Insurance law firm Kennedys has taken its home-built litigation analysis and dispute work flow platform, KLAiM, to Latin America, in an effort to extend its ‘do less law’ strategy to new markets.
The move coincides with the firm setting up a research and development (R&D) function in Mexico City to serve its Latin American, Caribbean and US clients. It also already has an innovation base in India, as well as in its head office in London.
KLAiM is an ‘online legal process platform designed to help clients use lawyers less’ that the firm has been steadily developing and extending over several years. The firm said that its clients are now settling in excess of 80% of their claims inside the system – without the need for a lawyer at all.
Projected savings in indemnity spend and legal fees for UK clients using KLAiM over the next 12 months are expected to be around £5m ($6.4m).
The strategy is centred around the idea that its clients should only use a lawyer when ‘they really need one’. Or in other words #DoLessLaw, a theme that has been promoted by several legal market experts, in particular by US-based Ron Friedmann.
Other insurance firms in the UK, which has historically been a centre for the global insurance market, have also been developing their own tech platforms focused on managing and analysing claims, including Weightmans and BLM.
The insurance sector is one area that has seen particular pressure on fees and has a client base willing to explore ways to improve legal processes, as well as put pressure on advisers to come up with new solutions.
The new R&D function at Kennedys will support the roll-out of KLAiM and the development of other online products in Latin America.
It is being spearheaded by Kennedys’ innovation manager, and commercial lawyer, Tom Gummer (pictured above) who has moved from London to the firm’s Mexico City office.
He will still be reporting into the firm’s Head of R&D, Karim Derrick – who has been instrumental in extending KLAiM’s capabilities. Gummer will also work closely with Alex Guillamont, head of Kennedys’ Latin American and Caribbean practice.
Gummer is one of the founders of Kennedys’ Ideas Lab, the firm’s ideas platform. He is also part of the innovations team at Kennedys, led by partner Richard West.
Gummer said of the move: ‘I’ve seen first-hand the way in which our innovations can be tailored to transform the claims process for insurers across the globe. I am excited to be able to bring our award-winning innovations into the vibrant Latin American market, which is already showing a strong level of interest among our client base.’
Kennedys covers eleven jurisdictions in Latin America and the Caribbean, and has six offices across the US.