The Return of eBrevia – Interview with CEO, Adam Nguyen

eBrevia Co-Founder twice over, Adam Nguyen, tells Artificial Lawyer: ‘There is no other legal tech company like eBrevia at the moment: founder-buyback, no VC funding, no corporate parent, neither a startup nor a traditional entity, but operating like a startup with features of an established company.’  

And without doubt eBrevia is not ‘just another legal AI company’, in fact it was one of the first and can trace its roots back to 2011, growing out of a project at Columbia University. Its longevity also puts into perspective the mass of LLM-based startups now aiming at the contract space that have sprung up post-ChatGPT.

By the mid-2010s eBrevia was making waves as NLP and machine learning for contract analysis became more accepted in the legal sector and together with peers such as Kira and Seal helped forge a market for such capabilities.

In 2018 it was bought by publicly-listed Donnelley Financial Solutions or DFIN, a $500m+ revenue giant focused on financial risk and compliance. Its founders, Nguyen, Ned Gannon (who now is CEO of Coheso) and Jacob Mundt (CTO and who has never left the company since inception), went to DFIN.

Pic of Adam Nguyen from a 2018 AL interview.

However, in 2021 Nguyen left to pursue other interests after working on expanding eBrevia’s client reach in the US and globally. For example, offices in Hong Kong, the UK and Japan were opened and client relationships with Baker McKenzie and PwC were developed.

Meanwhile Gannon and Mundt carried on and from outside it looked like things were going fine, albeit that DFIN seemed to want to focus their skills on areas such as active disclosure use cases to help its clients with SEC filings, rather than mainstream contract analysis work which was where eBrevia had honed its abilities.

Then, by 2023 things changed. In April of that year CEO, Gannon, left and it became clear that DFIN had decided it no longer wanted to maintain eBrevia inside the business. At this point it could potentially have been the end. And it’s ironic that just as interest in AI went stratospheric across the world DFIN chose that moment to do this.

Then, Nguyen, who had been spending time on investment projects, decided to come back, buying the company out with fellow co-founder, Mundt. However, Gannon was travelling along his own new path and is now, as noted, leading another pioneering legal tech company, Coheso. And so eBrevia V.2.0 was born.

Now What?

So, that is the past. What now? Nguyen tells this site that they have already added LLM capabilities to their well-developed NLP/ML core.

Perhaps surprisingly, Nguyen explains that they still have a partnership with DFIN. ‘They’re still a customer,’ he tells this site.

He explains that they have had a restructure, hired in new staff, there have been ‘culture changes’, developed new infrastructure, and have also launched a new product DraftPro, which helps to ‘create, negotiate, manage, execute and analyze agreements’. The product is aimed at not just lawyers and includes the ability to create templates, tap a clause library and more.

In short, over just a few months Nguyen and team have been super-busy and super-focused on breathing new life into eBrevia, a company that is now in effect around 13 years old, and is thus both an old-timer and a new startup.

But one has to ask: why come back?

Nguyen is open about the fact that he didn’t think he would be coming back to legal tech after leaving in 2021. But, the opportunity, especially in the context of a surge of interest in AI following the rise of LLMs, tipped the balance.

‘I decided – why not come back and take things in a new direction?’ Nguyen says. ‘It’s my child really. While it was not an easy choice to come back, just think of the potential!’

‘eBrevia is sitting on a goldmine of AI technology that reaches very high accuracy. Add in LLM capabilities and it can do even more,’ Nguyen explains.

And they’re now combining genAI features with their core NLP/ML and as mentioned they’ve got a new product to drive forward.

‘DraftPro helps to make contracts. Before the focus was on extraction, so now we can use NLP to extract and then use an LLM to help draft,’ Nguyen says.

They are also going to focus a lot on corporate clients, which is where they were focused when inside DFIN.

Legal teams ‘want to draft, get information from contracts, then they want to amend those contracts, and revise them’ – and the goal is for eBrevia to help there. But, they also want to go beyond legal, such as targeting compliance teams. And that makes sense given that DFIN gave them a solid grounding in risk and compliance during their time there.

So, that’s the plan.


One of the great things about the eBrevia story is how it underlines the evolving picture of legal AI. It also puts in context the wave of excitement about LLMs and shows how many years have been put in by founders to help shape the market for AI tools in the legal world.

But, the past is the past, and eBrevia V.2.0 is here and it’s now. The world has changed and eBrevia is no longer just one of a small band of pioneers trying to get lawyers to listen to the idea that AI might be able to help them. Instead, this is a world with so many new LLM-based startups that there is a blizzard of brand names, many also seeking to use generative AI to help lawyers with contract-related needs.

Yet, there is eBrevia still, with more than a decade of experience, a new product on offer, plus a strategy of combining NLP/ML with LLMs, and a new CEO in the shape of Nguyen. It has every chance of breaking through the noise in what is a rapidly evolving market. It’s certainly got a unique story and a brand name that has stood the test of time!