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Weightmans secures government grant for AI and data project that will transform legal services

The funding was provided through the Government’s modern industrial strategy by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation

National law firm Weightmans and software developers Frontier Labs have secured six figure government funding for a research development project that will transform the legal services Weightmans supplies to its compensator clients.

The grant will enable Weightmans and Frontier Labs to research, design, develop and test a proof of concept over an 18 month period, with the aim to create a product that augments and guides legal experts when forecasting the reserve costs associated with personal injury matters.

Stuart Whittle of Weightmans poses with the founders of Frontier Labs

A reserve is the money that is earmarked by insurers for any eventual claim payment, and accurate predictions of these are crucially important for personal injury cases - with some claims lasting several years, any reserve for damages and costs is held throughout by the compensator. Reserving is currently conducted on an individual basis by a case handler, but this is not an exact science and relies heavily on a case handler’s experience.

This ground-breaking project will apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning techniques to remove the unpredictability of reserving, combining this with a people-centred design approach to create an intelligent system which can predict the costs and damage reserves of legal cases.

Stuart Whittle, Director of Innovation and Business Services at Weightmans (pictured far left) said:

“The legal industry is facing increased demands from clients for data-driven intelligence, but data alone cannot provide all of the answers. Through our work this year, we recognised to create truly useful intelligence, a human-centric approach is key. Working with Frontier Labs, we identified a real market opportunity to disrupt and innovate by developing this data-driven reserving tool with our people at its heart.

“The funding will enable us to push our proof of concept further, turning a great idea into a true innovation. The potential is huge, and if successful, the value of this product to clients could be in the hundreds of millions.  Law firms and insurers will be able to use it to offer a faster, more effective service to clients with an earlier, more accurate estimate of costs.

“This is an opportunity to create a pioneering AI-driven tool and we are looking forward to working with the team at Frontier Labs to make it a reality.”

Ben Blackmore, Technical Director at Frontier Labs added:

“Frontier Labs are excited to partner with Weightmans on this Innovate UK funded project. Over the coming months we will be working at the intersection of Human Centred Design and Data Science to create a data-driven application powered by AI. We look forward to partnering with Weightmans and building a product that has the potential to revolutionise the Legal industry.”