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LegalTech SoapBox: Clarilis.

1. Hi James, tell us the story behind Clarilis 

Clarilis, a document automation platform and fully managed service, was founded by two brothers - one lawyer (me) and our CTO and architect (Kevin Quinn).  

I serve as Clarilis’ CEO and was previously a corporate tax lawyer at Slaughter and May in London and Hong Kong. Kevin is Clarilis’ CTO and technical architect of the Clarilis platform. He was previously the lead developer on a number of key projects for GE Power Systems, DHL, FT.com and a number of banks in the City of London.  

Before Clarilis, to take advantage of the deregulation of Legal Services in the UK, we first set up one of the first Alternative Business Structure (ABS) law firms, so as to permit lawyers and non-lawyers to share in the equity of our law firm. One of the key elements of our practice was drafting large suites of reorganisation and M&A documents, so naturally document automation was one of the first technologies looked to licence to facilitate that. However, on reviewing solutions available to add drafting efficiencies here we found the toolkits lacking for transactional matters – especially those involving large agreements and scores of ancillaries.  

It became apparent that an advanced document automation solution could bring value to law firms and in-house legal teams and Clarilis was formed to deliver that solution to the marketplace. In late 2015 Clarilis launched to the market. Since then, the team has grown to over 60 people, an office in Singapore and a global customer base of leading law firms and organisations including Addleshaw Goddard, Arthur Cox, Dentons, Herbert Smith Freehills, PwC, Slaughter and May, Oon and Bazul and National Grid. 

2. What are the services/products that Clarilis provides? 

Clarilis is a document automation system and a lawyer-led managed service that is entirely focused on delivering outcomes. Clarilis specialises in high value use cases for document automation and is commonly used by transactional lawyers to draft entire suites of complex documentation. 

Clarilis takes drafting efficiency to the next level by enabling lawyers to produce high quality first drafts in a fraction of the current time. For example, lawyers who use Clarilis turn a first draft SPA or investment suite and all ancillaries within two hours. Complex banking facility agreements can also be drafted in under two hours, and in Real Estate, a lease plus common ancillaries can be drafted in under an hour. Clarilis has been deployed in all practice areas and is commonly referred to as having a ‘transformational impact’ on drafting within law firms.  

Our market-leading platform takes a genuinely different approach to automation. Clarilis focuses on modelling an entire matter, rather than automating one document at a time. This highly structured approach has the power to radically reduce the time it takes to draft entire suites of complex documents, typically by 90% on the first draft and 100% on ancillaries. 

Our experienced Professional Support Lawyer (PSL) team (each with, on average, more than 15 years’ PQE) deliver automations for our customers. This covers design, testing, implementation and all updating of the automation. Communication is always lawyer-to-lawyer and projects are delivered on time, for a fixed fee with a solid ROI for both client firms and in-house legal.  

3. How does it help optimise the daily operations of lawyers? 

Our matter-based intelligent drafting platform makes life easier for lawyers, in both law firms and in-house legal teams, by helping lawyers work with greater speed, efficiency, accuracy, and consistency. We liberate them from the routine and mechanical aspects of drafting so they can focus on higher value tasks.  

We help law firms differentiate themselves by improving margin, increasing capacity, speeding up turnaround time and mitigating risk, and we provide in-house legal teams with a controlled way to draft contracts accurately and efficiently, from simple NDAs to more complex MSAs.

4. What do you believe will be the most significant change in how legal teams use technology in the next 10 years? 

There is an enormous variety of LegalTech available today. If we can bring together all of the current LegalTech in a coherent way, and leverage that substantially to move the practice of law forward, then we will have made substantial progress. As with all technologies, changing working practices and implementing effectively can be the biggest challenges. 

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