KPMG has formed an alliance with legal tech provider SirionLabs to offer new contract management tools for law departments, the latest signal that the Big Four accounting firms have their eyes on the legal market.
The deal helps KPMG develop and implement contract drafting and tracking tools using software from Seattle-based SirionLabs, which incorporates AI and natural language processing, Nicola Brooks, who leads KPMG’s Legal Operations Transformation Services team in the UK, told Bloomberg Law.
Access to SirionLabs programs will help clients of KPMG digitize their systems faster and more thoroughly, said Brooks. She said this is an ongoing need in 2021.
“We still have clients who hand-sign contracts, and don’t scan them into their systems,” she said.
KPMG isn’t alone in offering more legal technology products and solutions in the legal space. Last year, two other Big Four firms, EY and Deloitte, said they’ll also be bulking up their contracts-related offerings for U.S.-based and other clients.
The Big Four and other alternative legal service providers are going after a larger piece of a market that in years past had been dominated by law firms. The Big Four also includes PwC.
Last July, Deloitte launched its U.S. Legal Business Services practice, designed to work with in-house legal offices to streamline functions that track contracts, invoices, eDiscovery, and other core functions.
One month later, EY’s global legal managed services leader, John Knox, said his division looked to double its legal managed services revenues over the next 12 months, in part through offering contract lifecycle management tools. The U.S. will be central to its plans, he said, given the size of its legal market.
According to Brooks, about 60% of her team’s clients are U.K. or Europe-based; the other 40% are headquartered in the U.S.
In addition to contract management, the alliance also aims to streamline other processes for clients, such as invoice validation, risk management, and advanced analytics.
SirionLabs has received plenty of recent attention. In the second quarter of 2020, Tiger Global and Avatar Growth Capital poured $44 million into the company in a Series C round—the largest recorded legal tech investment of that quarter.
“Sirion CLM is uniquely positioned to help enterprises transform into agile, resilient, and cohesive businesses to effectively meet the threats and opportunities of the post-COVID world.” said SirionLabs Chief Revenue Officer Amol Joshi in a press statement. “We are excited and proud to collaborate with KPMG.”