International law firm Allen & Overy says chatbot gives it a ‘significant competitive edge’

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

February 17, 2023

1 Min Read

At a Glance

  • Harvey, built using OpenAI’s NLP technology, can be used to automate tasks including document checking and due diligence.
  • Around 3,500 A&O lawyers asked Harvey 40,000 queries for their day-to-day client work.
  • Harvey still requires lawyers to check its work.

Allen & Overy, one of the world’s largest law firms, has enlisted the help of Harvey, a conversational AI chatbot built atop one of OpenAI’s language models that has been enhanced for legal work.

The law firm revealed this week that it has been trialing the chatbot in beta since last November. At the end of the trial, around 3,500 of its lawyers had asked Harvey 40,000 queries for their day-to-day client work.

The law firm, which is ranked 11th globally by revenue, said the chatbot parses through large volumes of information to generate insights, recommendations and predictions. Harvey uses a mixture of NLP, ML and data analytics to automate tasks including contract analysis, due diligence and regulatory compliance.

Harvey is “a game-changer that can unleash the power of generative AI to transform the legal industry,” said David Wakeling, head of Allen & Overy’s Markets Innovation Group. “Harvey can work in multiple languages and across diverse practice areas, delivering unprecedented efficiency and intelligence. In our trial, we saw some amazing results.”

However, Harvey's output still requires review by lawyers.

Harvey was built by a startup of the same name. Harvey.ai, which has received financial backing from ChatGPT maker OpenAI, claims to build “custom large language models for elite law firms to tackle the most complex legal challenges.”

The chatbot maker, which only emerged from stealth last November, has also received backing from Jeff Dean, senior vice president of Google Research and AI, and Elad Gil, co-founder of Mixer Labs, which was acquired by Twitter back in 2009.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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