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By Joshua Hayes, Paralegal

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is steadily seeping its way into various elements of our daily lives and with it changing how we operate, interact and function. One area AI is increasingly being sought and relied upon is within the litigation process. With its potential being to streamline the litigation process, enhance accuracy and save on both time and costs.

However, a cautionary tale ought to be seen in the case of Harber v Commissioners for His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. The case revolved around Mrs Harber who sought appeal in the first tier tax tribunal. During the course of proceedings, Mrs Harber had commented that the authorities she intended to rely upon had been provided by a ‘friend in a solicitor’s office’. However, despite the cases cited having some traits that were superficially consistent with the surrounding case law, the court, ultimately found the cases cited in Mrs Harber’s application to be false, such that they never in fact existed.

The first-tier tribunal also commented on the stylistic nature of the judgment created by AI with which Mrs Haber relied upon. Within six of the nine cases cited, the word the American spelling of the word ‘favor’ was used in place of the English spelling. The frequent repetition of the word, among other evidence led to the tribunal concluding that the judgments had been generated by an AI system.

Noting the gravity and importance of the issue, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) recently discussed the significance of results obtained from AI systems in which they alluded to the fact that:

“All computers can make mistakes. AI language models such as ChatGPT, however, can be more prone to this. That is because they work by anticipating the text that should follow the input they are given but do not have a concept of ‘reality’. The result is known as ‘hallucination’, where a system produces highly plausible but incorrect results.”

This case highlights the inherent safety which pertains to a solicitor’s expertise, through which they can help navigate the legal complexities of building a case and ensuring your position is not compromised through the reliance of AI.

  1. Harber v Commissioners for his Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2023] UKFTT 1007 (TC).
  2. Risk Outlook report: the use of artificial intelligence in the legal market, 20 November 2023.

If you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact our Litigation team on tel: 01892 515022
This blog is not intended as legal advice that can be relied upon and CooperBurnett LLP does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of its contents.

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June 10, 2024
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