Bird & Bird To Run Major POC With AI Startup Leya

Bird & Bird has become one of the first international law firms to launch a large-scale proof of concept (POC) trial across multiple offices with Leya, a legal tech startup which uses AI to automate tasks and taps into both public and internal firm data.

During the six-month programme, the firm will continuously assess the use of Leya across the firm’s international network, focusing on specific legal tasks including analysing local laws, court cases, case law, drafting contracts, and reviewing documents, they explained.

Starting with user groups in the firm’s offices in UK, Germany, Spain and the Nordics, the team will review use cases, the value the tool can bring to the firm, and prepare for future use cases.

In preparation for the POC trial, the firm has already rolled out a series of initiatives to optimise its processes, upskill everyone in the firm and ensure the responsible use of the technology, including the launch of a customised training programme with tech consulting partner, Simplexico.

Max Junestrand, CEO at Leya, said: ‘We are always looking to forge strong relationships and Bird & Bird has the international presence as well as the technological prowess we desire in a partner. Together with Bird & Bird, we will be able to refine and extend our tooling for applying GenAI to legal use cases across multiple practice areas and jurisdictions.’

AL asked Hélder Santos, Head of Legal Tech and Innovation at Bird & Bird, some questions about the move.

– Why did you choose Leya?

Leya is an outstanding product with immense potential. We have worked together in the last few months to prepare this program and we have witnessed a strong commitment to developing top-quality software. We believe that together, we are uniquely positioned to leverage the ongoing shift in the industry. This partnership aligns with Bird & Bird’s vision of leading in legal tech and optimizing processes to add value to clients.

– How big will the roll-out be?

The roll-out will cover different jurisdictions, several user groups aiming at a total of 20% of our fee-earners.

– What are you hoping to improve at the firm with this product?

Bird & Bird is renowned for its commitment to driving innovation. By harnessing Leya’s innovative AI capabilities, we aim to further optimize processes and enhance value for our clients. Additionally, we are dedicated to upskilling our people through our education program, ensuring they are well-equipped to leverage this technology.

Karen Jacks, Chief Technology Officer at Bird & Bird, added: ‘This proof of concept trial with Leya is the latest addition to our GenAI toolkit and will be an important part of our five-year strategy as we guide organisations through a world shaped by technology, innovation and regulation, and driving the transformation of legal services delivery.’

Plus, it’s worth mentioning that Leya, which was only founded last year, raised $10.5m in a Seed round earlier this year led by Benchmark’s Chetan Puttagunta, who also joined the board. Hummingbird, SV Angel and Y-Combinator also invested.

At the time, Junestrand, CEO and co-founder, told AL: ‘By tapping into your own data repository and well-cited legal sources, Leya unlocks valuable knowledge, increases productivity, and ultimately improves outcomes for legal professionals.’

Looking forward to seeing how it all goes. Good luck to Leya and Bird & Bird.