Jul 28, 2020
Osler’s focus on combining the use of innovative technologies with process innovation and legal expertise is not only more efficient for legal service delivery, but it provides clients with significant value, Natalie Munroe tells Forbes. Natalie, Head of Osler Works – Transactional (OWT), was featured as a “technological and process innovator” in an article by Tom Davenport. The article traces Natalie’s corporate law background and explores how the OWT team (part of the firm’s Osler Works platform) is leveraging technology to transform the delivery of legal services. The OWT team assesses which types of technologies or artificial intelligence (AI) and related tools will enhance the transactional workflow on any given task, on a case-by-case basis. As the article says, “process improvement and redesign are matched with technology and new people skills.”
One such tool employed regularly by OWT is Kira Systems, a Canadian AI-based contract review and analysis software company. The OWT team predominantly uses Kira for “due diligence processes, identifying and extracting content from contracts and other legal documents,” according to the article. Natalie explains how her team works hand-in-hand with Kira.
“We determine the type of content we are interested in and set Kira up accordingly,” Natalie tells Forbes. “Kira goes through all the documents very quickly and extracts the required content in each document. In effect, Kira does the first pass through the documents—it gives you something to work with, and then our subject matter experts on the Transactional team make it relevant for the client.
“Eventually, the results are embedded in a due diligence report for the client. While Kira extracts content, we have to tell the story about the content — the machine can’t do that.”
Natalie says that using such technologies – including Closing Folders and DocuSign, which help with virtual closings and provide a platform for digital signatures - for client transactions is more effective and makes working remotely, particularly during COVID-19, more seamless.
“Our traditional practice workflow was already seamless when the pandemic came along,” Natalie tells Forbes. “We’ve had the ability to work remotely for years. We have seen a spike in the usage of Closing Folders and DocuSign since the pandemic started; they were not always allowed for regulatory reasons, but times have changed.”
Natalie says that one of her team’s core goals is to get the most value and performance out of the technologies they have to work with, and she says that OWT collaborates regularly with the firm’s Osler Works – Innovation Program to look for new tools that could drive greater efficiency. She also says that anyone working for the OWT team must be comfortable working with these tools.
“There is probably no place for them if they don’t want to work with technology—they probably know that about us,” Natalie tells Forbes. “We are proud of what we have done with technology and our work and make it pretty well known.”
For more information, read author Tom Davenport’s article, “The Future of Work Now: Natalie Munroe and the Transformation of Legal Service Delivery,” in Forbes.