Australia is among the leading jurisdictions in the Asia-Pacific region in the cultivation of startups focused on the legal services space.  And recently, a new Australian startup called Jurimetrics is bringing statistical big data to the legal system.  Here’s my recent interview with Managing Director Conrad Karageorge about Jurimetrics and its future prospects:

What is Jurimetrics and what inspired its founding?

Jurimetrics is a publishing company that will bring statistical big-data analysis to the legal system. Using natural language processing and machine reading, Jurimetrics is able to collect and aggregate important commercial information from thousands of court decisions and government documents and display this information as a series of charts accessible through a user friendly database. We believe that statistical data analysis will be a driving disruptor to the legal system in the coming years, changing the way we view the law and how it affects society.

The company was founded on the basis that legal analysis has lagged significantly behind areas such as finance, accounting and marketing. We feel that companies can make better commercial decisions if they have a better understanding of the legal system and that this can be achieved through statistical data analysis.

Where will Jurimetrics technology be applied in the legal services sector?

The key benefit of our technology is an enhanced understanding of the legal system and its participants through data-analysis, this understanding may be used to perform, legal and regulatory risk analysis highlighting the risk of lawsuits and regulatory action associated with a particular company or industry, and analysis of the outcomes of legal decisions to profile judicial and administrative decision-makers to determine the best case strategy.

One area in particular that Jurimetrics has isolated is statistical analysis of local and municipal council decisions with respect to property development. Through data analysis, property developers can better understand which local governments are more hospitable to new property development and which will frustrate them with lengthy delays as well as regulatory and legal action.

Are there other commercial applications you envisage?

Our technology also provides significant business development opportunities for law firms. Using our software, lawyers will be able to view their firms litigation experience and results in a series of user friendly charts and then compare their experience with that of rival firms. This will assist firms in highlighting how their experiences are more tailored to certain problems experienced by their prospective clients than other firms.

Have you taken inspiration from other legal startups?

We have taken some inspiration from the growth of legal visualization applications in the United States such as Lex Machina and Ravel Law. However, these firms are largely founded Silicon Valley and offered only to select areas of law (namely intellectual property) in the American market. There does not currently exist an Asia-facing legal data analytics program.

We have also taken inspiration from financial information services such as the Bloomberg Terminal, these software offerings provide a significant amount of data analysis to assist organizations to minimize cost and maximize returns.

Do you anticipate expanding in the Asia-Pacific region or globally in the future?  And if so, when?

Given Australia’s relatively small size and open data policy, it is an ideal place to begin development of a legal data-analytics program. However, we would like to expand and establish a presence in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. This will provide our clients with the understand and compare legal risk and opportunity across the Asian region. In particular, the Japanese legal system is one which Jurimetrics has identified as an ideal early adopter, with liberal access to legal documents and a strong innovative culture.

Posted by John Grimley

John Grimley edits and publishes Asia Law Portal

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