PLMJ signs agreement with Chinese law firm Zhong Lun to use AI technology

Portuguese law firm PLMJ has signed an agreement with Chinese law firm Zhong Lun that will see the two firms use artificial intelligence software to produce bilingual contracts.

The DocQbot platform, which translates Chinese and English contracts, is able to “create millions of different customised bilingual draft contracts in just a few minutes,” said PLMJ partner Rita Assis Ferreira.

She added: “This electronic platform for documents is intended to facilitate a wide range of commercial transactions and investments related to China – it means a reduction in so many logistical and time constraints that still exist and which impede the conclusion of innumerable transactions.”

PLMJ was invited to participate as an exclusive DocQbot partner in Portugal, Angola and Mozambique.

Beijing-headquartered Zhong Lun also has offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The project has been developed by CGGT (China Going Global Think-tank), through its subsidiary Beijing DocQbot Huiwen Data Technology. A PLMJ statement said the DocQbot technology has “strong support from important government officials in Beijing and the first reactions to DocQbot suggest great demand for high-quality contracts on a global scale”.

The PLMJ team involved in preparing DocQbot documents for the Portuguese market was led by partner Louis Sáragga Leal and of counsel Rui Moura.

Chinese companies have made a number of major investments in Portugal. China Three Gorges, for example, holds a 23 per cent stake in Portuguese utility company EDP, while Chinese state company CNIC owns nearly 5 per cent of EDP.

Meanwhile, Chinese investors have been among the main beneficiaries of Portugal’s ‘golden visa’ programme, which was introduced in 2012. The programme is designed to enable non-EU investors get a Portuguese residency visa more easily in return for making certain investments, such as the acquisition of real estate with a value of more than €500,000.

Ben Cook