Legal Tech case studies Posts

Aatos | Scaling Legal Solutions Globally with a Foundation of Trust – Filippo Castorio & Léonard Van Rompaey

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The legal tech industry is rapidly evolving, presenting new opportunities for legal professionals and consumers alike.

Within this dynamic sector, Aatos, a legal tech company founded in Finland in 2020, has carved a niche. Although Aatos started by focusing on document generation, it subsequently developed  comprehensive legal solutions including estate inventory, divorce services, and continuous legal support through the innovative subscription model introduced in early-2024. This approach reflects the company’s commitment to making legal processes more accessible and less daunting, particularly for individuals navigating complex life events like bereavement.

Currently operating in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Aatos is poised to expand further into the United Kingdom. Their platform aims to simplify the creation of customised, legally binding documents (prenuptial agreement, electronic signature, future power of attorney, gift letter, promissory note, and testament) through a user-friendly question-based process. Aatos is pursuing the ambitious objective to “revolutionize the way people handle legal matters”. This strategy underscores Aatos’s commitment to democratizing legal services, ensuring that they are not just a resource for a few, but a readily available tool for everyone (Aatos, 2023).

The place of Aatos: automated private-person-focused legal tech.

Legal tech is often divided into two categories: legal tech, which focuses on automating lawyers’ work (Susskind, 2022), and law tech, aimed at improving interactions between legal professionals and their clients (Krasnomovets, 2022).

Aatos falls under a third category, customer legal tech, which provides technology-driven legal services directly to clients. The purpose of this sector is to improve access to law for neglected groups of people by increasing their participation in the legal system in order to help them navigate legal challenges (Andhov, 2022). This sector has often been overlooked, as traditional legal services typically cater to corporations and law firms. Aatos addresses this gap by offering automated solutions for individual legal needs, challenging the traditional belief that legal services require extensive lawyer engagement (Cohen, 2019).

aatos screenshot

Aatos acknowledges the inherent legal challenges encountered by individuals regularly. From formulating prenuptial agreements to navigating the complexities of divorce proceedings and establishing last wills, these legal processes require meticulous documentation and expert guidance. Regrettably, conventional legal services have proven to be time-consuming and frequently out of reach for the average person. Recognizing this void, Aatos seized the opportunity to bridge the gap through the creation of automated legal tech products specifically tailored to meet the needs of private individuals. Through automated processes and a wide range of comprehensive documentation options, Aatos empowers users to navigate legal procedures with utmost assurance and convenience.


Scalability, Trust, UX: The three values of Aatos

Adapting legal tech tools to different legal systems presents challenges. (Đurić et al., 2023). Legal systems across the world are rooted in historical, cultural, and legislative variations, leading to a divergence in terminologies, procedures, and even fundamental principles. One primary challenge lies in the intricate nature of legal language and terminology. Legal concepts crystal clear in one jurisdiction might not have an equivalent or may carry a distinct meaning in another (Huong & Thuy, 2021).  The complexity and uniqueness of each legal system can limit the scalability and effectiveness of legal tech solutions. A technology solution that streamlines processes in one jurisdiction might not be directly applicable to another. Additionally, maintaining a consistent user experience while adapting to diverse legal frameworks is a complex task, requiring continuous refinement and updates to the platform.

Adjusting to new languages and legal frameworks while retaining the essence of the old platform is a challenge that Aatos takes head-on, tweaking its offering to resonate with diverse markets. This includes the strategic move of hiring local lawyers who bring a nuanced understanding of the legal landscape and cultural nuances, ensuring a holistic and contextually relevant experience.

Aatos navigated the challenges of adapting its technology to different legal systems by strategically approaching the development process with reusability and scalability in mind. As a technology-driven company, Aatos recognizes the need for adaptable components that can be employed across various markets. When crafting new services, they focus on creating sections and tools that are designed to be reusable, regardless of the unique legal intricacies within each jurisdiction.

A pivotal aspect of their strategy involves identifying the fundamental processes that remain consistent across diverse legal systems. For instance, while the laws governing divorce might vary, the essential steps of applying for divorce, dividing assets, and addressing children’s matters generally remain constant. Aatos leverages this understanding to construct its services, ensuring that the core user experience is maintained across different markets.

To facilitate this adaptation process, Aatos incorporates local lawyers in each new country they expand to. These legal experts collaborate with their team to fine-tune algorithms and tailor the legal aspects of the recommendations provided by the technology. This approach guarantees that the technology aligns with the local legal landscape, ensuring accuracy and compliance.

By emphasizing the similarities in underlying processes across legal systems while accommodating variations in legal specifics, Aatos achieves a harmonious user experience that remains consistent regardless of the market. This approach not only streamlines the adaptation of their technology but also maintains user familiarity and trust.

The users’ journey begins with a seemingly ordinary activity – scrolling through the web. Aatos’s advertising catches the user’s attention, presenting the concept of testament creation as a seamless and accessible service. Intrigued, the user clicks on the link, expecting a tedious legal process.

