Taylor Wessing, Bakers + MDR Partner with LitiGate AI Startup

Tel Aviv-based legal tech litigation start-up, LitiGate, has announced a partnership with three UK and global law firms to help develop its AI-driven research and argument assessment platform.

The start-up, which focuses on English law in relation to High Court cases, will collaborate with Taylor Wessing, Baker McKenzie and Mishcon de Reya (along with its MDR LAB incubator).

Technology aside this is a great – and rare – example of competing law firms working together for a common legal tech goal. Collaborating certainly makes sense when law firms are looking at new technology, as the time and resources needed to train AI systems, to test them, and to then develop new iterations of start-up technology that meet the specific needs of lawyers, can be considerable.

With three firms working together and pooling efforts, there is a higher chance that LitiGate will have any gaps in its capabilities more quickly identified and addressed, while where machine learning is required, having more people to throw at the task will also help, even if this is just amalgamated learning from each of the three firms.

Given the potential upsides from collaboration it’s perhaps surprising that more law firms don’t do this, and don’t do this more often. However, law firms have tended to want to work in isolation, often even objecting to the idea that any machine learning they have been responsible for is not passed on to other law firms to benefit from.

While this is understandable – after all, law firms are in fierce competition with each other, often for the same clients – in the long term, the savings involved in sharing the development and teaching costs of AI systems would presumably be sufficiently convincing. Time will tell if more law firms go down this road, but it is great to see three very international and well-known firms taking this approach.

The start-up is the brainchild of litigator Nimrod Aharon, who was previously an associate at Erdinast, Ben Nathan, Toledano & Co, and AI expert Guy Uziel. 

They said that their goal is ‘to revolutionise the conduct of litigation by delivering contentious legal services faster, at less cost and with improved accuracy’.

The platform uses machine learning algorithms to review legal arguments, suggest counter arguments and recommend preferred procedural steps in a piece of litigation.

While this is not the first such system to appear in this area, as there are several companies in the US working on similar themes, this is one of the first for English law.

Laurence Lieberman, partner at international law firm Taylor Wessing, says: ‘Technology, and AI in particular, is transforming the legal profession, and the conduct of litigation is no exception. We are constantly looking for innovative solutions that will maximise efficiency to ensure the best outcomes for our clients, and reduce the overall cost of litigation.’

‘Collaborating with LitiGate is a perfect fit for us, and forms part of our wider commitment to investing in technology. We are excited to be working with the LitiGate team and other partner firms, to help explore the benefits of this potentially game-changing product for our disputes and investigations team,’ he added.

Ben Allgrove, Global R&D Partner at Baker McKenzie added: ‘This collaboration is a core part of our innovation strategy and we look forward to embarking on this journey with LitiGate.’

While Nick West, Chief Technology Officer at Mishcon de Reya, concluded: ‘We’re delighted to have welcomed Nimrod, Guy and the LitiGate team to join our current MDR LAB cohort and eagerly anticipate getting to know them, to understand what their technology can do and to help them perfect their product. Equally, we’re excited to collaborate with colleagues from Taylor Wessing and Baker McKenzie – as many have commented before, we think that collaboration amongst firms can only help to accelerate the pace of change in legal.’

LitiGate is one of five start-ups to join the MDR LAB incubator’s second cohort, which was announced yesterday.

And, Aharon, CEO of LitiGate, summed up: ‘These are exciting times of revolutionising legal research as we know it…..Together with our partners, we have formed a unique community of highly ranked global law firms, investing their expertise and resources to provide the first AI arguments analysis platform.’