This week, Miami-based legal analytics firm Premonition AI announced the launch of Premonition India, a new venture with JV partner LQ Global Services’ Ram Jethmalani and Karan Kalia. Premonition boasts the world’s largest digital archive of court data, alongside a highly sophisticated artificial intelligence tool, which allows users to analyze the performance of lawyers and other legal actors. The move follows closely on the heels of a major expansion of the company’s litigation database to include records from India’s High Courts.
India’s courts are regularly cited for their corruption, both by locals and international observers. In 2015, the Bar Council of India announced that 30% of all lawyers practicing in the country hold fraudulent law degrees. Meanwhile, the judicial backlog continues to soar, with over 20 million pending proceedings and civil cases that can literally take generations to resolve. The most successful lawyers are those who can leverage personal relationships with judges and knowledge of the system’s unwritten rules to ensure their cases avoid frustrating delays.
“If you’re a general counsel of a foreign firm litigating a claim in India, you need an insider,” says Premonition Co-Founder and CIO Toby Unwin. “Premonition is the best way to find those insiders.”
Premonition’s AI is capable of ‘reading’ up to 50,000 court records per second, allowing users to parse the millions of cases in its archive with ease. By tracking the performance of individual lawyers, including the average duration of their cases, settlement amounts and winning percentage, even High Court neophytes can develop a clear picture of the most effective litigators. Moreover, it is even possible to focus on which attorneys have fared the best before the particular judge assigned to a case. Premonition’s website refers to its service as providing a “very, very unfair advantage in litigation” to clients, but in this case, it might be said that it merely reveals how the system actually works. Like an ant farm, it is an opportunity to see the hidden tunnels of corruption and patronage beneath the surface.
“We’re extremely pleased to be partnering with top local lawyers like Karan Kalia and the legendary Ram Jethmalani to bring our service to India,” says Premonition’s other Co-Founder and CEO Guy Kurlandski. “Ram has been operating in India’s courtrooms for over 75 years. When we demonstrated the AI’s capacity, he understood in an instant the tool’s potential to bring much-needed transparency to the High Courts.”
Arguably the most famous lawyer in the country’s history, Jethmalani is seen as both the ultimate insider and a true maverick, which accords well with Premonition’s mission to destabilize from within the traditional strategies for selecting representation.
“For India to continue growing as an international market, we cannot wait for politicians or the judiciary to correct the flaws of our legal system,” says Kalia. “We need outside-the-box strategies that will help foreign companies navigate our courts right now. Premonition India will bolster investor confidence by ensuring our clients receive a much fairer day in court.”