However, what unfolds is a user-friendly interface that guides the individual through each step effortlessly. The tool is designed to ensure that even those unfamiliar with legal intricacies can navigate the process smoothly. In a matter of minutes, the user completes all required steps, and their testament is ready.

aatos screenshot

To achieve this, Aatos needed to develop its product in a way that instilled a high level of trust among the customers.

There is research suggesting that some people may perceive the need for human interaction in service encounters to be greater than it is (Makarem et al., 2009).  There are some places, like hospitals, for instance, where human interactions have always been a key element. Here, direct empathy is something that people expect to find. The physical element has been central also for other sectors. As an example, banks have usually always preferred direct contact with their customers. However, this has greatly changed in the last 10 years. Banks have digitized most of their operations and nowadays the majority of tasks can be carried out directly from our smartphones. (PWC, 2017)

Approachability and trust were the main factors that guided Aatos during its initial development. First of all, a great effort was made to make the platform look legit to users. Every word and every little detail needed to be put in place so that customers would feel like a great amount of time had been invested in crafting the service. The idea was to avoid making things look way too bureaucratic. This is connected to the human-centric approach used to build the platform.

A human-centric approach encompasses a mindset that places human needs, experiences, and welfare at the forefront. This involves a pivot away from solely focusing on technology or systems, to redirect attention towards the individuals who engage with them. The objective is to forge solutions that centre on users, are sustainable, and exhibit heightened efficacy. (Norman, 2013) According to Aatos’ observations, “There is a common sentiment among customers that pertains to feelings of insecurity related to legal issues. This often leads to a requirement for supplementary emotional assistance and motivation throughout the procedural journey”. (Aku Pöllänen, 2023) Due to this, Aatos has been devising an interface that is user-friendly and addresses anticipated user questions. This approach guarantees the fulfilment of both pragmatic and emotional prerequisites.

During the early stages of development, Aatos dedicated a substantial amount of time to focus on the user experience (UX). UX is usually defined as “how people use an interactive product […] how well they understand how it works, how they feel about it while they are using it, how well it serves their purposes, and how well it fits into the entire context in which they are using it” (Allam et al., 2013).

The true value of Aatos is shown not only by its approach to legal tech but also by the emphasis on UX. Imagining a UX that’s both straightforward and flexible, and then crafting the user interface accordingly, enabled Aatos to provide an intuitive method for navigating through the diverse process stages. Aatos’ design fosters accessibility across a broad user demographic, extending even to those who aren’t inherently accustomed to digital platforms. Remarkably, the median age of Aatos’ users falls within the range of 55 to 65 years, with the oldest registered user being an impressive 102 years old. This demographic insight challenges their initial hypothesis of targeting a younger audience (30 to 40 years old) and underscores a significant demand for digital legal services among older generations, who have traditionally been less engaged with online services. The data is based on the date of birth indicated by the customers for the legal acts they filled, and not necessarily the age of the person who filled the form. It is possible some people received help from a younger person.

The Place for Lawyers at Aatos

Aatos recognizes that while technology can streamline and automate certain aspects of the legal process, it is the collaboration between lawyers and tech experts that truly drives innovation and ensures the delivery of high-quality legal solutions.

aatos screenshot

The main goal at the initial stage of the development of Aatos was to create a product that would automate consumer law. And, to achieve that, they had to somehow limit the involvement of lawyers. This choice was driven by a simple reason: involving lawyers in every step would have made the product expensive. And Aatos wanted their product to be affordable for everyone in the market.

That being said, it was still inevitable for Aatos to loop lawyers in their processes. Despite automating legal documents and creating a user-friendly interface that quickly takes the user through the few required steps, people would always have questions and doubts. Here is where lawyers play a key role.

This channel, which according to the company is used by only around 3% of the total amount of customers, does not serve as a way to give legal advice via chat. On the other hand, it allows Aatos to gain user feedback to tweak and improve the major problems that can arise.

Lawyers are also part of the development of new services or the expansion towards new markets. Here, the collaboration between law and tech people is essential. Both a lot of research and testing are carried out to refine the product. The tools that Aatos offer must be tailored to all potential customers. So, to complete that, lawyers analyse and break all the legal instruments into pieces to allow the tech department to create a service that considers all the potential scenarios.


The Challenges of Automation 

Aatos’ mission to automate consumer law, with the overarching aim of rendering legal services financially accessible for a broad spectrum of consumers, encounters the billing hours paradigm. The strategic decision to curtail the direct involvement of lawyers aimed to heighten accessibility but clashed with the industry norm, where revenue is defined by billable hours.

As Aatos streamlined its procedures and fully automated the creation of legal documents, the necessity for extensive time allocations to individual cases diminished. While this streamlined efficiency aligns with Aatos’s objective of democratizing legal assistance, it presents a challenge to the conventional model wherein legal professionals invoice clients based on the time expended on their cases.

