Law firm Muckle uses artificial intelligence during multimillion-pound case

Newcastle law firm Muckle LLP has become one of the first in the region to use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help speed up the disclosure process on a multimillion-pound dispute claim.

The firm’s dispute resolution team is using predictive coding software, which is also known as technology aided review (TAR), to analyse hundreds of thousands of disclosure documents to speed up the time it takes to review a case.

Muckle has used the software on a case that involved 1m disclosure documents. After carrying out a standard keyword search this was reduced to 660,000.

The firm then used the AI programme to further reduce the number of documents by another 90% to 35,000.

Partner and head of Muckle’s dispute resolution team, Susan Howe, said: “Using this type of technology is relatively new and is now being recognised by the court. Firms in London are investing very heavily in artificial intelligence systems but, regionally, it’s not something that is widely used yet.

“The dispute resolution team here at Muckle increasingly work on large claim cases where disclosure documents can be in the hundreds of thousands so having access to groundbreaking software such as TAR is game-changing.

“A process which would traditionally involve a team of trainees or paralegals turning the pages in a room for a year is now significantly condensed thanks to this cutting-edge computer programme.”

Muckle has brought in advanced discovery firm Millnet, to provide the AI software. Predictive coding is the use of keyword search, filtering and sampling to automate portions of an e-discovery document review.

To make sure the software works Muckle’s lawyers initially had to teach the programme what was important through inputting keywords and testing the algorithm. The algorithm then learns from the lawyers’ decision-making to identify similar documents and rank them by relevance.

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