Artificial intelligence is likely to become better at predicting the outcome of litigation than Queen's Counsel, the Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales has predicted.

Speaking recently to an audience in his native Wales on "Legal Wales: Shaping the Future", Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, in a concluding section on the legal profession, warned his audience not to be "left behind" as changes happened with increasing rapidity in the profession. 

He continued: "Lawyers have to confront the fact that legal services will be organised and delivered very differently. For example it is probably correct to say that as soon as we have better statistical information, artificial intelligence using that statistical information will be better at predicting the outcome of cases than the most learned Queen’s Counsel."

Lord Thomas went on to suggest other changes on the way. "It may be the case that the procurement of legal services will no longer be through the traditional large firm model but by the decomposition of work and the re-sourcing of it. I think there is absolutely no doubt the progress we have seen in the medical profession, the use of a large number of well qualified nurses and paramedics reinforced by technology and easy access, will be something that will happen to the legal profession."

It was necessary therefore to "seize the opportunity that is here now", through both the teaching and through legal firms' practice management. "There are huge opportunities at stake. It is a competitive industry." 

Click here to view the full address.