The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is a critically important tool which empowers lawyers to work more effectively, and provide increased value to clients. One of the ways that lawyers and their clients can benefit from AI is through the use of predictive analytics.

AI is better suited than its human counterparts to analyse and predict outcomes using massive amounts of data from the facts of case law, research, briefs, and other legal documents.

LexisNexis owns a legal product, Lex Machina, which is now widely used in the US. Lex Machina offers predictive services based on a collection and analysis of historical data from past case law, trends in judges’ rulings, legal strategies of opposing counsel, and winning arguments.

Similarly, a group of students from the University of Cambridge founded an AI start-up that builds systems that predict legal decisions. These systems were recently pitted against more than 100 partners and associates from major corporate law firms in London. Both the lawyers and the AI were given a set of facts regarding payment protection insurance mis-selling cases and asked to predict whether the UK Financial Ombudsman would allow a claim. The AI software predicted the outcome with almost 87% accuracy, while the lawyers were correct only 62% of the time.

Similar research conducted showed the success of AI and algorithms to predict the outcome of US Supreme Court decisions and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights more accurately than its lawyer counterparts.

Predictive analytics holds a variety of benefits for attorneys and their clients:

  • Firstly, it allows lawyers to better assess the matter outcome.
  • Secondly, a more transparent result allows for more transparent settlements and less litigation.
  • Thirdly, the burden on the courts will be lightened, allowing the courts to hear and determine matters within a shorter timeframe, while judicial opinions are said to improve with fewer frivolous cases brought to court.