10 Aug 2021

Litera Microsystems makes 12th legaltech acquisition with contract review solution Kira Systems

Teaming up with Litera will allow Kira to 'achieve ubiquity in the due diligence review process', CEO says

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Document management company Litera Microsystems has continued its push into the legal technology arena by acquiring AI contract review solution Kira Systems with the aim of broadening its transaction management offering. 

The deal marks Chicago-based Litera’s 12th legaltech acquisition in recent years. As part of the transaction — which is set to be completed for an undisclosed amount — Insight Partners, a New York-based private equity and venture capital firm which invested $50m in Kira in 2018, will further its investment in Kira and become a minority investor in Litera. 

Based in Toronto, Kira has grown into a leading contract analysis software supplier to law firms since it was founded in 2011. Its software helps lawyers analyse more documents with ‘greater efficiency and accuracy’ with its patented AI technology during due diligence in order to mitigate risk and expenses. 

Over the last decade, Kira has attracted an impressive client portfolio which includes more than half the Am Law 100, 18 of the top 25 ranked M&A practices, and seven of the Vault 10, Kira’s CEO and co-founder Noah Waisberg told Above The Law

Avaneesh Marwaha, Litera’s CEO, said the deal would allow the company to broaden its offering by including Kira’s advanced AI workflows into its own transaction management platform, streamlining the deal management process for its 15,000-strong law firm client base. 

Meanwhile, Waisberg said his company had found a “perfect partner” in Litera thanks to their shared view that “technology can transform the contract review process”. 

He added: “Litera has achieved ubiquity in the legal market for its drafting products. We believe this acquisition will ensure Kira achieves ubiquity in the due diligence review process, as well as provide a welcome home for our customers and employees.”

Following the deal, Waisberg will stay on as strategic advisor to Litera and set up a new spin-off company, Zuva, which will continue to advance Kira’s AI solutions for the corporate market while Kira co-founder and chief technology officer, Alexander Hudek, will serve as strategic advisor and board director. 

Last June, Hogan Lovells launched an AI-based tool in the UK powered by Kira’s contracts review software to help businesses comply with new European Banking Authority (EBA) outsourcing requirements.

A recent study by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School on behalf of the Solicitors Regulatory Authority in the UK found that the use of some existing day-to-day tech-enabled business solutions has reached fever pitch over the last 18 months for the majority of law firms, with 87% of the 900 surveyed firms now using video conferencing to meet clients and two-thirds storing data in the cloud. 

In terms of advanced technology, however, just over a third of firms said they currently use advanced systems, such as automated documents, interactive websites and artificial intelligence. Almost all of the surveyed firms said they believed tech-focused changes made in the areas of processing work and interacting with clients would remain in place as the legal industry slowly shifts into the post-Covid world.

Last month, US eDiscovery and information governance platform IPRO acquired Amsterdam-based automated legal hold service provider ZyLAB to help it expand its footprint in Europe. US contract management start-up Lexion raised $11m to help finance growth and develop its AI-powered contract system, while US cloud-based firm management software provider Intapp filed for a potential initial public offering.

That followed Canadian legaltech provider Clio’s $110m Series E funding round in April that pushed its valuation to $1.6bn – making it the world’s first legal practice management unicorn.

 

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