Oxford Brookes University teams with technology law firm to develop contract-reading app

updated on 08 July 2019

Oxford Brookes University has joined forces with corporate technology-focused law firm Moorcrofts to create an app that can read contracts to identify the sections that require human attention.

As reported in The Law Gazette, the government-funded project will run for two years with the aim of using AI to lessen the workload of solicitors. Although there are similar systems currently being used in large City firms, this product will be aimed at small and medium-sized firms.

Using a statistical technique called topic modelling to identify what a contract is about based on the words it contains, the app highlights sections that need to be looked at by a human. It can also use other non-AI technology to help solicitors draft documents with its built-in editor that pulls out key information and verifies figures.

Chris McCormick, technology and IP paralegal at Moorcrofts, said: “There is a lot of work done by lawyers that is not legal work. This app will offload some of the non-legal stuff and check things that often get missed.”