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DWF launches Knowledge Transfer Partnership to enhance data capability

04 April 2018
Legal business DWF is set to launch a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, in conjunction with the University of Manchester.
Legal business DWF is set to launch a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, in conjunction with the University of Manchester, which will see the business further invest in and strengthen its proposition in the realms of legal tech, machine learning and AI to enhance service delivery and develop innovative solutions for its clients. The KTP is one of several research based projects which DWF have entered into with the University since it launched DWF Ventures, an arms-length R&D company, in 2017; including membership of a Legal & Fin Tech Group established by the University which is leading on research in this area.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is a three-way partnership between an organisation, an academic institution and a graduate that allows businesses to harness the talent and leading academic insight of local universities and apply it in a practical, commercially-driven way for the benefit of their business. With this insight, businesses are supported in building the capabilities and frameworks they need to develop and bring new products to market, increase operational efficiencies or nurture new skills and initiatives internally.

DWF will use its KTP to develop and embed a data-empowered business model focusing on the capture, structure and application of data to transform service delivery, internal processes and product offerings. The 30-month project will be overseen by Mayowa Ayodele, a data scientist from the University of Manchester. Mayowa has recently completed her PHD in Computational Intelligence and her appointment allows DWF to take advantage of the latest academic expertise in machine learning, optimisation algorithms for problem solving and the application of new technologies. Working closely with DWF's business intelligence team headed by Geraldine Gallagher, Mayowa will play a key role in helping the business establish a model for enhanced data use and management, recognising its position as a corporate asset fundamental to DWF's growth strategy.

Professor Ian Miles, Academic Lead for the KTP, Alliance Manchester Business School: " Legal services are among the professional services that are now seeking to seize the opportunities that are emerging around such technical developments as artificial intelligence, big data and data analytics. This project will be simultaneously exploring the technical and organisational elements of establishing new types of support for a particular set of activities within a legal services firm: the results will be relevant to other activities of that firm, and also to legal and professional services more generally, as emerging Artificial Intelligence applications, and evolving demands from clients, continue to foster digital and cultural change"

Jonathan Patterson from DWF: "The legal sector has undergone significant change in recent years and, for legal businesses that foster a culture of innovation and experimentation, there are a huge number of opportunities to take advantage of. We recognise that developing a data-driven approach to legal services will allow us to stay competitive and offer more tailored services to clients, and we have a strategic objective to improve how we process and analyse the data we have and then how we apply those insights in an innovative way. This partnership will allow us to make further progress against this objective, and we are really pleased to have Mayowa as part of our team."

DWF is one of a few legal businesses to introduce a KTP scheme, which is part-funded by Innovate UK, a public body which aims to increase the UK's economic strength and competitive edge by helping organisations gain access to skills and funding.

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