Leeds solicitor invents 'robot lawyer' for those who can't afford legal fees

Chrissie Lightfoot is a Harrogate-based lawyer
Chrissie Lightfoot is a Harrogate-based lawyer

A Yorkshire entrepreneur has created the world's first ever 'robot lawyer' with the aim of making legal advice affordable to the masses.

Chrissie Lightfoot, a solicitor from Harrogate, is the CEO of LISA, an artificial intelligence-based tool which allows users to create legally binding non-disclosure agreements in fewer than seven minutes for free.

The website asks questions about the person's needs before drafting a document which helps them understand legal and commercial principles, meaning that individuals and businesses can use LISA to protect themselves without any prior legal knowledge. The 'lawbot' provides unbiased and objective assistance to both parties in a legal dispute, so they can avoid hiring 'human' lawyers.

The programme is already being used by universities, tech incubators, professional services firms and blue chip organisations all over the world.

Chrissie studied leisure and business at Leeds Beckett University before gaining a Masters in law, and trained as a corporate solicitor at Lee & Priestly LLP in Leeds, which has since merged with Lupton Fawcett LLP. She left in 2009 to found her company Entrepreneur Lawyer from her apartment in Leeds, offering business advice to legal professionals. She is now a public speaker, author and consultant.

LISA stands for Legal Intelligence Support Assistant.

“Our goal is to make everyday, basic legal services accessible and affordable to the mass of students, consumers and business people who are unhappy with, or overly reliant on, human lawyers and law firms. Many human lawyers are adversarial by nature, even when dealing with non-contentious matters. LISA’s aim is to negate the double time and double costs involved in relation to this human lawyer behaviour by being completely impartial when assisting the parties on each side,” said Chrissie.

“We know that in the UK, 54 per cent of all small businesses and 33 per cent of consumers muddle through unrepresented when they should really be seeking legal help. LISA is designed to enable these people, who do not have the means to protect themselves, to do just that.”

Until now the only alternatives for students and entrepreneurs who couldn’t afford a lawyer were template ‘unilateral’ NDAs taken from the internet, which do not offer adequate protection or guidance. As a result many people in the business world may have been discussing trade secrets without the backing of a legally sound document.

Adam Duthie, solicitor and co-founder of Robot Lawyer LISA, added:

“There are a range of reasons why people may not want to use a human lawyer, whether that’s cost, time, convenience or finding the prospect of visiting one intimidating.

“LISA overcomes all of these issues. She’s free, fast, available 24/7 on any device and requires no legal knowledge or training by the user to produce a binding document that protects businesses and entrepreneurs. This is a service that will support students and businesses to grow and eventually aid the creation of jobs and wealth.”

Students, businesses and individuals can create their own legally binding NDA by going to www.robotlawyerlisa.com.