Bakers To Predict Client Demand With Holy Grail AI Project

Global law firm Baker McKenzie is to try and predict client demand through a partnership with AI company SparkBeyond. The Big Data-crunching and predictive analysis company also works with several governments around the world.

Knowing what your clients will want from you before perhaps they or the rest of the market does is the Holy Grail of predictive intelligence for many businesses. This would allow the firm to get in the right shape and allocate the right resources early, as well as prepare marketing initiatives to win work before many other firms had perhaps thought to consider a certain sales strategy or noticed a new type of client need.

The move comes as the firm’s Reinvent Law innovation group moves beyond its former Frankfurt base and takes on a global role, with the prediction experiment the first project it has taken on.

A spokesperson for Bakers told Artificial Lawyer the idea is that the firm will feed in its own data about the work it does to SparkBeyond, which will then study patterns in a mass of other economic and sector-related data that is has access to already. From there it will make some predictions about what Bakers’ clients may need from it in the future.

The spokesperson said: ‘We will be testing this on ourselves first, and then if we can identify what clients will want next, we can then look at developing client solutions.’

One example for the future was helping clients to spot potential merger targets that they may have overlooked – a project the company already did for a chemicals business, and was able to find M&A targets that had not been considered before.

‘They will run millions of scenarios and see where there are correlations. It will allow us to run hypotheses [on what clients may want],’ the spokesperson added.

In terms of working with client solutions, the firm said: ‘[We] plan to explore client facing collaborations across the M&A, anti-trust and IP spaces, among others.’

Ben Allgrove, Baker McKenzie partner and Global Head of R&D commented: ‘The legal sector is on a new disruption path now and our partnership with SparkBeyond will turbo-charge the change in our business. The collaboration will give us unparalleled insights into the future of legal services and what they could be if only we had a wider perspective.

‘Understanding these unseen drivers and root causes driving future client demand will allow us to shape the future of our business. Thereafter we plan to quickly explore, with our clients, how we might co-create a range of new value across the legal, tax and compliance functions. We are also excited about partnering with SparkBeyond to deploy our mutual skills to create real positive social impact.’

Amir Haramaty, Chief Commercial Officer of SparkBeyond concluded: ‘SparkBeyond’s AI and advanced problem-solving systems have led the way in transforming many of our traditional industries, and we look forward to this latest challenge.’