Litigation funder harnesses AI to screen lower-value claims

Power: Others will follow us

A litigation funder launched this week is to use artificial intelligence (AI) to carry out a risk analysis of the small to medium-sized claims it intends to back.

Maurice Power, chief executive of Apex Litigation Finance, said it would use technology from predictive analytics specialist CourtQuant to identify cases with the right risk profile.

“Any tool that will enable us to triage cases quickly will bring real value to our business. It will make us cost-effective and allow us to pass savings onto litigants.

“We intend to lead the market and believe others will follow us. The AI will learn from its association with us, bringing added value to our business and making us more effective in identifying cases going forward.”

Mr Power was managing director of Ferguson Litigation Funding, launched in 2016 and which he said was currently winding down after a decision taken at the end of last year that it would not fund new cases.

Sergei Purewal, head of funding at Ferguson, is managing director and chief investment officer at Apex. Mr Power said an individual investor who did not wish to be named was providing the initial financial backing for the business.

Mr Power said he was confident that Apex would reach the £5m target it has set itself and could start funding cases within six weeks; the first applications had already come in.

Unlike other funders, he said Apex would be “heavily focused” on smaller claims, valued at anywhere from £100,000 to £5m, and the needs of law firms, insolvency practitioners, individuals and companies.

“Litigation funding is often incredibly difficult for lower-value cases. It’s expensive and it’s risky and there’s not much support for litigants. We need to look at a higher volume to identify ones with the right risk profile.”

Mr Power said CourtQuant wanted to extend its footprint in the litigation funding world and its agreement with Apex was not exclusive.

However, Apex had been provided with “bespoke solutions and applications” to help determine the likelihood of a case winning, the likelihood of settlement, quantum and the time frames involved.

“Instead of a room full of solicitors, AI will do our first triage. A more traditional risk assessment will be carried out on cases with a positive outcome.”

Luwdig Bull, chief technology officer at CourtQuant, said: “By working directly with the team at Apex, we hope to learn more about funders’ business needs and further improve our product, while simultaneously contributing to Apex’s uniquely innovative funding solutions.”

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