A Cambridge firm has been named as the top performer in the High Court, according to ground-breaking research which has used artificial intelligence to review over 10,000 cases.

Data produced by Premonition, a US startup which calls itself the ’Moneyball’ of legal analytics, said between 2012 and 2014 Hewitsons made eight appearances in the High Court with an 88% win rate.

Meanwhile it has listed Matrix and then Monckton as the highest performing chambers at the High Court. 

The research, which could change how the quality of lawyers is ranked, showed that at present those who are rehired are not the lawyers with the highest win rates. 

A barrister with twice the performance of a peer is 37.9% less likely to be hired, the data shows, with the report stating that a litigant is better off choosing their barrister at random than relying on their law firm.

After reviewing 11,647 cases between 2012 and 2014, Premonition also named Michael Fordham QC and Philippa Kaufman QC as the barristers with the highest number of wins in the High Court, with 11 straight wins each.

Toby Unwin, the chief innovation officer at Premonition, said: 
’Most law firm league tables simply record earnings and employees. Lawyer lists are no measure whatsoever of effectiveness.

’Of course there will be some grey areas around individual wins and losses and some will argue that companies only take on hard or easy cases. However, given the massive sample size included here, we believe such issues are effectively ironed out offering the most in-depth study ever of the British legal system.’

Ian Dodd, the UK director of the analytics firm, said the custom has been to hire general counsels based on prestige rather than results.

’When you look at the data, many emperors have no clothes,’ he added.