Algorithmic Dispute Resoultion

Legal Services industries are entering a period of major disruption caused by new legal technologies (LawTech), such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain. An area already undergoing major innovation is alternative dispute resolution (ADR) , especially automated online dispute resolution (ODR).

In terms of LawTech, we broadly divide online dispute resolution into:

  • Consumer ODR – uses technology to facilitate the resolution of disputes between e-commerce parties, typically online suppliers and consumers;
  • Judicial ODR – covers any means of settling ‘ordinary’ disputes where there is a hearing (using technology) but outside of the courtroom, such as divorce or personal injury cases; and what we refer to as
  • Corporate ODR – the use of technology to manage the resolution of any contractual disputes that may emerge from major multi-partner projects or financial transactions.

LawTech, and disruptive technologies such as AI and blockchain are set to have a profound effect on legal services and especially dispute resolution. The inevitable rise in the use of algorithms in transactions will produce new types of dispute, perhaps in imputing information, or wrongly attributing trends from ‘big data’.

The use of blockchain distributed ledger and smart contract technologies will have wide ranging effects in the conduct of litigation, and can be used to dramatic effect if the parties agree to abide by a trusted decision made by a neutral ‘4th Party’, to produce an outcome within days rather than years in the most complex of disputes.