Computer Scientists win `Best use of technology’ award at Modern Law Awards

The winning team from l to r: Rob Williams (Weightmans), Catriona Wolfenden (Weightmans), Katie Atkinson (University), Stuart Whittle (Weightmans), Chloe Doyle (Kira Systems)

University computer scientists were part of a team that scooped the `Best use of technology’ category at the 2019 Modern Law Awards in recognition of the artificial intelligence (AI) solution they developed to deliver improvements in case handling.

The winning team consisted of the national law firm, Weightmans, software company, Kira Systems and the University who have been working collaboratively to develop an innovative  new AI product capable of advanced data extraction and legal reasoning.

Professor Katie Atkinson, Dean of the School of Electrical Engineering Electronics and Computer Science and Honorary Professor in Computer Science, Trevor Bench-Capon, have been working with Weightmans since 2016 to explore how recent AI developments, particularly from the field of computational argumentation, can engage in the process of automated reasoning within the legal arena.

This led to the development of a legal decision engine that when combined with the metadata extraction capabilities of Kira Systems is capable of identifying arguments for settling cases and speeding up decision making

Professor Atkinson said: “It is a real honour for our collaborative work with partners, Weightmans and Kira systems, to win the `Best use of technology’ award at Modern Law Awards.

“Liverpool computer scientists have a long history of developing fundamental research in AI and Law and I am delighted that our pioneering research is having impact and has been recognised.”

Stuart Whittle, Director of Business Services and Innovation at Weightmans, added: “We have been really excited to collaborate with cutting edge AI solutions and ground breaking academic computer scientists to deliver real world solutions and we’re delighted to have had this collaboration recognised”

Now in their sixth year, the Eclipse Modern Law Awards were created to celebrate and identify talent and success in entrepreneurship along with best practice in modern legal services.

The University of Liverpool’s has significant strengths and capability in digital research contributing solutions to societal and industrial challenges through the generation, communication and application of data.


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