January , 2018
Artificial Intelligence to complement, not compete with humans in the Indian legal system
14:54 pm

Ayantika Halder

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has gained great momentum in various sectors. In the Indian legal field, AI is yet to reach its full potential. Yet, Indian firms are looking into this potential treasure trove of innovative assistance.

Most of the law firms in India are not yet familiar with the technology. There are law firms that are trying to employ this system for better functioning. For Aniruddha Yadav, founder of the law-tech start-up CaseMine, robots will not replace lawyers anytime soon. To change the tradition-bound and labour-heavy legal profession, Yadav developed a virtual legal research assistant, CaseIQ, which is a technological solution that cuts down the time a lawyer spends in legal research.

A research project lasting a couple of weeks can be condensed to several hours. This technology allows the judges to upload both the appellant’s counsel’s submission and the respondent’s counsel’s submission directly into
CaseIQ and within seconds see whether both parties are missing out on important precedents and lines of thought that are
important to the case. It also minimises the time for drafting a

Recently, Mumbai-based Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas adopted the Canada-based machine learning legal system Kira, which has striking efficiency gains. The firm intends to use the Kira machine-learning software for greater automation of its due diligence and transactional practices.

Mike Legal, an AI platform for conducting legal research is gaining traction.  It is similar to the US-based ROSS Intelligence. Currently it covers Intellectual Property (IP) law in India, though the company is set to expand in several other legal areas. The use of this software has been prevalent in first tier firms in India. Organisations such as Nishith Desai Associates already engage data management, knowledge management and bandwidth management systems, in addition to a variety of public and in-house applications. The eventual adoption of dedicated AI platforms will incorporate more data intensive tasks such as analytics, contract review, document scrutiny, and regulatory compliance in near future.

While few of the law firms have been apprehensive of the technology, Sudeep Vijayan, an advocate of Delhi High Court, told BE, “Lawyers and judges will never be replaced. Law as a sector has various stages of work which includes arguing before a court of law, documentation, clerical assignments, transactional work, research and drafting to name a few. AI will only help in streamlining these. It cannot take the role of a lawyer in arguing a case. However, as far as the documentation and research
related aspects are concerned, it will become a lot easier and more effective with AI.”

In the US, AI systems like IBM Watson and Kira are being used in complex legal matters and for litigation involving US federal patent cases with great success. In recent times, the technology has also been implemented in judgment predictions and risk assessments.


While most legal professionals agree that AI does possess
certain definite advantages, some are still sceptical of its applicability to more complex tasks requiring value addition. Many lawyers have opined that AI platforms require a comprehensive database, which is still in its nascent stages in the Indian judicial scenario. The integration of continually developing information is another area of concern. According to Sitesh Mukherjee, partner, Trilegal, “AI is slowly permeating into the Indian legal market particularly with regard to tasks such as due diligence, but its applicability in other avenues will still take a lot of time.” The law fraternity advocated regulated use of AI. A recent study from Deloitte informed that AI is expected to automate around 1,14,000 legal jobs in the UK by 2020. Its impact on Indian legal sector should be far from alarming. The Artificial Intelligence Association of India (AIAI) founded in 2009, is a prominent not-for-profit organisation devoted to developments in AI. Indian industries are still new to the concept of AI as compared to their western counterparts. There is a long way to go for the country to realize the full potential and impact that AI can have on increasing the efficiency of different sectors including the legal industry.

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