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How AI can streamline your client intake process

Get the full picture on any client, in minutes.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the expanse of sanctions against them draws stark attention to a dilemma now facing legal professionals. While the export of services such as accountancy and PR advice to Russia are set to be banned by the UK, lawyers will still be allowed to work with Russian clients. However, questions are being raised regarding the ethics and potential reputational damage of this decision. So much so that many London-based lawyers have cut ties with Russian-linked individuals and organisations due to increasing reputational risk. On a wider scale, lawyers must now go beyond asking themselves whether they can engage with an individual or company to whether they should.

Other than PEPs and sanctions checkers, there are few ways of discerning potentially negative associations and histories of a client. Even these standard checks are limited in that they only identify “obviously'' risky or already sanctioned individuals. Though there have been wide-scale international efforts to find and identify these people, there are several, large networks yet to be uncovered. There are also risks of sanctions increasing suddenly or changing at short notice, making initial approvals redundant.

AI-driven platforms effectively transform the research work that goes behind critical legal processes, new client and business intakes being among them. The efficiency and streamlining benefits of AI are integral to enhancing processes and keeping law firms ahead of increased competition.

Read on to find out how AI enhances the client intake process and how law firms can implement this solution for themselves.

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Suggested reading: Maintaining and safeguarding one's reputation is more important yet complicated to do than ever - get to grips with efficient due diligence with our eBook 'How Can You Protect Your Reputation?'

1. Uncover potentially critical risks 

Modern background research has to incorporate the vast (and growing) amounts of publicly available online information to be truly extensive. This information provides insights that can prove critical to how you address your new business and client intakes. Yet traditional compliance tools struggle to go beyond the basics, such as whether or not a subject is on a sanctions list. Law firms must also know whether a subject ending up on a sanctions list is imminent.

An AI-powered background research tool is capable of quickly scouring through and analysing millions of sources of public information to find relevant insights. Manual research teams or simpler research tools simply cannot match this performance on a practical and effective timescale. 

The kind of valuable, specific information that an AI-driven platform can uncover is critical to building a comprehensive client intake process. It is fast becoming essential for law firms to have effective regulatory compliance as well as reputation management. 

Say a new client approaches a corporate lawyer to work on a merger. The law firm’s team runs their standard search process to find that one of the companies’ benefactors is not on a sanctions list. However, Xapien’s analysis of open-source data reveals news reports that the benefactor has ties to Putin. The owner is even believed to hold assets on the president’s behalf. These insights can inform decision-making at the law firm. Lawyers can consider whether the client should be accepted and the merger facilitated.

While many law firms aim for this level of consolidated detail and clarity, it is not scalable without the right technology. Xapien’s technology can conduct deep, comprehensive research, quickly. This means it can be run on any number of potential or existing clients. Compliance and regulation best practices are in-built to the platform, respecting privacy laws and eliminating the need for double-checking across different tools.

Key takeaways

  • Lawyers have to think beyond if they can work with certain clients to if they should, due to increased sensitivity around ethics and reputational risk. 

  • The explosion of online data plus advances in AI, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and cloud computing power enables us to find answers for the “should we” question. 

  • Xapien can cut through vast volumes of publicly available information to provide critical insights to law firms on clients, and/or their associations.​​

2. Discover opportunities for growth

The benefits of AI go beyond simply avoiding regulatory and reputational risks in client intake. The broad and in-depth analysis that an AI-powered platform delivers can also bring a host of upside benefits. With such a tool in play, law firms can:

  • Learn whether a prospective client aligns ethically with the firm. The insights generated can help the firm decide if the client is a mutual fit, or whether there may be areas of friction in a future relationship. 

  • Develop a more comprehensive view of the client and their business(es) and networks. This can help inform legal strategy once the client is on board and can save time (and costs for the client) on those initial steps of the partnership.

  • Identify new potential clients and businesses for future intakes. An efficient client intake process will go beyond managing risks to also unlocking pathways for growth. 

Client relationships rest upon understanding the full scope of your clients. With the insights that a tool like Xapien can deliver, law firms have much greater potential and effectiveness in building this awareness. 

Key takeaways

  • Background research goes beyond compliance with regulations and legal best practices. 


  • Comprehensive research can uncover relationship-building opportunities, increase value to existing clients, and even entirely new business/clients. 


  • This level of research and insight is only realistically achievable through using a smart, AI-driven tool.


3. Make better-informed decisions, faster

The fast, comprehensive insights afforded by AI platforms free up legal teams to redirect their efforts and attention towards higher-value, more sensitive processes. Xapien adds a magnitude of value beyond PEPs and sanctions checks, by identifying and analysing all publicly available online data on an individual or corporation.


Often traditional research platforms scour information and present highlights or reports (or even raw databases) that require added human verification. Common problems with this method include:


  • false positives


  • a subject being mentioned in a negative article about an only marginally-related third party. 

Xapien uses machine learning to disambiguate between similar people and identify matches based on provided context. The platform uses NLP to disambiguate between issues like subjects with the same name. A “John Smith” that is being investigated for connections to the Russian government will not get confused with another “John Smith” that works at Waitrose. 


The efficiencies of AI are also crucial to effectively delivering the actionable information found. If insights are not presented well, they aren’t really helpful. Researchers would traditionally have to bear the load of both finding relevant information and consolidating the data into a meaningful, useful report. Xapien does it all.


The platform delivers insights as comprehensive, easily digestible (and easily shareable) reports. Legal teams can thus stay fully supported and better-informed as they approach critical decision-making. These downloadable reports also serve as a clear and fully sourced audit trail, giving users of Xapien a competitive advantage while ensuring peace of mind.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Traditional tools like PEP and sanctions checkers leave much of the extra verification work to humans. This is a burden on resources, slows down workflows, and restricts manual teams from better utilising their efforts in higher-value tasks. 


  • Xapien’s AI-powered background research platform disambiguates and cross-references information, eliminating the need for added verification. 


  • Clear and consistent reporting of research insights is paramount. A high quality tool will allow team members to maximise the research benefits while ensuring buy-in and unity across the team. 

An AI platform will streamline your path to growth 

The benefits of AI tools go beyond just the speed, volume, and depth of insights they provide. Rather, these platforms enable a qualitative leap in capabilities compared to look-up/search tools. Xapien’s power means guaranteed, in-depth insights for law firms that take firms from simply searching to truly researching. 


Xapien’s AI-driven platform is ideally suited to legal professionals that want to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving sector. Its intelligent, machine-learning functions combine into a single platform solution that enables legal firms to get a full picture of a client quickly. 


This complete picture is not just about identifying and avoiding risks but also about uncovering growth opportunities. These include building deeper relationships and the potential for new, lucrative associations, including client and business intakes.


Xapien empowers internal teams and gives them what they need to better inform their decisions and broader strategies.

  • Xapien’s rapid in-depth reports bring previously inaccessible insights to client onboarding processes.


  • The full picture that Xapien provides enables you to form deeper, more fruitful client relationships.


  • Xapien’s intelligent research capabilities enable you to make better-informed decisions, faster, so that you can see immediate growth and efficiency.

To enhance your firm's functions today and see greater workflows across the board, book a demo of Xapien’s powerful capabilities.

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