Sophie Cameron

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Allen & Overy partners with OpenAI-backed startup to integrate chatbot platform

Allen & Overy partners with OpenAI-backed startup to integrate chatbot platform


AI platform is led by a team of lawyers and developers aiming to disrupt the industry

International law firm Allen & Overy announced on 15 February that it has integrated an artificial intelligence (AI) platform called Harvey into its global practice, which is built on a version of OpenAI, to help lawyers with legal work.

The firm has partnered up with the startup responsible for Harvey’s creation, which secured $5 million in investment last year in a funding round led by the OpenAI Startup Fund. The fund is run by the creators of the well-known AI chatbot ChatGPT. A team of lawyers and developers, called the Markets Innovation Group, has been leading the project with the overall aim of disrupting the legal industry.

The law firm has been trialing a beta version of Harvey since November 2022, which uses natural language processing, machine learning and data analytics, to answer legal questions. The AI platform can be used to automate areas of legal work including contract analysis, due diligence, litigation and regulatory compliance. According to the press release, approximately 3500 of the firm’s lawyers asked Harvey around 40,000 queries relating to their client work during the trial. 

“I have been at the forefront of legal tech for 15 years but I have never seen anything like Harvey,” said David Wakeling, Allen & Overy’s Head of Markets and Innovation Group. “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.”

Allen & Overy is keen to stress that whilst the output from Harvey “needs careful review” by a lawyer, the platform can help generate insights, recommendations and predictions based on large volumes of data, helping lawyers provide quicker and smarter solutions to clients. 

Wim Dejonghe, Senior Partner at Allen & Overy, said “This announcement marks a new era for A&O and the legal industry. Harvey AI is not just another platform, but a game-changer that will enable us to deliver unprecedented value, efficiency and innovation to our clients. We are proud to be the first law firm to partner with Harvey AI. We share their vision of using technology to enhance and transform legal services.”