Case Study

Luminance - leading the way in legal AI platforms

Luminance started out as a due diligence tool for mergers and acquisitions transactions. Now, with unprecedented demand from around the world, its cutting-edge AItechnology satisfies a wide range of legal practice needs, providing the very latest in document review and analysis for leading corporate lawyers and litigators.

We spoke to Clementine Fox, Head of Account Management, about the importance of its UK operations and the opportunities for future expansion as demand for digital documents continues to grow.

What does your company do?

Luminance is the leading artificial intelligence (AI) platform for the legal profession. It automatically performs key tasks like document clustering, filtering, data extraction, model clause and document comparison and anomaly detection. It's powered by our core technology - the Legal Inference Transformation Engine (LITE) - which was built from a blend of unsupervised and supervised machine learning and pattern recognition techniques developed at the University of Cambridge.

LITE enables Luminance to form an understanding of a document and it then augments this knowledge by learning from the interaction between legal professionals and the matter at hand. It also powers applications across different practice areas helping litigators with arbitration and disputes or supporting corporate lawyers with post-executed contract analytics in tasks such as M&A due-diligence, property lease abstraction or model document comparison.

Tell us about your company's UK operations and its UK history.

Luminance was founded in 2015 by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge who applied their cutting-edge research in machine learning to the field of law. During early development, Luminance was further tailored to lawyers’ needs following the collaboration with a world-leading ‘Magic Circle’ law firm. Luminance has two UK offices, one in the commercial centre of London and the other in the UK’s world-class science hub of Cambridge. The two offices work together to bring the latest technological advances in AI machine learning to the legal profession.

Luminance is in use in over 240 law firms and organisations across over 50 countries, including over one-fifth of ‘The Global Top 100’ and all of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms. Last year Luminance completed a Series B funding round of $10 million, valuing the company at $100 million. Luminance has also been awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation and the World Economic Forum’s ‘Technology Pioneer’.

The appeal of the ‘Silicon Fens’ [in Cambridge] attracts some of the country’s brightest minds – critical to a deep tech company such as Luminance. In fact, roughly 40% of Luminance’s employees are in engineering roles, many of them graduates and PhD-holders from the nearby University who wish to stay in the city.

What advantages and attractions are there to your company being based in the UK?

As a firm based in the UK, we are able to capitalize on the pioneering technology scene here. With a London office, where management as well as sales and marketing functions sit, and Cambridge, our R&D hub, Luminance is well positioned to take advantage of the benefits of residing in two world-leading tech hubs that the UK has to offer.

Indeed, the London tech scene has grown rapidly over the last decade, with investment outpacing many other cities in the world. It also recreates a rich ecosystem which is so critical in scaling up young technology companies. Likewise, in Cambridge, the appeal of the ‘Silicon Fens’ attracts some of the country’s brightest minds – critical to a deep tech company such as Luminance. In fact, roughly 40% of Luminance’s employees are in engineering roles, many of them graduates and PhD-holders from the nearby University who wish to stay in the city.

Importantly, being based in the UK allows Luminance to have a global outlook and customer base: Luminance has been used in hundreds of transactions all over the world and with customers across the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific operating out of a global city like London is instrumental to our success. AI companies are drivers for job creation, as demand for these complex technologies increases. They are also drivers of growth and profitability for the UK law firms and corporations that benefit from the technology.

Being based in a financial and legal centre such as London is of critical importance to Luminance. Close to our customers geographically, we are easily able to assist with projects and, in doing so, we can ensure that we are always improving the product to make the technology even more useful to lawyers.

Outline your firm's growth plans and how you see the UK featuring in these.

Luminance’s direction will necessarily follow the demands of an increasingly digitalized and interconnected world, and one that has grown ever more this way in the last few months alone. Lawyers work increasingly with digital documents only, and the rate of data growth means it is a physical impossibility to review all documents. Luminance allows lawyers to review all documents with speed and unmatched insight. In a world in which remote working looks set to grow, following the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, Luminance is also ideally suited to embrace the challenges of working in remote environments, with its built-in tools for collaborative working.

Being based in a financial and legal centre such as London is of critical importance to Luminance. Close to our customers geographically, we are easily able to assist with projects and, in doing so, we can ensure that we are always improving the product to make the technology even more useful to lawyers. For example, Luminance recently announced a product upgrade to allow lawyers to work in Word from within the Luminance platform, meaning that as they review documents they are able to edit them to comply with their standards. Luminance is the only platform that allows lawyers to be able to do this, and it is borne from our ability to maintain close customer ties.

The UK is our commercial centre, as well as our technology powerhouse, and as we continue to focus on expanding our products to new markets, we will only see our presence here cement as we grow to meet demand from lawyers all over the world.

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