Login | June 01, 2020

Knowable knows what’s in all those contracts

Technology for Lawyers

Published: April 10, 2020

The winner of Legal Week 2020’s prizes for most innovative new product is a platform that takes contract data scattered throughout a system and organizes it so that enterprises—including law firms, not doubt—can visualize all those hidden, hard-to-find contract clauses.
The company is Knowable (https://www.knowable.com/). It is a spin-off from legal tech firm Axiom and is backed by LexisNexis in a joint venture.
Knowable’s landing page sets the scene. It states: “Hundreds of thousands of legal contracts establish the rules of the game for every large enterprise. And yet, most companies don’t actually know what’s in their contracts. Often, they can’t even find them.”
Probably true, even if very badly written. Very poorly written. But the underlying premise may be a shock to businesses that cruise along in their supply chains thinking that everything is under control because everything is in a contract somewhere. That premise is that large organizations operate under contracts that may easily contain clauses that no one has read since the contracts were signed. This is called “contract undermanagement.” Shifting conditions may actually render these contracts obsolete without anyone knowing it until it’s too late.
At the same time, companies may not be taking full advantage of clauses that may work in their favor. This is called “underleveraged contracts.”
Knowable says that it has a solution to this problem. The product uses a combination of AI and human interaction to find these undermanaged and underleveraged clauses, or sometimes entire contracts themselves, and then structures that data to create a visualized dashboard that gives graphic insights into what these contracts say and what they actually do.
Not solely relying on AI puts “lawyers in the loop,” says Knowable. Which, you know, is a good thing.
Knowable says that this platform can change the way that all company stakeholders relate with legal technology—stretching through corporate counsel into C Suite. If contracts are one of the foundational and valuable aspects of a company, this platform could bring control over those assets closer to the places where business decisions are made.
Don’t know how applicable this platform is to small firms or companies, but check it, I think. And thanks again to Bob Ambrogi for the tip.