Students Develop Simulator for Divorce Assets Division

Jerrold Soh ’18 and his peers formed a company to develop a simulator for use in legal divorce cases

NUS Law’s Jerrold Soh ’18 and three of his peers have developed a simulator that can predict the division of assets in a divorce case.

In a report published by The Straits Times, the 26-year-old final-year law and economics student said that he had become aware of the impending possibility that junior lawyers might soon be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) and thought he should learn more about AI.

Determined to take advantage of this potential disruption to the legal profession, Jerrold and his former schoolmates set up Lex Quanta in 2016, with each of them taking on the areas of data, coding, business and law.

Jerrold Soh shared: “We thought of doing this after reading a recent Court of Appeal judgment that introduced a numerical framework for dividing matrimonial assets. The court did say, and we agree, that you can't reduce everything to a simple equation, but we thought it would be helpful to have some technology to assist the parties involved especially with the more mathematical bits. From volunteering at the family courts in Year 2, I saw how stressful divorce cases can get - and that's just for the lawyers. So the simulator is really about facilitating the process.”

The simulator they developed as a result is programmed to predict the outcome of cases by computing the total assets involved and the contribution each party made in the relationship. The final version of the simulator, which is expected to be ready in April, has been tested on over 100 cases involving matrimonial assets, and Lex Quanta has tested it with over 10 family law firms.

Looking ahead, Lex Quanta hopes to enhance the simulator’s capabilities further for use in cases involving personal injuries, commercial cases, and other family law matters.

Lex Quanta will operate out of a co-working space called Collision 8, as part of the Future Law Innovation Programme (Flip). Flip is a legal innovation incubator and accelerator programme for tech-enabled law firms and LegalTech