Australia: Corrs enters joint venture with Beagle to provide accessible AI technology in Australia and New Zealand
Last Updated: 26 October 2016

Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Canadian technology start-up, Beagle, have today announced the launch of Beagle Asia Pacific Pty Ltd, a new entity established to provide practical and accessible artificial intelligence technology.

The 50:50 joint venture is set to revolutionise the way Australian and New Zealand companies are using AI technology, with Beagle's TANR" (Technology Assisted Narrative Review technology) and productivity tools, which can be used for automatic contract analysis, offering companies a scalable and affordable product unlike anything currently available on the market.

"This is an AI-based narrative review which gives clients the benefits of AI without having to commit to the expensive and lengthy process which is the current norm," said Corrs Chambers Westgarth Partner James Whittaker.

"Up until this point, many companies have had to rule out using AI for contract analysis because they haven't had the scale or the budget. Beagle's software addresses this market gap and, rather than being confined to use within legal departments, it can create benefits right across the enterprise structure, from legal, to procurement, contract administration and management, risk, insurance, IT and IP," added Whittaker.

Beagle's TANR" digests and identifies important elements within text at about one page per second, and then learns the culture-specific way that an entity manages those elements. The platform augments a user's ability to make appropriate decisions and does so in a way that increases the uniformity of these decisions in accordance with the organisation's policies and procedures.

"Instead of adopting the common reactive approach of other software platforms in the market which look at what a company has agreed to previously, this platform is focused on quickly learning what is needed by a company based on its own policies and culture, and then helping decision-makers stay within those boundaries," said Beagle Founder and Top Dog, Cian O'Sullivan.

"This approach drastically improves corporate compliance and provides exceptional transparency, in fractions of the time currently invested," concluded O'Sullivan.

The product is being introduced to the market as a pilot program for a select number of Corrs' clients, though the platform will ultimately be available to all of Corrs clients and non-clients throughout Australia and New Zealand.

The Beagle JV is both Beagle and Corrs' first joint venture and reflects Corrs' strategy to embrace technology and pioneer new ways of adding value.

"At Corrs, we recognise the continued and increasing importance that technology is playing throughout the business landscape – both in legal departments and more broadly. Our aim is to be at the forefront of these changes, to catalyse them. The key to ensuring we thrive in the shifting delivery of legal services is to ensure our innovations deliver value to the market. At times, this extends beyond our immediate client base, and our joint venture with Beagle is a great example of this," said Corrs Partner and CEO John W.H. Denton.

Founded in Canada in 2014, Beagle is already gaining significant traction, with German automaker Volkswagen (VW AG) deploying Beagle's technology to assist in all car part procurement decisions for its entire family of companies and brands.

Beagle was one of 14 recipients of Microsoft Ventures' 2015 Seattle-based Accelerator Program, a graduate of the prestigious Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto) Creative Destruction Lab, and one of the recipients of the Canadian Innovation Exchange top 20 most innovative companies of 2015 (CIX Top 20 2015). Beagle's founder, Cian O'Sullivan, is a fellow of CodeX, the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics.

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