Westminster Uni law grad to launch AI tool to help non-profits identify legal issues

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Fraser Matcham came under fire last year from lawyers over ‘McKenzie Friends Marketplace’ website

Fraser Matcham

A University of Westminster law grad is set to launch a new artificial intelligence-backed (AI) tool which he says can help identify legal problems as they arise.

Set to go live next year, the so-called ‘Legal Problem Engine’ uses natural language processing (NLP) to enable users (in this case, not-for-profit businesses) to quickly and accurately identify the legal nature of an issue or dispute.

Created by Legal Utopia, a lawtech start-up “dedicated to access to justice”, users are then directed to an appropriate provider of free legal advice and representation. The service will be provided to non-profit legal services providers at cost.

Legal Utopia, founded by Westminster law grad Fraser Matcham, was among a number of start-ups to bag a spot at the ‘Eagle Lab’, a lawtech innovation hub launched earlier this year by Barclays and The Law Society.

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According to Legal Utopia’s website, it also hopes to launch a ‘Group Litigation’ platform to help users discover and present potential collective claims, as well as a ‘Case Crowdfunding’ tool to enable “consumers to raise the funds they need to engage lawyers to secure legal advice or fund litigation”.

Regular readers of Legal Cheek may recognise Matcham as the brains behind ‘McKenzie Friends Marketplace’, a website which aimed to match-up law students wanting to gain hands-on legal experience with members of the public who are unable to afford the services of a fully-qualified lawyer. The site went on to ban “active students” from giving legal advice as part of the scheme amid concerns from lawyers.

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Well this is a stupid idea.

I’m so glad an unqualified member of the public will be able to share his wealth of experience in the legal profession (…) through an app which (probably) won’t work correctly.



Say, is he related to Ronald Coyne, the banknote-burning beggar bater of Cambridge?

The one who got eaten by clowns?

He looks a little bit like him…



he’s fit


Truth Teller

Of course he is, he went to Westminster. No handsome boys in Camford but that’s where the money is.



Great tool! especially for non- profit organisations. Looking foward to see it in action. Wow and he is a law graduate. Imagine how much more he will achieve in the coming years.



You’re a tool



Hi Legal Problem Engine.

I want to found a quasi-regulatory organisation, which co-ordinates and governs the provision of legal advice to the public by unqualified individuals.

Are there any legal or regulatory issues I should be aware of before I start?



Thanks mum!

Love Fraser.



In the words of Peter Griffin, “Proud of you!”



I bet the SRA would not even bring conduct proceedings to ban him from everything to do with law since he is not qualified.

There are serious issues with the app though. Not quite sure why a graduate thinks they have a sufficient grasp on legal advice to roll it out on law tech that could very well provide the wrong advice for potentially the potentially the most in need because they entered the question incorrectly or the “AI” had a glitch.

This is 5-10 years too early and will go the same vein as whatever else he did before – the bin.



So much negativity here, good on him for trying.



I don’t believe there is enough technical provisions available to create this AI platform in London. Neither the legal data ready to adopt with the system that can create a sensible result. If this project was that easy to create within a university lab, with academics have no background in projects which combined with AI-Legal, then what on earth they think they can use £2M EU fund to create something useful?

I hope I will be wrong in the end…Cos it would be an earth-shaking App which nowhere on earth available now. But no hope…Good luck!


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