ThoughtRiver’s AI technology aims to disrupt how business contracts are reviewed


UK and Singapore-based start-up ThoughtRiver has launched ‘Review’, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) contract review solution that can assess legal contracts an average of 60 times faster and 30 percent cheaper than the typical paralegal*.

Review is based on ThoughtRiver’s Contextual Interpretation Engine, ‘Fathom’ which fuses true machine learning capability and deep legal expertise. Fathom analyses legal text through a dynamically assembled series of questions and machine learning algorithms, and then it interprets the information to produce a risk rating that helps users prioritise, route work and identify areas of the contract that may require further review or amendment.


This AI solution will enable law firms, in-house counsel, procurement departments and C-level executives to oversee large volumes of contracts more accurately and cost efficiently. For CEOs, Review will also help to reduce the burden of compliance and regulatory issues such as GDPR which can result up to 20 million Euros or four percent of the company’s global revenue.


ThoughtRiver Review comes onto the market following extensive early adoption testing at leading international legal brands, such as Eversheds Sutherland, and ongoing trials with several multinational in-house legal departments including BT focused on the potential for wide scale efficiencies and improved risk management.


How does ThoughtRiver Review work?

Review combines the power of Fathom with an easy-to-use, highly visual dashboard and reporting capability designed to support lawyers and business users in day to day work. Through Review, Fathom learns to identify specific legal issues and how the related clauses will affect your organisation.


The use of natural language processing (NLP) helps to assess risk levels in elements of a legal document that are unique to your client or organisation. The platform incorporates machine learning capabilities that enable it to learn from the risk judgements of legal professionals and generates an institutional ‘memory’.


Tim Pullan, ThoughtRiver’s founder and CEO, explains, “A typical large organisation can have more than 100,000 live contracts across its suppliers, contractors and partner networks. It is impossible for any legal team or chief executive to have a complete birds eye view of the current state of play when it comes to contracts. The harsh reality is that an organisation only realises that there’s a problem with a contract when something goes wrong. Our system allows a rapid and accurate assessment of contracts a company is processing and it quickly identifies which ones may need further review.”


“Legal professionals should not be alarmed by the deployment of technology. By automating key parts of the contract review process, they will be in a much stronger position to provide strategic advice to their clients. As for in-house legal teams, they will be better placed to assess every contract that passes through their organisation without reading each one and prioritise their workloads to issues that most require their legal expertise,” adds Pullan.


For companies faced with heavy fines for failing to anonymise documents under the new EU GDPR regime and UK Data Protection Act, the Fathom Contextual Interpretation Engine has been trained to provide fast automatic document anonymisation, stripping away not only standard confidential information such as names of individuals and company names, but also other less predictable, and no less sensitive identifiers.


Tim Pullan added, “Many companies will be scratching their heads about the cost and timescale of complying with the stringent new privacy measures. Our contract review capability radically speeds up and reduces the cost and manual labour involved with compliance programmes.”


ThoughtRiver was shortlisted for the Legal Geek Startup Award 2016 in the Best Document Automation category. For further information visit or email


*Calculation based on 1 hour of billable paralegal time of £75 / $97 dollars reviewing a 6 – 8 page contract and feedback from ThoughtRiver BETA customers 2017.


About ThoughtRiver

ThoughtRiver is contract intelligence software for the legal sector that uses machine learning to scan contracts and other legal documents and presents the information in an online dashboard from which users can visualise and assess risk.

In May 2017 the company received $1m in investment from a group of investors that included former Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence and Michael Findlay, chairman of Morgan Sindall and former co-head of investment banking for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. ThoughtRiver is headquartered in London and is formed of highly skilled AI engineers, lawyers and industry veterans. For further information visit


Intelligent Contract Pre-screening
Automated and bespoke interrogation of your contracts, providing a risk assessment and recommended next steps.