Bird & Bird kicks off Leya POC after firmwide upskilling programme

Bird & Bird has launched a proof of concept across multiple offices with Leya, a Swedish AI legal tech startup that has found success in Europe and recently officially entered the UK with the hire of Jakub Makowski from Robin AI. In preparation for the proof of concept trial, Bird & Bird has already rolled out a series of initiatives including the launch of a customised training programme with education partner Simplexico.

Founded in 2023 by CEO Max Junestrand, August Erseus, and CTO Sigge Labor, Leya’s AI workspace automates tasks and provides access to both public and internal data for legal research purposes. It was an evident talking point at both the LegalTechTalk and iManage user conferences in June.

After trialling various gen AI legal assistants over the past few months, Bird & Bird says that during a six-month programme it will continuously assess the use of Leya across its international network, focusing on specific legal tasks including analysing local laws, court cases, case law, drafting contracts, and reviewing documents. Starting with user groups in the London-headquartered 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.

Karen Jacks, chief technology officer at Bird & Bird, said: “This proof of concept trial with Leya is the latest addition to our gen AI 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.”

Other firms that have already adopted Leya include Spanish law firms Perez-Llorca and Araoz & Rueda; Finnish law firms Borenius, Waselius, and Dittmar & Indrenius; and Swedish law firm Mannheimer Swartling.

In June, Leya hired Makowski as head of UK. He has worked at several legal tech companies including BRYTER, Legl and CrowdJustice.

Earlier this year, Leya closed a $10.5 million funding round led by Benchmark, with participation from Hummingbird, SV Angel, and Y Combinator. The funding round followed Leya’s participation in a Y Combinator accelerator, which is a three-month programme to help startups improve their product and raise money. 

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