UK-based insurance law firm Kennedys has announced today an exclusive partnership in India with Cognitive Computing Services, based in Kerala. The joint venture will be primarily focused on developing applications for the law firm and helping in areas such as rapid prototyping, text analytics, machine learning and blockchain technologies.
Cognitive Computing Services, is headed by CEO, Tony Joseph, (with team pictured above, fifth from right), who has more than 15 years’ experience in technology businesses and will be working closely with Kennedys’ recently appointed Head of Research and Development, Karim Derrick.
The move will no doubt help Kennedys to move more quickly in terms of developing and testing new applications, and presumably at an economical price. Building a large team of machine learning developers in central London is of course possible, but, naturally also expensive.
Even with revenues of around £150m for the last financial year, building a legal AI/machine learning team that can help build quality applications for client use remains a significant investment, it therefore appears to be a sensible way of balancing the need to adopt AI, build one’s own proprietary applications, but not need to invest a large percentage of revenues in R&D.
The insurance sector, both globally and in the UK, has proven to be one of the toughest sectors for law firms in recent years, with extreme pricing pressure now encouraging several law firms to adopt a more data-focused and machine learning approach to handling insurance matters for their large institutional clients.
This is in order to more efficiently handle process level work for clients, maintain margins where possible and also to improve relationships with these major clients in order to gain more complex work. Other UK law firms that are developing their own applications to better deal with the pricing pressure from insurance companies include BLM and Weightmans.
Richard West, Head of Kennedys’ liability division, said: ‘At Kennedys we view technology as an enabler of change that will help benefit us, and most importantly our clients. This latest development with the Cognitive Computing Services partnership accelerates the development of innovations and our desire to reduce legal spend for clients.’
‘Enabling future technologies is an industry priority for the insurance sector. Many insurers are directly investing in the growing number of InsurTech start-ups that are using technology to give customers an even better experience. The industry recognises the important role new technologies can play in boosting the British economy and supporting society.’
Joseph of Cognitive Computing Services, added: ‘Our team is very excited to be exclusively joining forces with the Kennedys’ R&D team in driving new innovation in the Lawtech and Insurtech sectors. We are sure that this agreement will help strengthen Kennedys’ existing client innovations and technologies.’
In March, Kennedys announced the latest release of its virtual defence lawyer KLAiM: an online litigation management system that is designed to streamline, automate and help clients use lawyers less. KLAiM forms part of the Kennedys Toolkit, a suite of innovative products aimed at making the legal process more transparent and straightforward.