Defendant firm Kennedys is to roll out its ‘virtual lawyer’ KLAiM to foreign jurisdictions after claiming that it has enabled clients in England and Wales to settle more than 80% of claims without the need for a human lawyer.
The web-based platform provides built-in templates and guidance notes to take users through the litigation process, with an automated diary and traffic light system. The software, which references the collective know-how of hundreds of Kennedys lawyers, also generates the relevant court documentation.
Kennedys says KLAiM is now bieing adapted to work across the firm’s international network, including the USA, Bermuda, Hong Kong and Australia. The system will be adapted to fit with local jurisdictions, for example in the US helping clients settle subrogated recoveries without the default resort to lawyers.
The firm has used the system since 2016 and has now added a tool which allows insurers to seek recoveries of their own losses directly from third parties without the need for lawyers.
For a firm employing hundreds of lawyers, Kennedys admits it may appear surprising that it wants to extend a lawyer-less system, but it insists that innovation should ensure clients seek legal representatives only when they really need to.
‘Although seemingly counter-intuitive for a law firm, we believe that this approach offers business benefits for both our clients and ourselves,’ said partner Richard West, head of innovation. ‘This has helped us to continue to build relationships with our clients and to also gain additional market share; while helping all new clients to also rapidly reduce their reliance on all lawyers.’
The firm says technology should be viewed as an extension to a lawyer’s ability by working with it rather than against it. This is achieved by working on the basis that old tasks involved in litigation are rendered unnecessary, rather than trying to use technology to do the old tasks more efficiently.