Kennedys launches Ideas Lab as part of a drive to build technological innovation for clients

Global law firm Kennedys has launched its Ideas Lab as part of its drive to continue to develop and deliver 21st century legal services. The Ideas Lab is the brainchild of partner Richard West, Head of R&D Karim Derrick and solicitor Tom Gummer.
Primarily client-focused, the Ideas Lab, which is supported by ideation software Ideawake, is a platform through which any member of the firm can come forward with ideas about how to create future products and deliver modern legal services that are anchored to the firm’s core principle of helping clients to use lawyers less. Employees who submit ideas showing potential value are invited to pitch, ‘Dragon’s Den’ style, in front of the Research and Development Board before a decision is made to invest and build a prototype.
The initiative will also work to engage clients with discussion around how digital developments, such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain might be applied to their organisations to drive operational efficiencies and create new value.
The move follows Kennedys announcing an exclusive cognitive computing partnership in India earlier this month. Cognitive Computing Services have been appointed specifically to facilitate rapid prototyping of ideas generated by the Ideas Lab. With their background in text analytics, machine learning and Blockchain they will allow the firm to iterate ideas without affecting business as usual.
The firm has a proven track record when it comes to innovation. Since 2009, it has built a number of industry-recognised technology products such as KLAiM, a virtual defence lawyer that automates the filing of a defence, and @scene, a risk management app – both aimed at streamlining formulaic legal services.
Richard West, Head of Kennedys’ liability division says: “We are excited to be formally launching, our internal ‘incubator & accelerator programme’. The thinking behind the Ideas Lab is designed to keep us at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurialism – ensuring all staff, whatever their role or location, have a route to future careers that will emerge as the provision of legal services develop.
“We are aware that now more than ever clients are facing increased pressure on both their time and their budgets, by finding solutions to streamline the delivery of legal services we can help to address both of these. Innovations such as KLAiM are central to our 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.”