Kennedys boosts innovation focus with arrival of data scientists

We have brought two leading data scientists into our rapidly growing Data Science team in the latest chapter of our ambitious plans for technology innovation.

Dr Xi Liu has joined us as part of our Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Manchester to develop next-generation fraud prevention software, which we announced at the end of last year. Joining alongside Xi is Dr Harvey Maddocks, who has a broader remit to develop the use of data across all of our technology products for our insurance clients.

Dr Liu has two PhDs, one in applied statistics and another in computer science with business. She is a specialist in quantitative research methods and machine learning techniques.

Dr Maddocks has a PhD in particle physics and brings both academic and tech sector experience in data analysis, data mining, statistics and software development and machine learning.

The appointments will allow us to employ modern machine learning and text analytics techniques to develop our groundbreaking Ki fraud detection and intelligence tool into a world-class, globally-used product - as well as to bring the benefit of contemporary predictive analytics to our full portfolio of innovations.

We have been at the forefront of legal tech for some years, developing a suite of innovative online products as part of our Innovations Toolkit, which features award-winning products aimed at successfully helping clients better manage their business and reduce their reliance on lawyers.

Karim Derrick Square Alt
This is a very significant development for Kennedys which has the potential not only to take our intelligence capabilities to a new level, but to allow us to explore how we can use the same techniques and data in other areas for our broad cross-section of global insurer clients.

Since Karim’s appointment in 2016, the firm has grown its capabilities in this area and now has an offshore prototyping development team, which it intends to substantially grow this year, alongside an onshore development team and its Ideas Lab: an in-house internal incubation programme to encourage the generation of new, client-focused ideas.

Products include KLAiM, an award-winning virtual lawyer and online claims litigation tool that has already saved clients thousands of pounds; and Cybersettle, an online alternative to claims negotiations.

Partner Richard West oversees our innovation capabilities in conjunction with his fee-earning role as Head of the Liability Division.

Richard West Square
We’ve achieved a great deal for clients with our Innovations Toolkit, but if we are to take it to the next level and create significant, business-changing outcomes for our clients, we need to develop our use of statistics, data and modern machine learning under Xi and Harvey’s guidance. As always, our aim remains to continually use technology to challenge existing practice and to help clients use lawyers only when they really need one.

Last night we won Best Client Service Innovation at The Lawyer Awards, which saw us receive a special mention for our developing portfolio of innovations. We were also ‘Highly Commended’ in the Business Services Team of the Year category.