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Herbert Smith Freehills has introduced a new software-enabled risk modelling service to help clients quantify, visualise and evaluate the risks inherent in a dispute - enabling them to make better informed commercial decisions.

The service is provided by the firm's specialist Decision Analysis team, which is made up of lawyers who have strong numeracy skills as well as extensive experience in handling complex disputes.

The Decision Analysis team works alongside the existing case team, leading on a matter, to: identify the key points of uncertainty in a dispute; draw on existing legal analysis to identify possible outcomes at each point; and apply decision science techniques to help clients better understand and manage their risks.

This analysis can be applied wherever decisions need to be taken in the face of uncertainty, including: determining whether to commence proceedings; legal risk management and provisioning; seeking external funding; and considering whether to make or accept a settlement offer.

Created by Herbert Smith Freehills Partners Alexander Oddy and Donny Surtani, the service has been successfully used by a number of the firm's clients in the past two years, in a variety of sectors and jurisdictions.

Commenting on the project, Donny said:

"We have been extremely pleased with the results of this work so far. We saw this as an opportunity to improve the process of decision making and choose careful analysis over gut feel.  The team's fusion of quantitative techniques with legal analysis has been the key here."

Justin D'Agostino, Global Head of Herbert Smith Freehills' Disputes practice and the firm's Asia Managing Partner, said:

"This is an exciting, innovative development for our global disputes practice.  Clients want us to help them navigate risk effectively and their feedback on the Decision Analysis service has been universally positive so far.  We are looking forward to rolling it out more widely with our clients."

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