Legal AI platform ‘marks new era for industry’, says Magic Circle firm

A new legal artificial intelligence (AI) platform has been described as “marking a new era for the legal industry” by one Magic Circle Senior Partner.

The platform, known as Harvey, is built on the platform developed by Open AI – the team behind ChatGPT – and has been tested by 3,500 of Allen & Overy’s lawyers since November of last year.

Harvey uses natural language processing, machine learning, and data analytics to automate and enhance various aspects of legal work, such as contract analysis, due diligence, litigation, and regulatory compliance.

“I have been at the forefront of legal tech for 15 years but I have never seen anything like Harvey,” said David Wakeling, Head of the Markets Innovation Group, Allen & Overy after the firm’s lawyers fired 40,000 queries at the platform during the testing phase. He added:

“It is a game-changer that can unleash the power of generative AI to transform the legal industry. Harvey can work in multiple languages and across diverse practice areas, delivering unprecedented efficiency and intelligence. In our trial, we saw some amazing results.”

The platform’s output still needs “careful review” from a lawyer. Nonetheless, Wim Dejonghe, Senior Partner at Allen & Overy, said the software “marks a new era for A&O and the legal industry” given its ability to generate insights, recommendations, and predictions based on large volumes of data, which the firm says enables lawyers to deliver faster, smarter, and more cost-effective solutions to their clients.

Brad Lightcap, OpenAI’s COO and manager of the OpenAI Startup Fund, said:

“We invested in Harvey because we believe AI can have a profound impact on the legal process and their proprietary platform will fundamentally change the way lawyers spend their time.”

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