This shift prompts contemplation on how legal practitioners will adapt to a landscape wherein the value of their expertise becomes detached from the conventional billable hours paradigm. Aatos’s approach necessitates a reexamination of prevailing billing practices in the legal industry, advocating for a model that prioritizes the delivery of efficient solutions over the accumulation of billable hours. Hence, the legal industry may find itself compelled to navigate a transformation in its billing practices.

While Aatos’ service offers notable advantages like convenience and cost-effectiveness, it is essential to examine its potential drawbacks. The efficiency of its automation may lead to a generalized approach, risking an oversimplification of intricate legal matters or in other words a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, in complex family law cases, the subtleties and specific contexts might not be adequately captured by a standard online form. Factors such as the emotional well-being of children, the dynamics of the family relationships, and the long-term implications of decisions like custody or asset division are deeply nuanced. (Prabhat and Hambly 2017) An automated platform might provide generic solutions based on standard parameters, but these may not be adequate or appropriate for every unique situation. The form may not capture intricate details behind such decisions. It might not guide how to balance these decisions. This gap could lead to legal solutions that, while legally sound in a general sense, do not align with the specific needs and best interests of the parties involved.

Moreover, the absence of direct interaction between a lawyer and a client could lead to a gap in tailored legal advice. Typically, legal guidance hinges on a thorough understanding of a client’s unique circumstances, a depth that might only be partially attainable through an automated system. This situation might cause users to depend on generic legal documents, which may only partially address their needs or overlook certain legal ramifications.

Misinterpretation or misuse of the service is another concern. Users, especially those without a legal background, might misunderstand the questions or their legal implications, leading to inaccurately represented intentions or legally unsound documents. For example, a user might not understand the legal difference between various types of power of attorney, leading to the selection of an inappropriate type for their needs. However, it’s important to note that within Aatos’s service, customers are not left to choose the document type on their own. Instead, the platform emulates the approach of a traditional lawyer by first conducting a thorough survey of the customer’s personal situation, using a set of questions akin to what a traditional lawyer would pose. That being said, the absence of real-time guidance from a legal professional means there is no immediate opportunity to clarify misunderstandings or to offer advice that could steer the user away from potential legal pitfalls.

While automation in legal services offers benefits such as efficiency and accessibility, platforms like Aatos must recognize and address these limitations.

That being said, for many individuals, this automated process represents a first step towards legal empowerment, offering a straightforward and cost-effective solution to creating essential legal documents. The platform’s ease of use opens legal services to those who might otherwise find the process daunting or unaffordable. In cases where the legal needs are straightforward or when an individual simply seeks to establish a basic legal framework, Aatos’ service provides a foundational document that can be further refined or elaborated upon with professional legal advice as needed.


Final observations

Aatos’s journey in the legal tech landscape insights and inspirations for both emerging and established players in the legal tech industry. As we reflect on Aatos’s story, several key lessons stand out, shaping our understanding of effective legal tech innovation and customer-centric solutions.

Scalability: Aatos’s Blueprint for Industry Evolution

By incorporating local legal expertise and focusing on adaptable technology, Aatos ensures a consistent user experience across diverse legal systems. The collaboration between legal and tech teams exemplifies a harmonious balance crucial for industry-wide scalability. As the legal tech landscape evolves, Aatos’s journey serves as a benchmark, showcasing the importance of localized strategies and collaborative innovation in achieving scalability.

Empowering the Overlooked

Aatos underscores the importance of addressing overlooked segments in the legal landscape. The focus on individual consumers, often neglected by traditional legal services, highlights the potential for legal tech to democratize access to justice.

Balancing Automation and Human Expertise

Aatos’s integration of lawyers in its processes demonstrates the significance of balancing automation with human expertise. While technology streamlines processes, legal professionals play a vital role in addressing complex issues and providing nuanced insights.

Trust and Customer-Centric UX Design

Aatos commits to trust and a user-friendly experience. Building trust is not just a marketing strategy but a fundamental aspect of design and development. Aatos’s emphasis on User Experience (UX) as a core value showcases the importance of designing legal tech platforms with the end-user in mind.



The case study on Aatos was conducted using a multi-pronged approach to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the company’s impact on the legal tech industry. This methodology included the following key components:

  • Interviews: Primary data was gathered through an interview with the founders of Aatos. This interview provided valuable insights into the company’s origins, development philosophy, target audience, challenges faced in the legal tech industry, and future aspirations. It allowed for an exploration of the founders’ perspectives on key themes such as consumer focus, product development, and the integration of technology in legal services.
  • Platform Trial: To gain firsthand experience of Aatos’ services, we actively engaged with the platform. This practical engagement involved navigating through the various features and functionalities of Aatos’ legal tech solutions.
  • Background Research: To supplement the information gathered from the interview and platform trial, background research was conducted. This research involved reviewing existing literature, market analyses, and relevant legal tech industry reports.



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