Litigation support:

How AI is augmenting litigation support services


Almost one-fifth of UK legal buyers in 2022 believe digitalisation and the use of technology are strategic priorities for their firms.[1] New technology brings law firms growth opportunities, but also potential challenges. They must keep up with fast-moving competitors and address the growing necessity to use technology in their processes.

Conducting online research today is complicated. Researchers must verify what is relevant, accurate, and available for use, and the sheer volume information means that traditional teams of human researchers cannot keep up with demand.

To stay ahead, firms need research tools which provide the raw power to deal with this information mountain. But they must also work intelligently alongside human experts and lawyers, across the litigation support workflow. Legal firms are turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) to meet this need.

[1] State of the UK Legal Market 2022 | Thomson Reuters

Suggested reading: AI and automation-powered background research platforms are critical to safeguarding — find out more in our eBook How Can You Protect Your Reputation?

From overwhelming challenge to competitive edge: how AI is transforming litigation support

From overwhelming challenge to competitive edge: how AI is transforming litigation support

Legal professionals conducting research have to trawl through more available data than ever before. Though litigation support involves a wide range of processes, the background investigation that informs legal strategies is often the difference between winning and losing a case. Increasingly, researchers are turning to technology to give them the edge.

AI-driven tools such as Xapien are fast becoming critical to litigation support services. The right AI can empower traditional human-led litigation support services, by both speeding up the process, and delivering better results than a purely manual team of investigators. For example, AI tools can quickly disambiguate and make sense of research. This frees up expert researchers to focus on higher-value tasks such as strategic planning, based on this automated research.

AI can also help lawyers get more out of risk consultancies and traditional investigative and analysis service providers. Xapien rapidly provides a comprehensive picture that lets lawyers focus these costs and efforts in the most promising areas.

Our experience has shown that AI is transformation litigation support services in four key ways, helping law firms unlock greater efficiencies in their research:

  1. Focus everywhere: removing the need to make trade-offs in your research
  2. Search beneath the surface: finding the hidden patterns that could be crucial
  3. Stay compliant: making the most of online information without breaching boundaries
  4. Upgrade workflows: releasing your teams to focus on the most valuable tasks

Keep reading to explore each of these trends in detail to understand the drivers for change, the opportunity that AI brings, the impact on your litigation support services and the benefits to your law firm.

Key takeaways

  • Background investigations for major litigation can uncover insights that make the difference between winning and losing a case. 
  • Uncovering this data is fast becoming unmanageable for human-only teams. 
  • AI research tools are overcoming the challenges, making litigation support teams more efficient and effective.

1. Focus everywhere: AI covers more individuals and corporations

Partners and associates must constantly judge how to allocate and prioritise expensive resources and effort. These trade-offs may mean that crucial information is missed, simply because there isn’t capacity to look everywhere.

AI platforms break through these constraints. But whilst a traditional research tool may be able to identify, read and report on all publicly available data, the real challenge is in finding what’s really relevant. Even with these tools, human researchers still spend many hours sorting through the data to find these valuable insights. In contrast, Xapien performs this entire process much as a human analyst would – but with far greater depth and in a fraction of the time.

This means that law firms are free to ‘focus everywhere’: there is simply no need to make trade-offs about the level of detail, depth or focus in the research phase. This in turn avoids the wasted effort of setting off in the wrong direction early in a case.

The result: a considerable boost in efficiency of workflows and the research that informs them. And equipping lawyers with a comprehensive, high-quality picture far earlier means more confident and better-informed decision-making, creating a competitive edge, increasing capacity and opening up new opportunities for legal firms.

Key takeaways

  • Xapien’s AI platform transforms the research process, so you don’t need to make trade-offs.
  • This reveals additional insights which could transform the outcome of the case.
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2. Search beneath the surface: reveal crucial, hidden connections and associations

  1. Search beneath the surface: reveal crucial, hidden connections and associations

The research elements of litigation support cover asset tracing, evidence gathering, witness research, fact-checking and more. All involve delving into specific individuals — or corporations — and their associates. The more people and companies researchers can look into, the more likely they are to uncover the connections and associations that build a rich picture of subjects.

But these associations, connections, and relationships only become apparent after analysing multiple individuals and entities. When working to tight case deadlines, it is unrealistic for researchers to examine every possible connection using traditional methods. And actionable information only comes from “deep” research which is even more time-consuming. Without it, hidden patterns stay hidden.

Researchers need X-ray vision: a way to see beneath the surface to underlying meaning. AI platforms do this, quickly uncovering this hidden picture. Xapien’s platform works at massive scale, processing huge volumes of data, but with the intelligence of a human researcher. It makes sense of the information and uses context to zoom in on what’s genuinely useful.

As an advanced AI platform, Xapien uses human-like techniques to cut through this noise. By applying Natural Language Processing (NLP) Xapien can take just a few pieces of information – such as the name of a person and their organisation — to work out what is useful. Xapien’s NLP reads text from across the internet. It extracts key events, sentiments and personas and then builds a “Knowledge Graph” connecting individual pieces of information together. This creates a rich view of the subject and their network of connections in the same way a human researcher would.

