By: 1 November 2023
Fletchers Group partners with the University of Liverpool for legal AI project

Fletchers Group has partnered with the University of Liverpool for the second time, undertaking a new legal AI development project.  

This partnership will build on the group’s work on SIDSS (Structured Information Decision Support Systems). Fletchers states that this system has saved “tens of thousands of hours” in staff time. The firm uses the system to decide whether to investigate and take on clinical negligence cases.

Professor Katie Atkinson heads up Liverpool University’s computer science team. Fletchers is sponsoring two PhD students to complete their doctorates by undertaking research for the new project. 

Furthermore, Fletchers has appointed Noah Milton into a new role of AI project director. As a result, he will head up the development programme. A new head of data science, Quentin Debard, has also been hired to complete the team. 

Dan Taylor is Fletchers’ director of integration who led the creation of SIDSS. He stated that the partnership with the University and the two new specialist appointments underscores the firm’s appetite to become a “pathfinder and innovator for the use of AI in the law.” 

Speaking about the vision for the upcoming project, Noah Milton said “We want to build and deploy tools which make use of the latest AI technologies, including Large Language Models (LLMs), to support our colleagues, improve automation of simple tasks, and bring our collective business expertise to our lawyers and make it work for every one of our clients.” 

With the key players now appointed, the partnership will kick off in November 2023.

Funding for the four year multi-million-pound project will be through Fletchers as part of its long-term commitment to AI research in the law. 

On behalf of the University of Liverpool, Professor Katie Atkinson said: “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Fletchers to build on our past successful project and keep pushing forward industrially relevant, cutting-edge research in AI. Fletchers’ forward-thinking approach in embracing innovation makes this an exciting project to be involved in.” 

Fletchers Group CEO Peter Haden said: “This is a crucial project for Fletchers, our clients, and our sector in general. 

“We have already shown that AI can be a force for good. We now intend to broaden the scope of AI to give many thousands more injured people the opportunity to benefit from the justice system, even for lower value cases where justice has been harder to access following government reforms and budget cuts.” 

 

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Emma Cockings
Emma is the content editor for Yorkshire Legal News. Emma is an experienced writer with a background in client-centric personal injury law for a major firm. She has attended and reported on numerous high-profile legal events in Yorkshire.