23 October 2019

Kennedys partners with UCL

Law firm and academic tie-up to develop emerging risk tool for insurers.


Dispute resolution and advisory specialists Kennedys is partnering with University College London (UCL) to develop an emerging risk analytical tool for insurers, after securing funding from the Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

Two-year project

The two-year project will use data science to identify and track risks from external data sources. It will assist our global insurer clients to better adapt policies and risk management strategies for emerging risks. The project is the brainchild of our head of research and development, Karim Derrick, and head of corporate and public affairs, Deborah Newberry, and is in response to growing client demand for evidence-based insights to better manage and plan for risks. The academic team supporting the project at UCL is led by Professor Tomaso Aste, head of the University’s financial computing and analytics group, working alongside Dr Fabio Caccioli. Our newly appointed data-scientist, Dr Damla Arifoglu, will lead the work for Kennedys.

Market gap

Deborah Newberry says: “We’ve long been aware that there is a gap in the market for better insights to aid insurers when planning for global emerging risks. This collaboration between business and academia will bring a new take on what is a continuous challenge for insurers. It also reinforces our commitment to doing things differently by helping our insurer clients to mitigate risks and where possible, to use lawyers less.” Professor Tomaso Aste says, “This is a very exciting collaboration for UCL with one of the world’s most innovative law firms. I am confident that by combining the commercial insights of Kennedys and its clients with our expertise, we will significantly advance how insurers plan for emerging risks.” This becomes Kennedys’ second knowledge transfer partnership, following work with the University of Manchester to develop next-generation fraud prevention software.

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