Legal business Riverview Law is aiming to apply artificial intelligence to legal work under a partnership with a computer science faculty. The fixed-price firm founded in 2012 has entered what it terms a ‘knowledge transfer partnership’ with the University of Liverpool to develop software and systems.

The link will seek to develop expertise in areas such as artificial intelligence, text processing and data mining.

Riverview chief executive Karl Chapman said the results could revolutionise legal services. ‘The way technology allows us to get access to information means suddenly people are making decisions much faster,’ he said. ‘We have already used it internally to reduce decision-making around contract management and negotiation from five to six weeks to five to six hours.’  

Last year Riverview set up a separate technology business to license software to in-house legal teams in large organisations.

The primary objective of the university collaboration is to automate some cognitive abilities to provide organisations with the tools to support quicker turnaround.

Dr Katie Atkinson, from the University of Liverpool’s department of computer science, said the link-up will allow for the commercialisation of her research in 'autonomous agents'. 

On the university website, Dr Atkinson explains that her research concerns 'computational models of argument, with a particular focus on persuasive argumentation in practical reasoning and how this can be applied in domains such as e-democracy, law and agent systems’.

The application of technology to solving legal issues is a developing area in the profession.

Last year London firm Hodge Jones & Allen teamed up with academics from University College London to create software for assessing the merit of personal injury cases.

Experts have also predicted the use of technology to measure emotional intelligence and surveillance software to inform clients about what their lawyer is doing to work on their case.