Bakers’ AI partnership aims to disrupt legal industry 

By Tony Zhang|21 October 2020
Ben Allgrove

Global law firm Baker McKenzie and AI problem-solving platform SparkBeyond have partnered to disrupt the legal industry and reimagine what legal services might look like for clients in the future.

The partnership marks the launch of Reinvent: Baker McKenzies new global innovation arm.

The collaboration will initially see Baker McKenzie – through its new global innovation arm Reinvent – apply SparkBeyond’s artificial intelligence-powered problem-solving technology over the coming months to predict what kind of services clients will require from law firms, the unseen drivers of client demand and how Baker McKenzie might evolve its business to meet those needs.

Thereafter, the parties plan to explore client-facing collaborations across the M&A, antitrust and IP spaces, among others. 

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As the first global law firm, innovation has always been an integral part of Baker McKenzies DNA. We are the original legal industry disruptors and throughout our history this legacy has enabled us to thrive,” Ben Allgrove, Baker McKenzie partner and global head of R&D commented.

Mr Allgrove, who will lead Reinvent, said the legal sector is on a new disruption path now and their partnership with SparkBeyond “will turbo-charge the change in our business.” 

“The collaboration will give us unparalleled insights into the future of legal services and what they could be if only we had a wider perspective. Understanding these unseen drivers and roots causes driving future client demand will allow us to shape the future of our business,” he said.

“Thereafter we plan to quickly explore, with our clients, how we might co-create a range of new value across the legal, tax and compliance functions. We are also excited about partnering with SparkBeyond to deploy our mutual skills to create real positive social impact.

The firm is also planning to apply the platform to its sustainability efforts, in particular supporting good governance and the rule of law as part of its commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and SparkBeyond’s parallel commitment to making sure its technology has a positive social impact.

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SparkBeyond’s platform uses AI to bypass human bias and cognitive bottlenecks in problem-solving, generating millions of hypotheses per minute to brainstorm solutions. 

These hypotheses will fuse Baker McKenzies knowledge with unique insights gleaned from SparkBeyond’s rich network of external data sources, delivering actionable insights powered by AI ideation.

“The opportunity to join forces with one of the world’s largest law firms will help us realise a common goal: reimagining the legal system – the ‘OS’ of civilisation”, said Amir Haramaty, chief commercial officer of SparkBeyond.

“SparkBeyond’s AI and advanced problem-solving systems have led the way in transforming many of our traditional industries, and we look forward to this latest challenge.”

The collaboration marks the launch of Baker’s Reinvent Law which builds on the founding sponsorship of the Frankfurt legal innovation hub of the firm which is uniting and aligning all its diverse innovation initiatives worldwide under a single arm.

Throughout 2020, innovation has helped us successfully navigate the disruption and advise our clients as many things changed in completely unexpected ways, said Milton Cheng, global chair of Baker McKenzie said.

Moving forward, we will embed innovation in our overall Firm strategy and the services we deliver to our clients. We are excited at the prospect of collaborations with cutting edge business partners like SparkBeyond. Reinvent will build on our history of innovation and carry it into the future.

Bakers’ AI partnership aims to disrupt legal industry 
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