Law firm DWF has developed an automated costs system using its EvoClaim software platform to process fixed recoverable costs claims.
Through a collaboration between two of DWF’s connected services businesses—DWF Costs and software business DWF 360—the Semi-Autonomous Fixed-Costs Tool (SAFT) has been developed to increase the efficiency of costs claims handling, while reducing the potential for human error.
Previously, a physical or electronic claim file would be referred to DWF’s costs team to analyse and assess the costs claim manually.
The new SAFT innovation uses automated data extraction, retrospective and predictive data analytics and legal rules to test fixed recoverable costs claims against what is reasonable.
The software could prove valuable for the law firm’s clients in the insurance sector, with the capacity to process tens of thousands of claims annually.
In a fully automated process, the system will identify any claims that fall outside what is reasonable, automatically recalculate the claim then advance an appropriate proposal to the claiming party. Only in the event that this ‘reasonable’ offer is rejected, will the matter be referred to one of DWF’s costs claims experts.
The system also has a vast number of claim and costs data-points attached to the matter that allow retrospective analysis and prediction using a large number of metrics.
Simon Murray, commercial development director for DWF’s connected services division, first had the idea for the system three years ago. He said: “This project is the very ethos of what Connected Services is about—innovative thinking, technological talent and legal expertise combining to produce a new model of service delivery for our clients.”
Commenting on the wider application of the tool, he said: “The underlying infrastructure of the system enables DWF360 to adapt the product, allowing for other rules-based processes to be automated, so we are looking forward to broadening the product-set built on this platform to other types of claims in the near future.”