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19 May 2017 at 11:29 BST

IBM's new Watson tool could slash spend on outside counsel by a third

A new tool using IBM's Watson could help inhouse legal teams save save up to 30 per cent on their annual outside counsel spend.

Andrea Danti

To date, use of  the tool ‘Outside Counsel Insights’ (OCI) has been limited to legal departments in the financial services industry but with the potential to save up to 30 per cent on annual outside counsel spend, legal firms are now turning their attention to the new technology. It has been estimated that, on average, corporate law departments spend one-third to 50 percent of their annual budget on outside counsel

Cloud-based system

The service relies on cloud-based cognitive computing system Watson to reveal billing insights to in-house legal departments, and to cut down on these costs, OCI looks at the amount of time a lawyer spends on a task and at line item descriptions in a budget creates a nearly complete automation of the invoice review process. The tool also shows how outside counsel are working - not just what lawyers did, but the order in which they did things. IBM believes that these features which provide detailed insight will help facilitate fixed-fee pricing.


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