Google invests in start-up developing ‘AI paralegal’

updated on 24 April 2024

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Google Ventures has backed Lawhive in a £9.5 million funding round, taking a stake in the British legal technology start-up developing an ‘AI paralegal’.

The start-up’s AI bot, Lawrence, can complete basic tasks that would usually be done by a paralegal or junior lawyer. For example, the bot can summarise evidence and draft letters and court applications. Lawrence has also passed the Solicitor’s Qualifying Exam.

Lawhive pairs clients with consultant lawyers, charging much less than traditional firms. The chief executive of Lawhive, Pierre Proner, explained that the bot allows Lawhive to automate “repetitive legal work” but that clients still get “a real human lawyer working with them”.

A partner at Google Ventures, Vidu Shanmugarajah, explained: “Lawhive not only dramatically improves legal workflows, but also makes high-quality legal advice more accessible and affordable to a broader audience.”

Lawhive isn’t the only company that’s developing legal AI. For example, in recent months:

  • US AI start-up Harvey secured investment from OpenAI and Kleiner Perkins;
  • RobinAI raised investment from Temasek for its contract writing bot; and
  • Luminance secured £30 million investment from National Grid Partners.

However, Proner explained that, while other legal start-ups are focused on corporate law work, Lawhive is aimed at consumers.

Read this LCN Says by Megan Shirley, senior lecturer at Nottingham Law School, to find out more about AI.