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Growing law firm adoption of legal analytics boosts certainty in pursuing litigation

February 16, 2022

Big data has made steady inroads into Big Law for more than a decade, though the pace of adoption has been moderate compared to other industries. Even so, the results from the annual Lex Machina Impact of Legal Analytics survey of over 400 US legal professionals indicate the needle is moving forward.

Legal finance and legal analytics: The right tools for the task

Law firms of all sizes are embracing legal analytics for a variety of use cases. A staggering 98% of respondents who currently use legal analytics believe that analytics is valuable or somewhat valuable for their legal practice, and a hefty 78% of non-users concur.

Why are legal professionals hopping on the analytics bandwagon? Of note, 74% of those who use legal analytics said that successful litigation is the key driver of incorporating data analysis into the business and practice of law. Adding legal finance to the mix can drive certainty around litigation budgets and outcomes.

At Burford, we were unsurprised to see that legal analytics' use for litigation finance grew from 21% to 25% over a one-year period. As companies and law firms increasingly recognize data’s value, the realization that they might not have such data in house quickly follows.

Legal analytics: The keyword is “big”

No matter how high the litigation and arbitration caseload, any law firm or corporate legal department would be hard pressed to match the volume of commercial litigation data that a sophisticated legal finance firm amasses over time. “We don’t have a portfolio of cases from which we can create metrics for application to future matters. Many of these cases tend to be their own little unicorns,” an assistant GC and director of litigation at a health insurance company explains in the 2022 Affirmative Recovery Programs Report.

Burford applies expertise in quantitative modeling and data analysis gleaned from the hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of client disputes we’ve examined to every matter we agree to fund. No substitute exists for such a data set. Legal analytics fortified by legal finance can shine a light on the strategic path for a variety of litigation and arbitration matters, as the 16% increase in the use of analytics for litigation finance revealed in Lex Machina’s report corroborates.