Legal digital innovation: The future is here

One of the benefits of the digital innovation revolution is the potential to implement solutions that eliminate labour intensive tasks e.g. large volumes of documents in due diligence or disclosure exercises can now increasingly be analysed and categorized far more efficiently by AI-driven systems. The new eDiscovery system is one of these solutions, and has recently been used by Wikborg Rein in a number of cases.

The eDiscovery analytics ­system in question can be used to search and review large amounts of data. Ena Aarseth Barder and Marte Dyvik is part of Wikborg Rein’s Shipping Offshore practice and has found the system to be a beneficial tool whilst working on ongoing disputes.

– Larger disputes cases often involve the disclosure of a huge number of documents. This tool makes the preliminary task of sorting all documents more ­efficient than ever before.

The eDiscovery analytics system allows all relevant documents to be uploaded into the same database. When using the database, lawyers on the team can then search for pertinent information to their work by using variables such as a specific time-range, the recipient of the document or email, or specific key words and the efficiencies of being able to do this electronically rather than manually are considerable.
Furthermore, the team is able to sort documents and place tags on specific groups of documents making it easier to find documents relevant for specific questions later on, and it also gives the possibility to order smaller “productions” (batches) of documents based on various criteria.

– This is saving us a great deal of time, Marte states! Working in the same databases also makes it easier to divide tasks, and avoid duplication of work. When new lawyers start working on an ongoing case they are able to log on to the same database and quickly see which documents have already been checked and deemed relevant to the team by the digital tagging system, and which documents have yet to be reviewed. Each document also gets a specific number which has made referring to documents internally much easier.

The eDiscovery system also has a state of the art learning function. This function allows lawyers to tag specific documents relevant to them (so called “training” documents). The system will then be able to take this training into account, and generate other potentially relevant documents based on the initial search/input.

– We are only just scraping the surface of the possibilities of using this type of technology. There is a lot more to learn, but our use and understanding of it so far has been very promising and we see great potential in these types of solutions, Ena states. In many cases the new analytics tools can be a very good supplement to more basic search and review systems, as the various systems provide different overviews, search options and possibility to categorize the documents and results.
For an international law firm such as Wikborg Rein the ­ability for teams to work simultaneously on the same documents regardless of location is also a huge benefit.

– You have got access regardless of where you are. To be able to work on the same case with your colleagues from for example London or Shanghai is a huge advantage, particularly within shipping and offshore, where cases often involve cross-border disputes.

With the aim of enabling our lawyers to work more efficiently on projects and disputes for our clients, Wikborg Rein is increasingly implementing a range of digital tools with multiple functions. These include, amongst others, automatic proof reading of documents, document automation and workflow management, as well as the eDiscovery systems described by Ena and Marte above.