A defendant law firm has admitted that its new research into automated fraud detection could ultimately leave lawyers surplus to requirements.

International firm Kennedys will work with the University of Manchester over the next two years to develop next-generation software to prevent fraud.

The firm has secured funding from a business network called Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership and is expecting to pass on the findings to existing insurer clients.

The technology will ultimately help insurers to better detect and manage fraud and help them reduce reliance on lawyers.

Karim Derrick

Karim Derrick

Partner Richard West said: ‘Kennedys has been developing online legal services for many years in the form of the Kennedys toolkit, which has seen significant client traction and recognition from a number of industry awards. Our aim is to continually use technology to challenge existing practice and to help our clients use lawyers less.”

Initiatives include an offshore prototyping development team, data science and analytics capability, a future scanning and emerging risk team and an in-house internal programme to generate new ideas.

The project builds on the work already undertaken by Kennedys partner and fraud specialist Martin Stockdale, developing cognitive computing expertise to trace fraud in claims.

Project director and head of research and development at Kennedys Karim Derrick added that this latest development is part of the firm’s overall strategy to ‘develop an insurance legal services platform that covers the lifecycle of a claim from inception to settlement’.

The academic team supporting the two-year project at the University of Manchester consists of Jian-Bo Yang, professor of decision and system sciences and director of the Decision and Cognitive Sciences Research Centre (DCSRC) and Dong Ling Xu, professor of decision science and support systems.