A&O launches contract drafting & review tool in partnership with Microsoft and Harvey

Allen & Overy has launched a SaaS contract drafting, review and analysis tool, created in partnership with Microsoft and Harvey, which it will use for its own client work as well as sell to third parties on Microsoft AppSource and the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. 

The tool – ContractMatrix – runs on Microsoft Azure and can be deployed as either a web-based application or as a Word Add-In. It uses generative AI to review, draft and manage contracts. A&O says that ContractMatrix can handle any type of contract, from proprietary templates to third party drafts. 

We’re told that ContractMatrix uses both Harvey and Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service products. A&O says that ContractMatrix is designed to reduce hallucinations by grounding AI output in high quality ‘benches’ of legal knowledge – for example, banks of gold standard precedents or similar. 

The team behind the creation of ContractMatrix is the Markets Innovation Group led by A&O partner David Wakeling, comprised of lawyers, developers and data scientists. The same team was behind the selection of Harvey, which itself leverages OpenAI’s large language models.  

We’re told that over 1,000 A&O lawyers are already using ContractMatrix internally, many of whom have been heavily involved in testing, refining, and developing the tool ahead of its launch. Five large clients are said to have agreed terms for a January launch, A&O said in a press release today (21 December.) 

Wakeling said: ‘ContractMatrix frees lawyers from processing and allows them to do what they do best: smart, fast, and strategic decision making. Microsoft and Harvey are the perfect partners to launch such a product. The A&O lawyers who have used – and helped to develop – ContractMatrix have been blown away by how much more efficient it makes them. We’re excited for clients to now experience that, too.’ 

Allen & Overy has a long history of developing its own tools both for internal and commercial use, including digital derivatives offering MarginMatrix and LIBOR tool IBOR Matrix. In October, the magic circle firm announced that its legal and compliance data subscription platform aosphere, which has for years offered digital subscription products, had been acquired by Inflexion Private Equity and will operate as a standalone business. A&O has retained a significant minority stake.