ContractProbe listed as Number 1 Lawtech startup by Law Hackers.
Selected into Legal Technology Accelerator
Australia's 10th-largest law firm Mills Oakley has revealed the first two start-ups it will support through its $500,000 accelerator program, with the founder of one a former 21-year Allens partner who claims his robot will "kill the billable hour dead".
Mills Oakley chief executive John Nerurker flagged last year that up to six start-ups would enter the first intake of the program, which it is paying Melbourne-based innovation consultancy Collective Campus to run.
Only two of 35 applicants were deemed to have products sufficiently advanced and commercially viable to test on Mills Oakley lawyers, with the firm taking a 7 per cent equity stake in each.
One is Speak To Scout, the Brisbane-based builder of a "chatbot" claiming to give personalised legal guidance to consumers researching online. Mr Nerurker said an obvious application of the product was as a referrer for migration law advice, or it could be customised for in-house legal counsel to help them find and instruct external legal providers.
The other is ContractProbe, an automator of contract reviews developed by Michael Pattison, a technology lawyer at Allens for 31 years (21 of them as a partner) until last May, when he decided "now or never" and took the leap into entrepreneurship.
Contract review automation is already a competitive field, with global players like Kira Systems getting installed by Australian firms like DLA Piper, however Mr Pattison claimed his product was different.
"There's plenty of systems that will help you draft a contract, ContractProbe comes into its own when you receive a copy of a contract as part of a negotiation," he told The Australian Financial Review.
Learning from new contracts
ContractProbe has been "trained" on thousands of executed non-disclosure agreements, consultancy agreements, employment agreements and technology licences. However Mr Pattison, who has a Masters in Computer Science from RMIT, claimed it also has an artificial intelligence "front-end" capable of learning from new contracts it processes, so that it is able to identify missing clauses or clauses that are unusual.
Exhibiting at ABA TechShow 2017
The ContractProbe booth had an eye-catching inflatable boxing kangaroo and Cherry Ripe candy, a nod to their Australian origins. But what caught our eye were these stress balls in the shape of a brain, perfect for the parent company of the product, Neural Contract Company.
The Pitch: “ContractProbe will cut down substantially the length of time you have to spend on reviewing a contract. ContractProbe will also make your work easier. No one likes proofreading documents for the types of errors that ContractProbe picks up. ContractProbe takes that weight off your shoulders and allows you to decide simply whether you’re concerned about a particular problem or not. Finally, ContractProbe reduces the risks of missing important clauses in contracts.”