A project led by the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford has been awarded £1.2 million to explore the potential and limitations of using artificial intelligence (AI) in support of legal services.
The award, from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will fund the project ‘Unlocking the Potential of Artificial Intelligence for English Law’, a research collaboration between various departments within the University of Oxford including Law, Economics, Social Policy, Computer Science, Education and the Saïd Business School and a range of private sector organisations.
The stakes for artificial intelligence’s implementation in UK legal services are high. If executed effectively, it is an opportunity to improve legal services not only for export but also for domestic business and individuals. This research seeks to identify how constraints on the implementation of AI in legal services can be relaxed to unlock its potential for good.
The research team will work with private-sector partners representing a range of different positions in the legal services sector, including international law firms Slaughter and May and Allen & Overy; barristers Robin Dicker QC and Ryan Perkins of South Square Chambers; solicitors’ professional body the Law Society; legal technology leader Thomson Reuters; lawtech start-up LexSnap and legal education charity the Legal Education Foundation. These collaborations will ensure that the research benefits from insights into, and testing against, real requirements.