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02 Oct 2020

Stephenson Harwood launches pricing tool project


Firm establishes Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Essex to develop innovative tool

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP is developing an in-house pricing tool in collaboration with the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex.

The partnership, established through the UK government’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme, will evaluate historical data sets from the firm’s past matters to generate data-informed estimates to help price future work.

“Clients are increasingly demanding greater certainty around how much a piece of legal work will cost,” said Eifion Morris, CEO, Stephenson Harwood. “This project will enable us to draw on the huge amount of experience, knowledge and data we have available – from across the firm – to develop an innovative tool that will help us to accurately and consistently predict the costs of our work.” 

The firm will initially target two core areas of work – private M&A and English commercial court litigation – before broadening out the project across other work types. A group of 15 to 20 partners and associates will form a lawyer design group, which will play an integral role in supporting the project. As part of the partnership data scientist Jessica Cebrian will join the firm’s innovation team, on a full-time secondment, from the University of Essex. 

“This is one of the first projects of its kind – if not the first by a law firm utilising the government’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme,” said Paul Orchard, Head of Innovation, Stephenson Harwood. “The complexity, and cost of legal work is driven by multiple complex and interacting factors which makes accurately and consistently predicting client fees a challenge. But, as an industry, we recognise that this is something that we need to improve.”

“Our data-led analysis will utilise leading natural language processing, machine learning and data analysis technologies to enable us to provide our clients with the information they need to know about what it will take to achieve their business objectives.” 

The KTP programme, funded by the UK Government through Innovate UK, has been helping businesses to innovate and grow for over 40 years. The scheme links businesses with an academic or research organisation to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project through a knowledge-based partnership.



Eifion Morris

Eifion Morris
Chief executive

T:  +44 20 7809 2347 M:  Email Eifion | Vcard Office:  London


Andrew Rieley
Head of communications and PR
T: +44 20 7809 2886
Email Andrew
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