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Kennedys takes solicitors out of the PI equation with 'virtual defence lawyer'

Kennedys takes solicitors out of the PI equation with 'virtual defence lawyer'


Solicitors should only be instructed when needed, says insurance lawyer

International firm Kennedys has announced the latest release of its virtual defence lawyer, KLAiM, so that its insurer clients can reduce their legal spend and the shelf life of personal injury claims.

First announced in 2012, KLAiM aims to help insurers quickly settle third-party claims against their policyholders where primary liability is not in dispute, streamlining and automating processes before solicitors are instructed on either side.

The online litigation platform entirely manages the claims process, from service of court proceedings through to settlement. The latest release of the virtual lawyer can now guide claims handlers through the infant approval hearing stage of a matter and even enables the direct instruction of counsel when costs have not been agreed and attendance is required – all without instructing a lawyer.

In the last 24 months, over 75 per cent of cases managed by KLAiM have been settled successfully, saving one client over a quarter of a million pounds annually, a 20 per cent reduction in its annual legal defence spend, according to Kennedys.

Richard West, head of Kennedys’ liability division and a member of the firm’s strategy board, said KLAiM was central to the firm’s core principle of helping clients to use lawyers less.

‘Although seemingly counter-intuitive for a defendant law firm to develop a tool that removes a revenue stream, we’re of the belief that lawyers should be instructed only when they’re really needed.

‘At Kennedys, we view technology as an enabler of change that will help benefit us, and most importantly our clients. Our clients are striving to reduce legal spend, the shelf life of claims, and they are calling for innovation.’

This latest KLAiM development comes as a new report shows law firms leaders are concerned over how the impact of technology is changing the pace of the legal services industry.

John van der Luit-Drummond is deputy editor of Solicitors Journal | @JvdLD