consuming and often overwhelming. UnitedLex is forecasting that its clients will achieve more than $250 million in accelerated revenue in 2019 due to more-rapid contracting cycle times with this integration.
There are a plethora of contract analytics vendors in the market so why did UnitedLex decide to partner with Seal in order to realize this vision? As we have written about many times before, not all Machine Learning is created equal. Kevin Gidney, our CTO and Co-Founder wrote elegantly about this a few years ago and much still applies. Seal’s continued focus on innovation and R&D was recognized recently with Kevin being identified as a thought leader in the AI economy and the continued growth of the Seal business is largely down to staying in the vanguard of the application of AI to the world of contracts.
But the CEO of UnitedLex outlines it best in the press release:
“After evaluating several AI platforms within our UnitedLex Technology Incubation Lab, we determined that Seal’s leading-edge software solution best meets our clients’ demands and closely aligns with our vision to redefine the legal services delivery model,” UnitedLex CEO Dan Reed said. “Seal’s continued investment in its platform has paid off with significantly enhanced capabilities, and we are confident that Seal’s aggressive roadmap will continue to deliver innovation and value to our corporate clients.”
UnitedLex is a different kind of legal services provider. They are a disruptor who take a different approach to delivering services to corporations and law firms alike. Legal has been slow to adopt new technology compared to other functions and industries, but the waves of transformation are swelling and the economics of it all are becoming too compelling for global businesses and large domestic corporations to ignore. A figure of $250m in accelerated revenue in just one year for UnitedLex clients through the application of a negotiation solution is significant enough to arrest the attention of any CFO.
Seal is proud that UnitedLex has chosen to partner with us and we are looking forward to a relationship that is not only mutually beneficial but will, more importantly, drive value for our customers.