22 November 2017

AI boosting lawyers’ value delivery, firm says

A Sydney law firm has said its use of artificial intelligence technology has freed up lawyers to spend more time on analysis and problem-solving.

Bartier Perry recently trialled AI systems that reduced process-intensive legal work from 30 hours to two, according to a statement from the firm.

Head of insurance Mick Franco said AI will empower lawyers to do more valuable work, rather than taking away jobs through automation.

“Artificial intelligence is often portrayed as an absolute job killer,” he said.

“We believe it will see commercial lawyers undertake less process work but more complex analysis and problem-solving.”

Mr Franco and Bartier Perry head of commercial disputes Gavin Stuart are currently assessing AI systems that could be applied in workers’ compensation cases and other commercial disputes.

Mr Franco said AI could liberate disputes lawyers from tedious manual processes, enabling them to focus on providing more valuable advice.

“As lawyers that deal with disputes, we are often in a quagmire of paper and words,” he said.

“Traditional technology has actually seen the amount of information clients pass on increase in the last 20 years and artificial intelligence systems that distil and order that data will save a significant amount of time.

“There are, though, forensic, analytical and objective skills required to understand the specifics of individual cases and advise on the best outcome. That’s where I think clients will gain the most value from lawyers, and [lawyers will get] the greatest professional satisfaction.”

A “law firm without lawyers” recently opened in Darwin, enabled by AI technology.

To hear from leading futurist Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, a Principal Scientist at CSIRO, discuss the impact AI would have in law and the wider economy click below.