vLex releases suite of global LLM legal research tools in beta 

Global legal intelligence company vLex today (17 October) launched a major upgrade to its AI legal research assistant Vincent AI, namely a suite of large language model tools that enable users to search, build cases, summarise documents and compare the law in different jurisdictions, leveraging its extensive global online law libraries. The new offering – much like many other releases we have seen in this space – is currently in an invitation-only beta. It currently uses OpenAI’s GPT-4, 3.5, and proprietary vLex technology.

vLex was founded in Barcelona, Spain, in 2000 and initially focused on serving the Spanish legal market. In 2019 it acquired London-based legal technology company Justis, opening its London headquarters. In April this year, it merged with US law library Fastcase, with the merged offering now containing the laws of over 100 countries, and over one billion cases, statutes, regulations, dockets, pleadings and motions.  

To safeguard against the dangers of unconstrained LLMs, vLex says that Vincent AI sources authorities only from vLex’ database. 

Following a natural language search, Vincent provides a summary and link to the relevant citation, as well as highlighting the portion that is answering the question. It also gives a confidence score as to how far or well it answers the question. In a brief demo of the new release, vLex’s VP, solutions champion, Damien Riehl told Legal IT Insider: “We make it easier than our competitors because where they provide you with a memorandum and maybe a link to the case, they don’t highlight the portion of the case that is actually answering the question.” 

The new Vincent AI tools already work in the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, and Spain, in English and Spanish, with more jurisdictions planned to be added on a rolling basis.  

For the beta launch, the vLex team say there are eight immediate use cases, which are: 

  1. Ask a Question – create a research memo to answer legal questions with direct citations and links to verified sources, including Fastcase’s Cert citator in the United States 
  1. Build an Argument – Vincent will research and create arguments for or against propositions, based on precedent in specific jurisdictions. Legal professionals can omit from or add cases to the analysis, while viewing the sources’ relevant text. 
  1. Compare Law in Different Jurisdictions – forum shop or compare governing law across different states in the United States, or between different countries 
  1. Spot Legal Issues – read and summarize the issues in a case 
  1. Headnote Summaries – create editorial headnotes for a case 
  1. Document as a Search – drag and drop a document and automatically find related precedents without additional searches 
  1. Related Authorities – during research, find related authorities from vLex, including primary and secondary materials. 
  1. Vincent for Word – Access Vincent AI while drafting from inside Microsoft Word 

What’s interesting is that where, for example, Vincent is asked to do a comparative analysis of eg California law, New York law, UK law and Spanish law, it searches Spanish cases, regulations and secondary sources, but summarises them in English for English speaking users.  

Riehl said: “It will then also provide an English memorandum on the Spanish law. This is something unique in the industry.”  

Two of the law firms known to be working with vLex on the beta launch are Denver-based David, Graham & Stubbs, and San Francisco-based Littler.  

David, Graham & Stubbs’ chief information officer Chad Ergun said: “Vincent AI is not just a new product; it’s a revolutionary approach that diverges from the path tread by conventional case law providers. In the dynamic and ever-expanding market of GenAI, it’s not just innovation we seek, but also unexplored angles. Vincent AI may just be the fresh perspective the industry has been awaiting. I’m thoroughly impressed.”

Law firms can join the waitlist via the new vLex Insights Program at www.vlex.com/insights. 

You can find details of its UK law library here: https://vlex.com/coverage/united-kingdom

For a really interesting take on the legal research capability of vLex and its market impact see Jean O’Grady’s Dewey B Strategic article here: https://www.deweybstrategic.com/2023/04/vlex-and-fastcase-merge-to-form-worlds-largest-global-law-library-everything-everywhere-all-at-once.html