Xapien delivers a report of highly detailed and relevant insights quickly and cost-effectively. A challenge which today seems overwhelming and beyond the means of most teams, becomes routine and accessible. For legal teams, this puts them firmly on a path to win the case.

Key takeaways

  • Litigation support research must find the patterns in data to understand their subject fully.
  • This requires extensive research which is beyond the capacity of purely human teams.
  • Xapien’s AI platform removes this constraint, revealing the hidden picture.
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3. Stay compliant: make the most of your data without compromising your case

Compliance is a high-stakes matter for law firms: breaching legal and privacy boundaries can jeopardise a case. But the need to research a subject gives legal teams a headache: how far to go in gathering information without infringing the subject’s privacy? The competing pressures of maintaining compliance and maximising research outcomes require careful balancing.

Xapien helps with this balancing act, relieving the pressure on busy legal teams. When set up to process online data it uses only data which is available for public use. Xapien has in-built regulation capabilities that stop it from infringing privacy laws.

Legal firms benefit from automatic compliance with privacy laws. This avoids the costs and reputational damage from lawsuits arising from inappropriate, or even illegal, investigations to support litigations. By acting as a compliance safety net, Xapien ensures legal teams maximise their use of information, without the worry of straying beyond privacy boundaries.

Key takeaways

  • Balancing compliance, privacy, and data protection is challenging for litigation support professionals conducting research.
  • Xapien comes with inbuilt safeguards that remove the risks of any over-zealous analyst crossing boundaries.

4. Upgrade workflows: help your experts focus on winning

Time is money, so efficient working gives you a competitive advantage. Law firms need to be able to take quick, decisive action. However, poor decisions taken in haste are costly, meaning that firms spend a lot of skilled lawyer time ensuring that decisions are based on relevant, actionable and correct information. 

Automation has a clear role to play: it cuts down the time required to reach an outcome. But the drive to automate has left many teams with multiple tools in their workflows. Researchers must spend time consolidating the information provided by all these tools. Technology has made an impact, but not an improvement.

The answer is to adopt a tool which works the way researchers and analysts work, and does the hard work of integrating all of the steps for them. Xapien performs in-depth research, analyses data, and presents information for lawyers to draw relevant and actionable insights, all in one place. This entire process is performed within minutes – even senior lawyers with few technical skills can quickly perform advanced investigations using Xapien. 

Putting the power of Xapien into the hands of the people that need it is as simple as sharing the insight reports it generates. These reports summarise the huge amount of analysis and data processing that led to the insights. The platform produces an easy-to-digest, categorised, and segmented report, organised the way that teams of researchers, lawyers and other departments work. Features such as PDF downloads help to ensure full auditability.

Efficiencies here means that law firms can develop their legal strategies faster – and to a greater level of detail – than previously possible. The ‘all in one’ Xapien platform allows researchers to share a single source of actionable insight: everyone gets the same information, allowing firms to move at pace, sidestepping the delays caused by misunderstandings

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Key takeaways

  • Automation is valuable for legal firms, but only if it brings information together in a way which teams can process efficiently
  • Xapien’s ‘all in one’ solution handles the entire research and reporting pipeline, putting actionable insights into the hands of the people that need it

In summary: take your litigation support to the next level

In this article we have explored the most pressing challenges facing legal teams in litigation support services. The volume and complexity of information, the need to see beneath the surface to uncover connections, and the critical importance of staying compliant all place huge demands on research teams tasked with developing insights and in-depth understanding of individuals and corporations.

Legal firms have had little choice but to focus their expert research teams on the most promising sources of information, supporting them with technology in specific areas, and relying on their researchers’ judgement to avoid breaching privacy boundaries.

Xapien’s AI-powered platform transforms this picture. Its intelligent automation combines a human-like approach to uncovering actionable, relevant insight, with the ruthless efficiency of a system capable of processing vast amounts of information at speed. But it has also been designed to fit into your litigation support workflows and needs – giving everyone a single view of its reports and insights, providing lawyers with clear actions and recommendations, and providing you with the confidence that your research is compliant with legal and regulatory obligations.

These efficiencies and improvements to process translate directly into outcomes that matter to you:

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  • Processing all of the information available to you means that you will uncover crucial insights that are hidden
  • A faster time-to-insight means that your legal experts start developing legal strategies much sooner, giving you the edge over your competitors
  • A single, shared and readily-understandable view of the key findings not only reduces misunderstandings but means everyone has the same picture across the research-analysis-reporting-sharing workflow

For your experts, lawyers and researchers, the best part is that this frees them up to spend more time working out how to win – not drowning in data.​​

To see how Xapien’s AI platform can transform litigation support at your law firm today, book a demo to see Xapien’s powerful tools in action.

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