Leading insurance law firm Kennedys has taken its KLAIM workflow and legal process automation system global, rolling out the home-built application into the US market for the first time, along with Australia, Hong Kong and offshore reinsurance centre, Bermuda.
KLAIM has been developed at the London-based firm over several years, with the team behind it steadily adding new capabilities as it has evolved (see feature). Now, the platform has been provided to clients in some of the world’s other key insurance markets, in some cases tailored with specialised capabilities that fit local needs. For example in the US, KLAIM ‘Subro’ will help clients settle subrogated recoveries without the need to resort to lawyers.
The web-based platform provides built-in templates and guidance notes that guide the user through the litigation process via a workflow, along with an automated diary and traffic light system. KLAIM also auto-populates and generates all the relevant court documentation for the client.
The logic behind KLAIM has always been to allow its large insurance clients to reduce the amount of legal process work that would otherwise need to be done by lawyers, and that would take time and add extra costs that insurance companies are very keen to avoid. Put simply they are saving their clients money through better workflows and the use of automation.
Now, you may then perhaps ask: why do that? The answer is that this lower value process work around defence of insurance claims is not something the world’s leading insurance companies want to hire a top law firm to handle. If the work is going to ‘go away’ at some point in the future, then why not automate parts of it now and ensure that the client stays with you for the more valuable, complex work as well?
Or, to quote Kennedys: ‘Using the collective knowhow of hundreds of our lawyers, it allows clients to deal with litigation without needing to use a lawyer. Clients are settling in excess of 80% of their claims inside the system without the need for a lawyer at all.’
The firm goes on to say: ‘The system continues to evolve and has huge potential for further growth – if there is a process, it can be modelled.’
The last bit – ‘if there is a process, it can be modelled‘ really is a great line – and so true. And if it can be modelled then it can be legally engineered using better design and technology to create an at least partially automated workflow that results in a valuable legal product for the clients.
The firm has also expanded the platform in the UK, with a new application called Kollect, which allows insurers to seek recoveries of their own losses direct from third parties without the need for lawyers.
Partner Richard West, Head of Innovation at Kennedys, commented: ‘Innovations such as KLAIM are central to our core principle of helping clients to use lawyers only when they really need to.’
‘Although seemingly counter-intuitive for a law firm, we believe that this approach offers business benefits for both our clients and ourselves. This has helped us to continue to build relationships with our clients and to also gain additional market share; while helping all new clients to also rapidly reduce their reliance on all lawyers.’
‘We are excited to bring our philosophy and our own technology to clients across our global network as the factors that make KLAIM so appealing in the UK – reducing legal spend and speeding up the life-cycle of claims – are just as relevant to our clients in other jurisdictions,’ he concluded.
The firm has been busy expanding its legal tech capabilities in recent months. For example, last year it teamed up with academics from Manchester University to develop anti-fraud spotting software for insurance claims (see here) and in September it launched a new data science and tech development centre in India after bringing inhouse a team it had been working with there since 2017. The new base, called Kennedys Kognitive Computing, has a team of nine people and reports to the firm’s Head of Research and Development, Karim Derrick in London.
Going global with KLAIM also matters on a boarder strategic front, as the firm has 37 offices around the world, and in 2017 Kennedys merged with a US insurance law firm, Carroll McNulty & Kull, increasing their commitment to the US market.