Lightfoots Solicitors launch AI facial recognition system in UK legal first

Award winning solicitors’ practice, Lightfoots LLP, will become the first UK legal firm to launch a digital ‘facial recognition’ ID verification service for clients through a bespoke App. Launching in July 2020 the innovative free service will save its clients time and inconvenience during conveyancing and other transactions where a formal ID verification is required.

The App and supporting process software has been delivered by Nivo, a leading fintech solutions provider which has established relationships with many major participants in the specialist lending sector.

The new ID verification process takes around 90 seconds to complete and can be carried out wherever the client has their smart phone or tablet.

Upon instructing Lightfoots to act on their behalf, the client will be emailed an invitation to download the App from whichever App store services their smart phone or tablet. Once downloaded, the client is taken through the simple step-by-step process. Identification is verified by using facial recognition AI, developed by Onfido, to compare the facial features of an applicant to their nominated document such as a Passport, Driving License or National ID Card. As well as being quick and free to use, the system eliminates human error associated with hard-copy documents and significantly reduces the opportunity for identity fraud.

The introduction of the new service marks Lightfoots continued investment in developing and implementing smart fintech solutions to smooth and improve customer journeys in common legal activities such as conveyancing where traditional, and often slow, paper based in-person processes are still very much the norm. The firm is likely to introduce more digital enhancements across its various services over the coming months.

Joe Middleton, Managing Partner of Lightfoots LLP, commented: “The legal profession isn’t best known for being digital trailblazers, but at Lightfoots we’re keen to embrace technology which can make our clients’ journeys through transactions quicker and easier and not restricted to our office hours. Lenders and brokers are investing considerable time and money in developing slick digital processes for their customers and it’s important that when it comes to the legal sector’s input, we’re equally switched on. I’m delighted that this partnership with Nivo has delivered a UK first for Lightfoots in the legal sector and will serve as the springboard for further enhancements in the future. Digitising processes like this will increase our efficiency and ensure we continue to provide an outstanding, value for money service to our customers.”

Polly Taylor-Pullen, Business Development at Nivo, commented: “We love working with companies like Lightfoots who demonstrate a real desire to embrace innovation and we’re proud to have helped them achieve this ‘legal first’. Our solution has been shown to speed up deals, improve customer experience and reduce fraud, all while removing the friction involved in delivering regulated products.”