This isn’t a story about the CLOC Global Institute, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t kick this one off by recounting a conversation from Vegas. Someone from one of the largest global players in legal told me that the single most impressive product he saw at the conference was Catylex.
I’d seen it a little earlier in the day and there’s no arguing that the company is on to something here. Because I’m not a transactional lawyer but I’ve talked to a lot of transactional lawyers and Catylex looks like a “fourth-year associate in a box.”
The idea that robots are coming for your jobs is overblown, but robots coming for your busywork is here. Catylex slides into the market with a low-cost, straightforward tool that zooms through contracts and identifies provisions based on “50,000+ specific, granular concepts.” That’s an absurd level of detail. Then it translates all that into usable data for both legal and enterprise.
That’s Catylex running through a contract and pulling out key information with its artificial brain. Views of the data are already designed to show the most likely use cases but beyond that, the system is highly and rapidly configurable, allowing users to see whichever concepts are most relevant for a particular contract. Users do not need to spend weeks or months “training” models — Catylex is doing this work on its own.
It’s a little thing, but when Catylex is figuring out terms it doesn’t need the text to be a digit, it’s figuring it out regardless of how it’s presented. That’s how the whole thing works, figuring out what time-honored terms are in the deal no matter how “creatively” the lawyers thought they’d written it up.
Companies notoriously only track about 10 percent of what’s inside their contracts. With this system everything is right there and flagged. No more fretting over hidden risks or costly surprises in revenue and supply chain contracts — no matter how insurmountable the collection of contracts, Catylex can get you what you need to know.
It’s not going to replace the fourth-year associate, but it’s absolutely going to replace the fourth-year associate billing 80 hours to reading up on a single deal. And it’s going to give that associate a comprehensive and more accurate guide to what’s in the document so they can start doing real legal thinking.
Event types recognized and flagged and translated into bullet points that the business side can actually use.
But, as a non-transactional lawyer, this is the feature that impressed me:
It’s taking those bullet points — in this example the force majeure stuff — and giving the company a full view of everything in the hopper.
There’s also a lot about unique, off-the-beaten-path deals that Catylex is set up to understand and decipher through expert informed concept recognition but this flies over my poor litigation brain. The point is Catylex has out-of-the-box capabilities that understand it.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.