Technology is transforming every aspect of the real estate industry. Our real estate lawyers know that clients want their legal work carried out effectively and efficiently, and technology plays a huge role in that – in how we communicate, how we present information and how we do business. It allows for more collaboration, communication and flexibility, enabling us to serve our clients better and faster.
Our dedicated technology team is developing a suite of specialised PropTech tools that speed up the way our lawyers work. We now use data manipulation tools to push and pull data automatically from public sources, including the Land Registry or Companies House at the start of a real estate transaction, or HMRC at the end of it. Using machine learning technology our real estate lawyers can improve the way our clients manage their assets, including automating the extraction of key lease and management data into a format that can be instantly uploaded to property management systems. We are also able to set up a secure datasite platform enabling efficient exchange of information and documents between us and our clients' teams which can include project management functions. This allows our lawyers to spend less time on historically labour intensive tasks and more time on strategic, value-adding work. Our clients therefore save time and money and are able to make decisions in real time, using data more intelligently.
We are investing significant time and effort in changing how we work. We have now entered the third year of MDR LAB, our incubator programme for tech start-ups in the legal space, as part of our commitment to technologically transforming our practice. In 2018 we had a dedicated real estate category, sponsored by property investors Derwent London and technology partner, Coyote. Previous MDR LAB cohorts have included start-up company Orbital Witness, who we worked with to develop their product which delivers actionable insights from satellite imagery for use by real estate lawyers. We have also invested in Third Fort, a web hosted PropTech start providing a platform through which lawyers are able to securely hold money during property transactions through a central technology enabled Escrow.
We have a collaboration with legal artificial intelligence leader Kira Systems. We have been working together to enhance Kira System's software, specifically the machine leaning models for real estate transactions. Mishcon de Reya has been using Kira software since 2016 to increase the accuracy and efficiency of document review in each of their real estate focused practice areas, including residential, commercial, tax, construction and planning.
As well as this, our in-house IT team has created Mishcon Maps, an interactive mapping tool which makes client portfolios and our own internal data searchable on a map. This allows us to be smarter with our deal know-how in that we can now visualise and map key data from every real estate transaction we have ever dealt with. It also makes data extraction more efficient as it can be easily found using the intelligent search function. Visual data is also much more user friendly as it has context and is especially useful for clients with large portfolios where comparing large amounts of data is difficult.