New analytics help clients select best available lawyers from retained firms
November 1, 2018 (Business Insurance) – The practice of selecting counsel from a panel of law firms on retainer is well-established among larger companies. The benefits of these long-term relationships are obvious: the panel firms develop a familiarity with their clients’ tendencies and areas of need, while the companies’ general counsel is spared the task of seeking sources of reliable advice and representation for each new case. Premonition’s Panel Report gives clients the ability to optimize their panel with performance data.
Since its establishment, Premonition has sought to quantify litigation wins and losses by analyzing courtroom records. The company has assembled what it asserts is the world’s largest database of court records, which its proprietary AI scans to isolate revealing patterns and trends.
“When a client phones a firm they have on retainer to ask for a lawyer, they are expecting to get the best litigator that firm has available,” says Premonition Co-Founder and CIO Toby Unwin. “And, by and large, the firms will do their best to meet that standard. The trouble is, most firms have no idea who the best lawyer they have available actually is because they don’t keep track of wins and losses.
“At the end of the day, the client gets the lawyer that’s ‘sitting on the bench’; i.e. the one that needs to bill more hours.”
Premonition’s AI compiles win/loss records for individual attorneys, among other findings, and uses these to help clients hone in on the best possible representation for a given case.
The Panel Report narrows this focus to show which of the lawyers practicing at a retained firm or panel of firms offers the highest probability of success. The report’s conclusions are based on a number of factors, including:
· Each lawyer’s overall win/loss record
· The average duration of their prior cases
· Their previous performance before the judge assigned to the current case
· Their previous performance in the jurisdiction and relevant area of case law
Based as it is on raw numbers, the Panel Report’s findings often run contrary to a law firm’s own evaluation of its partners and associates.
“Most popular case management software does not account for wins and losses in court,” says Unwin. “As a result, the other factors that make for the perception of a successful lawyer, such as networking ability, seniority, and even personal style can occlude consideration of how much value they actually generate for clients in court.”
By approaching panel firms with hard performance metrics in hand, clients are better positioned to identify, request and be assigned an attorney who will be a good fit for their needs. Previous research suggests that selecting a lawyer with a better win rate and history of success before a given judge correlates directly with better case outcomes. Clients odds may improve by as much as 30.7% using an analytics-informed hiring approach.
The Panel Report is also intended to help clients evaluate the quality of the firms on their panel. It reveals how many attorneys currently employed by the firm rank among the top performers in their region, allowing clients to compare and contrast the firms on their panel, as well as indicating whether better service is available elsewhere. In one recent example, an engagement for an insurer showed their preferred firm sending lawyers with an impressive 70.5% win rate. However, that firm could have provided counsel with an average 96.1% win rate, 25.6% better. “I’ve never heard of those people,” the client exclaimed when presented with the performance data on the other attorneys in the firm. The client was able to keep the existing relationships with the firms while maintaining control of their panel.