Developing industrial AI support tools for processing legal cases in medical negligence


Two PhD positions are available within a project that is co-created between the University of Liverpool and Fletchers Solicitors, a Law firm specialising in clinical negligence and personal injury law. As one of the UK’s largest firms in the sector, Fletchers have vast experience from handling legal cases over many years. Each one of their cases is made up of thousands of (unstructured) files – primarily word documents, PDFs and emails. As a result, interpreting their historical caseload and extracting new insight is incredibly challenging, which means that despite their vast experience as a firm, their lawyers often only have their past cases and understanding of the law to guide their decision making and work. Additionally, they spend a lot of time reading or reviewing files, writing drafts, or extracting key information from large bodies of text – as a ‘no win, no fee’ business, spending time only in the ‘right’ places is key to their success.

This PhD project will involve conducting research in AI and data science from which tools can be built that:

  • Support Fletchers lawyers in working more efficiently by partly or fully automating key legal tasks;
  • Leverage their collective insight over thousands of successful (and unsuccessful) cases to guide the business and its staff in making better legal decisions.

The tools envisaged as outcomes from the project will use a range of machine learning techniques, from natural language processing (including Large Language Models), computer vision, and classifiers, in order to: process and interpret complex medical-legal information; generate case-specific content; support legal decision making; and automate legal tasks. This research, development and deployment will encompass working closely with the Data Science team at Fletchers, contributing to a priority AI project within the business. The two PhD projects will each focus on a different strand within the wider research project, to be identified more precisely during the first year of the projects.

Admission requirement: an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Computer Science or related topic is essential.

How to apply

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Please note, we reserve the right to close applications if suitable candidates are identified ahead of the deadline.


Open to UK applicants

Funding information

Funded studentship

The funding level for the positions means that they are open to UK applicants only.

We reserve the right to close applications if suitable candidates are identified ahead of the deadline.