Riverview Law is a new-age, revolutionary law firm developing . . well, robots, actually.
The innovative firm has spent 18 months investigating an automated, in-house team of virtual assistants that will make fast and (hopefully) accurate decisions. Dubbed “Kim” (which stands for knowledge, intelligence and meaning), the virtual assistants combine their robotic powers with data analysis and artificial intelligence.
Riverview has moved into the automation business with its purchase of US knowledge automation business CliXLEX, bought in June and its Solutions Prototyping Consultancy that it launched in September and which helps corporates review and document content and documentation.
Legal Business reports that the KIM launch is a major event for the firm, which intends becoming one of the major New Law brands in a rapidly changing law marketplace that has seen the rise of firms like Axiom and others.
Having initially launched in 2012 to target small and medium-sized businesses with a range of fixed fee products, Riverview has increasingly focused on handling routine-heavy contract and compliance work for sizeable institutional clients, arguing that its focus on technology can see it outperform law firms. The Wirral-based business now has 150 staff and revenues of just over £5m, according to its 2014 accounts.
Riverview chief executive Karl Chapman argues that virtual assistants comparable to systems like Siri, Cortana and Hive will increasingly be used to assess and handle legal issues.
Origins of KIM
So how exactly did the whole KIM business come about? The technology was developed in a partnership between the firm and the University of Liverpool, which was designed to use AI, data mining and text processing to help in-house legal teams with decision-making.
‘Because the Kim technology is applicable to all sectors, we are running this as if it is a stand-alone business. In this context, Riverview Law licenses the Kim technology on an arms-length basis and exploits it in the legal market,’ added Chapman.
‘[Kim is] very quick and easy to use and provides speed and savings in cost. We wanted to get to a place where using technology is a natural thing and came up with the name Kim. It’s a tool that delivers our solutions under one brand.
This is about in-housers trying to do things themselves without using a third-party. Look at what Uber have done – they have put the power into the hands of thellows us to productise our knowledge in ways that help in-house functions of all sizes, in all sectors, globally.
We are very focused on scaling our business internationally using technology as the entry point into new geographies.’
While Riverview has been using the system internally for 12 months, Kim officially launches in the first quarter of 2016 and will be open to the legal market, initially targeting English-speaking countries and then European countries starting with Spain, and then Germany and France.
Kim is already being used outside the legal market. As well as licensing its technology to third parties Kim will eventually launch its own products. and is designed to undertake various tasks for lawyers, combining the company’s legal expertise with automation and expert systems.
The virtual assistants are aimed at all businesses that have an in-house function and will be available globally, including to other law firms.
Sources: Legal Business