An appeal in which every party was described as dishonest has been dismissed in the High Court – with the judge openly rebuking each person involved.Mr Justice Turner threw out the challenge from a claimant who wanted a share of profits from rental properties run by his brothers after their father’s death.The undisguised scorn of the judge has resulted in the judgment being widely shared online. Turner said His Honour Judge Davy QC, who heard Rashid v Munir & Ors at first instance, bore witness to a ‘festival of mendacity’.Of the claimant, he remarked: ‘I do not believe him on this or indeed any other material matter’. The first defendant’s evidence was ‘unhelpful’ and the second defendant was ‘as heroically dishonest as he is in his everyday life’. The third defendant was described as giving evidence in a ‘facetious manner’, which included winking at the claimant’s counsel and showing he regarded telling the truth as ‘simply no more than a lifestyle choice’.Turner added: ‘Attempting to establish the common but unstated intention of a group of individuals all giving honest but conflicting evidence is difficult enough. Where, as here, each witness is attempting to outdo the other in a rich display of competitive dishonesty, the task of the judge is unenviable.’The judge’s conclusion that the claimant was not entitled to claim a share of the commercial rents was ruled unassailable and the appeal dismissed. It was also confirmed that a transcript of the first judgment will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions
One of the newest ‘law tech’ artificial intelligence ventures has raised $65m (£49.6m) from leading Silicon Valley figures in the latest rush to invest in the sector. Atrium, a legal services firm developing its own AI, was co-founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneur Justin Kan. The cash was raised in a funding round led by Silicon Valley’s Andreessen Horowitz, a firm founded by Marc Andreessen, co-creator of the first web browser, Mosaic. Atrium, which uses machine learning to analyse documents, has also acquired Tetra, an AI system for taking notes on phone calls. It plans to license its technology to other law firms. Atrium founder Justin Kan posted: ‘A round of financing isn’t a destination: it’s a means to continue to grow and deliver better service.’The involvement of Silicon Valley investors and Big Four consultancies marks a change of pace in the law tech sector. Earlier this month Kira Systems, the developer of a system for automatically reviewing contracts with AI, announced that it had secured $50m (£38.6m) from a venture capital fund.