Litigation prediction startup, Solomonic, has completed its first ever round of external investment funding, signed global firm Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) for a two-year licence deal, has won new clients in the US, and overall is feeling ‘bullish’ about its growth prospects during the crisis. Proof that not every legal tech company is looking at the future with trepidation.
Edward Bird, Managing Director at the UK-based Solomonic, told Artificial Lawyer a group of wealthy individuals had provided what is the company’s first external investment round, to the tune of £600,000 ($740,000) – which may not be a huge sum, but it’s still an important landmark for the company and will be useful capital that can be invested in more machine learning software development work.
Before this, the company had only taken investment capital from its founders. They are also generating a healthy revenue stream from clients, Bird added.
The company had also received bursaries from the Government’s Innovate UK group to work with Warwick University, as well as from NESTA for an access to justice application – although these are not investments as such.
On the growth point Bird said they had just signed HSF for a two year deal – which was one of the company’s first pilot clients and is one of the best known law firms in the UK for its litigation work, as well as winning law firms in the US as new customers, and are close to signing additional large clients in the insurance sector.
The business, which uses a mix of NLP and data modelling, plus relies upon a group of expert lawyers to sense check the output and add in additional insights, helps firms and clients to predict the likely outcome of their cases.
Or as they say: ‘We have analysed hundreds of thousands of data points, covering key aspects of judges’ decisions, approaches, and preferences.’ Their Commercial Court module for the UK High Court – one of the most international courts in the world – deals with complex business disputes, with a particular emphasis on trade, banking and insurance.
They don’t expect to give a client a totally 100% guaranteed prediction. The goal is to help clients when there is uncertainty and to – with data – point them in the right direction.
All in all the company, unlike some at the moment, is feeling very good about things. As Bird told this site: ‘We are bullish, we have revenue, our balance sheet looks good.’
He added that the use of human lawyers was a notable expense to the business and that they will be working hard to improve their machine learning so more of the process can be automated.
Bird also explained that as they did more and more case analysis work for clients their data grew far richer. That allowed them to give increasingly useful insights to lawyers.
‘For example, we’re developing data to help understand the wider litigation environment: what are people defending against, what arguments are used, and what happens to different kinds of claims.’
Damien Byrne Hill, UK Head of Disputes at flagship Solomonic customer, HSF, added: ‘Solomonic allows litigants and dispute resolution advisors not just to step beyond gut feel decision-making by giving them ready access to hard data, but also to stay on top of market activity and trends.’
While, Solomonic Co-founder, barrister Gideon Cohen, concluded: ‘In the current climate, staying on top of the latest claims is vital for gaining and sustaining competitive advantage. We have worked closely with our customers to meet key business intelligence and strategic needs of litigators at a critical time.’