Kennedys to prototype six innovations from its Ideas Lab

Our personnel could become CEOs of their own legal start-ups after we shortlisted six of the 100+ proposals generated through our Ideas Lab, which will now be turned into prototypes.

The Ideas Lab, which was launched last summer as part of our drive to continue to develop and deliver 21st century legal services for clients, is a platform through which any member of Kennedys can come forward with innovative ideas about how to create future products. All ideas must align with our core principle of helping clients to use lawyers only when they really need one.

It received over 100 ideas from across our global network of offices, of which 50 went through to a second stage. Thirty of these ideas were chosen to present detailed business cases which have now been boiled down by our research and development (R&D) Board to the six most promising.

Their creators range from a senior partner in London to a paralegal in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Staff in our Melbourne and Hong Kong offices are behind two of the other ideas.

Such widespread engagement has demonstrated the enthusiasm of our global teams to embrace new approaches to legal service delivery.

A prototype will now be built of each developing idea with the help of our own offshore development team. Each one will be tested with clients to measure their interest and in order to test the potential of each product whilst piloting the technology.

Ultimately, our R&D Board will decide whether the ideas meet the criteria to be built into full products and added to our already award-winning Innovations Toolkit. The members of staff behind the ideas could become CEO of their own start-up.

The six successful ideas focus on clients’ pinch points, such as helping them to make quicker and better decisions on liability and settlement offers, to dealing with litigants in person, and to respond to major incidents.

What’s most pleasing about the response to the Ideas Lab is that it shows how we have genuinely instilled a culture of innovation across our global network. It was extremely difficult to reduce the many great ideas to the final six.

Richard West, Partner and Head of Innovations at Kennedys

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Richard added: "What marked the successful out, was their potential to make life easier for our clients around the globe and lessen their reliance on external legal support. While this might seem a counterintuitive move for a law firm, we believe it will ultimately be in the best interests of both Kennedys and our clients.”

The Kennedys Toolkit, a suite of products anchored to our core principle, consists of virtual defence lawyer KLAiM, risk management app @scene, live fraud detection tool Ki, social media tool Geofencing, and Cybersettle, an online settlement tool for disputes. Last year, the number of clients using our Toolkit products trebled.

In June, we recruited two leading data scientists for our rapidly growing Data Science team in the latest chapter of our ambitious plans for technology innovation.