ADIEU - Are you interested in an autonomous robot to work in your family law firm?
Author: Judith Bennett Date: LIJ July 2023
What is Adieu? Autonomous AI that helps source disclosure, communicate with clients and prepare documents in family law firms What type of technology? AI robot Vendor Adieu Accounting Pty Ltd Country of origin Australia Similar tech products LegalMation (US), Kira (US), DoNotPay (US) Non-tech alternatives Paralegals More information www.adieu.ai
Which practitioners would find this useful?
Adieu is seeking family law firms across Australia to join its Beta testing. To join the Beta, your family law firm “needs to be obsessive about client experience”, open to doing things differently and open to using the approach across all clients.
Adieu was co-founded by father and son team Bill Wight and Andrew Wight (now CEO). As a CPA accountant working with lawyers in family law firms, Bill Wight was frustrated by the time consuming task of financial disclosure – and its negative impact on their clients. Joined by Andrew Wight with UX design, fintech and innovation skills and experience, they developed Adieu. Adieu’s mission is “to enable separating families to reach resolution 10x faster”. Adieu is also a social enterprise and self-sustaining business seeking to deliver benefits for families and lawyers.
What is it?
Adieu provides an autonomous robot that works in your family law firm as an AI paralegal. Your law firm names your AI robot – such as “Andy” – and customises it for your needs including formatting, style and practice management system. Andy then works in your family law team to communicate with clients to explain requirements, source disclosure data, prepare documents, run calculations and more, while copying in and reporting to the responsible lawyers.
How does it work?
Once an AI robot – such as Andy – is built for your law firm, the lawyer opens the Adieu dashboard, enters details of your client and other parties, and hits “go”. Andy begins work autonomously, contacting the client. In the initial conversation, Andy primarily focuses on working out your client’s financial disclosure obligations in their family law dispute, explaining what is involved, and preparing a plan for how this will be achieved. Tone is carefully designed. Andy asks the client a series of questions about the financial data and documents required to support the financial disclosure schedule. These can include tax returns and income documents, superannuation, bank statements, mortgages, property, shares, businesses or other assets. Andy then summarises the outcome as actions divided between the law firm and the client with an informative email to the client – copied into the lawyer – with an electronic authorisation including a read-only bank connection to be signed.
As part of the AI robot and via the authorisation, the client engages CPA-certified Adieu Accounting for the limited scope of the family law dispute and its financial disclosure requirements. Once authorised by the client, Andy the AI robot organises the data, sources digital documents on their behalf, collates smart balance sheets, indexes and delivers the necessary information in the required format to the lawyer in minutes. Andy also keeps the client informed.
Features and benefits
Adieu’s Beta research shows the average time for the initial conversation with the client is 7.5 minutes. Adding authorisations and some detail, clients average 10 minutes to complete an initial disclosure plan. The research found 96 per cent of Beta clients successfully completed the conversation and created a disclosure plan with the AI robot.
Using their AI robot tool, family law firms can offer clients greater value such as charging fixed – and lower – fees to clients, as well as demonstrating the work done. Hourly rates do not compute when a financial disclosure schedule that often takes a human paralegal six hours is completed in 3.5 seconds. That is 19 cents at $200 per hour. Using the robot frees up lawyers to focus on more complex work and better outcomes for clients.
Full disclosure is given to clients that they will be working with the AI robot, while a responsible lawyer is copied in to all communication and receives regular reports. Every email from Andy states “I am an AI-based paralegal”. Research supports that people work better with an AI robot when they know this. At any time the client can opt out.
While Beta law firms assumed their clients would need to be tech savvy, to date Adieu has found that more than a third of clients have been aged over 50, 10 per cent over 65 and the oldest client 79. The vast majority interacted with the robot via their mobile phone.
Pricing and cost
As a social enterprise, Adieu’s goal is that “clients will pay less and firms will make more”. Adieu sets up the AI robot at no charge and there are no fees or subscriptions – each firm simply pays for whatever work their AI robot does. The AI robot provides the firm with a value based, fixed-fee ahead of time for each matter by predicting the work required. ■