Allen & Overy is integrating Harvey, the artificial intelligence platform built on a version of Open AI models enhanced for legal work, into its global practice. The firm announced today that Harvey will empower more than 3,500 of A&O’s lawyers across 43 offices operating in multiple languages with the ability to generate and access legal content 'with unmatched efficiency, quality and intelligence'.

A&O has been trialling Harvey in beta since November 2022 under its markets innovation group, which is tasked with 'disrupting the legal industry'. By the end of the trial, about 3,500 of A&O’s lawyers had asked Harvey around 40,000 queries for their client work. 

David Wakeling, head of the markets innovation group at A&O, said: 'I have been at the forefront of legal tech for 15 years but I have never seen anything like Harvey. 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.'

Once described as a 'stealth' legal AI startup, Harvey broke cover last November when it emerged that it had raised $5m in funding led by the startup fund of OpenAI, which developed advanced neural network AI systems such as GPT-3. It builds on GPT-3 technology to enable lawyers to create legal documents or perform legal research by providing simple instructions using natural language. This enhances various aspects of legal work such as contract analysis, due diligence, litigation and regulatory compliance, A&O said.

While the output needs 'careful review' by an A&O lawyer, the firm added, Harvey can help generate insights, recommendations and predictions based on large volumes of data, 'enabling lawyers to deliver faster, smarter and more cost-effective solutions to their clients'. 

Wim Dejonghe, senior partner at A&O, said: 'This announcement marks a new era for A&O and the legal industry. Harvey AI is not just nother platform, but a game-changer. We are proud to be the first law firm to partner with Harvey AI. We share their vision of using technology to transform legal services.'

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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