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Legal AI race draws more investors as law firms line up

  • May 31, 2023

With more and more lawyers at major law firms using fast-advancing generative artificial intelligence tools, legal AI startup Harvey said Wednesday that it raised $21 million in fresh investor cash.

Sequoia Capital, which is leading the Series A fundraising round, said more than 15,000 law firms are on a waiting list to start using Harvey. OpenAI Startup Fund, Conviction, SV Angel and Elad Gil also participated in the funding round, Harvey said.

Harvey, founded in 2022 and built on OpenAI’s large language model GPT-4, raised $5 million in a round led by the OpenAI Startup Fund last year. The company says it builds custom large language models for law firms.

Technology companies and investors have rushed to embrace large language model-based generative AI since Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT debuted in November. The models are trained on large, customizable data sets to produce text or other outputs that can closely mimic human creativity and analysis. Researchers used GPT-4 to pass the bar exam last month.

Global law firm Allen & Overy said in February that 3,500 lawyers and staff would use Harvey to automate some document drafting and research.

In March, accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers said it would give 4,000 legal professionals access to the platform.

Harvey co-founder Gabriel Pereyra and representatives for Sequoia did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Several other major firms have signed deals to adopt new AI products just in the past few months — a remarkable pace for a profession that was slow to abandon the fax machine.

“This is an arms race, and you don’t want to be the last law firm with these tools,” Daniel Tobey, chair of DLA Piper’s AI practice, said of AI products. “It’s very easy to become a dinosaur these days.”

DLA Piper is one of several large firms

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Burr joins global law firm in first private sector move

  • March 10, 2023

Former U.S. Sen. Richard Burr didn’t need very long to transition into a new professional career, joining the global law firm of DLA Piper.

The firm said Tuesday that Burr, of Winston-Salem, will work with the firm’s Regulatory and Government Affairs practice group as a principal policy adviser.

The Republican retired from Congress in January after serving five terms in the U.S. House and three terms in the U.S. Senate.

Under congressional rules, Burr cannot lobby his former Senate colleagues for two years.

Burr spent much of his time in Congress preferring a lower profile even as he took leadership roles in key Senate public health, finance and foreign intelligence committees.

Burr will join the firm with a team of policy advisers that will supplement its legal, policy, economic, medical and technological attorneys and advisers in the health care and life sciences field.

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Among the advisers are Margaret Martin, the committee’s former senior adviser of health policy, and Michael Sorensen, Burr’s former director of operations.

“We are excited to join DLA Piper and help clients navigate the funding, regulation, policy and political landscape of the health care system, from drug development to patient care,” Burr said in a statement.

Burr said his team will provide “unparalleled insight and strategic advice at a time of regulatory and political uncertainty.”

“In addition to the draw of DLA Piper’s strong platform, its expansive global footprint is one of the reasons we chose the firm,” Burr said. “Life sciences is global by every nature, and this allows us to build a roadmap to advise clients no matter where they’re doing business.”

Burr’s duties will include being chairman of the firm’s Health Policy Strategic Consulting practice “to provide policy advice, strategic consulting and a wide range of related services to life

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