Accelerating legal workflows in private markets: Ontra’s AI integration journey

May 31, 2024

By Eric Hawkins, SVP of Engineering

“What progress have we made in adopting AI to speed up our teams and make them more productive? Why aren’t we making more progress?”

Does that sound familiar? As we speak to our private equity and investment banking customers, we keep hearing that internal teams have a mandate to explore and apply generative AI to their workflows. Whether you’re a Chief Technology Officer or Chief Innovation Officer focused on firm-wide digital transformation, or a General Counsel exploring AI for your team’s legal workflows, the pressure to keep up with the pace of innovation is real.

The value and efficiency that can be unlocked with generative AI can be powerful and compelling, but in a highly sophisticated and regulated industry, leaders want to approach AI adoption thoughtfully and responsibly.

For many firms, the challenge is finding technology partners who understand the nuances of the private markets and how to safely use AI to address professionals’ unique pain points.

Ontra’s AI integration journey

Ontra has been applying AI capabilities to solve legal workflow challenges since 2016. We’ve developed proprietary machine learning models purpose-built to perform specific functions within our software, like identifying and summarizing specific clauses and document types.

Then, in 2022, OpenAI released ChatGPT, and the performance of commercially available LLMs began to improve exponentially over a very short period of time. We saw an opportunity to enhance our AI capabilities by adding commercial LLMs alongside our proprietary models and data sets.

In 2023, we entered into an enterprise agreement with OpenAI to integrate their models, like GPT-4, across Ontra’s Legal Operating System for private markets. In just a few months, this has allowed us to reduce Insight onboarding time by 75%* and develop several new AI-powered features in Contract Automation, including Markup Builder, Digital Playbooks, and Automated Summaries.

Addressing the challenges of AI in private markets

Integrating AI presents unique challenges for GCs and CCOs at private funds and investment banks. The benefits of optimizing legal processes with AI are clear, but cost savings and workflow efficiencies are meaningless if outputs are low quality or if the implementation is not secure.

Legal drafting is nuanced, and terms of art are important. Commercial LLMs have been known to hallucinate and produce non-deterministic outputs. To mitigate this risk, Ontra’s unique combination of human expertise and leading technology streamlines tedious, routine legal workstreams while still ensuring high-quality outcomes.

Ontra deeply understands the regulated industry in which our customers operate and the professional standards to which our customers must adhere. OpenAI prioritizes enterprise-grade privacy and security standards, including data encryption and SOC-2 compliance. To further ensure our customers’ sensitive data is protected, our arrangement with OpenAI includes a zero data retention policy.

We continue to innovate and leverage our industry expertise and AI capabilities to deliver new features and products to improve legal, compliance, and operations workflows across the fund lifecycle.

If you’re ready to learn more about our Legal Operating System for Private Markets, schedule a demo today.



*With AI-enabled contract digitization, Insight is 75% faster at identifying and categorizing clauses from fund documents versus previous manual methods.

Onboard side letters to Insight fast with AI

Additional Resources

Ontra is not a law firm and does not provide any legal services, legal advice, or referral services and, as a result, we do not provide any legal representation to clients, nor do we participate in any legal representation of clients. The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to constitute or be relied upon as legal, tax, accounting, regulatory, or other professional advice, opinion, or recommendation by Ontra or its affiliates. For assistance or guidance regarding the impact or applicability of the topics discussed in this article to your business, please consult your legal or other professional advisers.

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