At its annual user conference this morning in Miami, Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions unveiled a product that will help corporate legal departments pick the best law firm for a litigation matter by using predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to rank outside law firms along a range of metrics.

The product, LegalVIEW Predictive Insights, is a module within Passport 19.2, the latest version of the company’s legal spend and matter management application. It also predicts budgets and duration for litigation matters, so legal departments can plan and budget more accurately.

Jonah Paransky, general manager and executive vice president of ELM Solutions, announced its release during his keynote this morning. The product is available to customers as of today.

“We are thrilled to provide actionable insight on litigation matters to help our customers achieve
positive business outcomes,” Paransky said. “No other matter or spend management system incorporates the key data corporate and insurance claims departments need to make effective litigation decisions right at their fingertips.”

The new module applies predictive analytics to legal-spend data drawn from the company’s proprietary LegalVIEW database, which it says it the world’s largest and most reliable collection of legal-spend data, reflecting some $130 billion of spend or invoices. Using that data, the module ranks firms’ past performance on metrics such as how well they met their budget and their cycle time in handling matters.

In a preview demonstration last week, Barry Ader, vice president, product management and marketing, said that corporate legal departments too often make decisions about hiring counsel and setting budgets based on gut instincts, without data.

“For one customer of ours, we found that 88% of matters are either over- or under-budgeted,” Ader said. “They’re shooting in the dark.”

With this new module, corporate counsel will now be able to launch Passport at the outset of a matter and see rankings of outside law firms to help them find the right fit for the particular matter and budget. They will be able to choose from a set of 23 metrics and decide how to weigh each one.

In addition, users will be able to add and factor-in non-financial metrics, such as peer reviews, effectiveness of communication, effectiveness of staffing, diversity of staffing, accuracy in budgeting, and accuracy in invoicing.

Users are given firm score card ratings, key performance metrics (like average rates, invoice accuracy, win/loss ratio, etc.), and the predicted budgets and matter cycle times per firm, so they can be more confident they are selecting the firms that are likely to yield the best outcomes.

The rankings are made only for firms with which the enterprise already has a relationship. Asked whether rankings would ever be made available for firms with which the enterprise has not worked, Ader said that is not currently planned but that “there is a potential world where we explore that.”

While helping legal departments choose a firm is a big part of LegalVIEW Predictive Insights, it is also intended to help them make more informed decisions in budgeting litigation matters. The module will give them a better understanding of what the overall budget will be for a matter, and also break it down by phases.

“The real value is it takes that big cloud of tribal knowledge and distills it down to the point where the decision has to be made,” Ader said. “This makes sure every experience with the firm is recorded and served back up at the point where they need it. They don’t have to switch focus, it’s literally on the screen.”