Much like how junior associate, Mike Ross of the popular courtroom drama Suits assists his mentor, Harvey Specter, to successfuly seal a deal; another Mike seems to be doing the same in real-life back home. Except, the latter, otherwise called Mike Legal, is an AI assistant built by three youngsters. Around a year ago, co-founders Ankit Yadav and Anshul Gupta found their lawyer friend, Tushar Bhargava depending on the most commonly used tools for his legal research. The duo found the search mechanism to be outdated and inaccurate. Turns out, a majority of the legal fraternity was spending 30% of their time on the same program.
“Lawyers were hiring more and more associates for legal research. We felt there has to be a much simpler and technology-driven solution for this,” says Gupta. Ten months later, the team launched their start-up in August. Quite similar to the US-based AI platform Ross Intelligence, this Delhi-based enterprise aims to reduce time spent on research.
Now, with this online tool, law firms can cut down the number of associates to half while still attending to the same number of clients as earlier. Mike understands the lawyer’s question in simple English and its context too. “Let's say the question is about a case where a patentee himself admitted there was no inventive step,” says Gupta. Mike would go through the entire database of case laws and come up with relevant previous cases. “If the research earlier consumed two to three hours, Mike does it under less than 3 minutes,” he adds.
The start-up so far has signed up 15 clients including Ajay Sahni & Associates, Altacit Global, ZeusIP and Nishith Desai Associates. Clients are charged on a subscription-based model: its monthly version goes up to Rs.6,000 and its annual package could cost up to Rs.90,000. The three-member team, which started off with an initial investment of Rs.1 lakh plans to launch more products by December. A suit of AI based products around IP that can be leveraged by companies will help them automate legal procedures instead of outsourcing it to law firms. With a revenue of Rs.7.6 lakh so far, the plan is to clock Rs.20 lakh-25 lakh revenue by March 2018 as well as increase the average ticket size from Rs.50,000 to Rs.1.2 lakh-2 lakh while serving 50-60 clients.
“The problem is global. So the idea is to first to tap into all the corporate and law firms in India by expanding our tech team and then scale globally by the end of the next calendar year,” says Gupta. The firm will start with the UK and Australia, which they feel are under penetrated, unlike the US. It also plans to introduce more tools that would help them become a complete AI-based legal associate rather than just a simple researcher. Now, Mike Legal may not be the flesh-and-bone assistant you would have thought of, but it could very well be the Mike Ross to your Harvey Specter.