Insurance Firm Kennedys to Update Old Legal Software with AI

International insurance firm Kennedys has started a project to introduce AI technology into one of its long-standing pieces of insurance defence software, Klaim, which it first launched back in 2009.

The move is interesting in that the general approach of law firms has been to seek out vendors of legal AI to provide an ‘all in one’ solution, rather than seeking to integrate AI into old, non-AI software to deliver more sophisticated and intelligent outcomes.

That said, the non-AI version of Klaim as it is today is already able to handle a signifiant part of steering along a client’s insurance defence matter without the need for human intervention through a series of automated steps. This is especially useful for more low value and process-driven types of claim.

The AI update project follows the hire last year of Karim Derrick as Head of Research and Development at Kennedys. Derrick has held senior management roles in several technology companies and most recently was COO and Chief Innovation Officer at Digital Assess, an education tech company that has worked with a diverse range of institutions from Eton College to schools in Atlanta, Georgia.

In a statement the firm said: ‘With a background in cognitive computing, Karim brings experience in semantic and machine learning technologies to Kennedys and will be developing new iterations of Klaim and our online products.’

Derrick describes himself as ‘developing cognitive online and offline software solutions with a particular interest in cognitive technologies, machine learning, artificial intelligence and intelligent workflow’.

One of the key figures behind both the original software and the new AI push is partner, Richard West, Head of Kennedys’ liability division.

Interviewed by Artificial Lawyer, West added that Klaim, while still based around a complex expert workflow system, is now much more advanced in depth and breadth than when the prototype was launched back in 2009.

There are also plans to expand the technology globally and the firm hopes to have a new platform up and running by 2018.

‘We are beginning to build versions in Hong Kong and Australia and won’t stop there. The current version of Klaim will remain available and supported by us while we work towards a new platform based version that we will launch in 2018,’ West said.

Richard West, Kennedys

West added in an additional press statement with regard to the use of advanced legal tech: ‘Our core principle [is] helping clients to use lawyers less. Although seemingly counter-intuitive for a defendant law firm to develop a tool that removes a revenue stream, we’re of the belief that lawyers should be instructed only when they’re really needed.

At Kennedys, we view technology as an enabler of change that will help benefit us, and most importantly our clients. Our clients are striving to reduce legal spend… and they are calling for innovation,’ he added.

The non-AI version of Klaim has already won many plaudits for its ability to help defendants against insurance claims to run their cases through the software system and come to a quick resolution, in many cases a settlement.

Kennedys said that in the last 24 months over 75% of cases managed by Klaim have been settled successfully, saving one client over a quarter of a million pounds annually, a 20% reduction in their annual legal defence spend and a positive impact on their overall indemnity spend.