As I have already mentioned, Summation is back in the UK and aiming for a share of the growing market here.
Since I don’t actually sell software solutions, my interest in “the market” is driven by the underlying causes of market growth rather than by the turnover for its own sake. The business success of the various players is an objective measure of the progress which is being made towards encouraging lawyers and their clients to handle electronic documents electronically – a progress which is the objective function of the e-Disclosure Information Project.
Wolters Kluwer, who now own CT Summation, are organising a series of Thought Leadership seminars and have one coming up on 20 May called E-Disclosure Primer for In-House and External Counsel. It is being led by Nigel Murray of Trilantic and by me. The chosen topic is the increasingly significant one of responsibility – responsibility, that is, to clients, courts and shareholders.
The US Qualcomm case, and the Commercial Court Recommendations are raising the temperature, and not just in the US and in the Commercial Court. Practitioners are finding closer attention paid to what is said in Disclosure Statements. A new Technology Questionnaire and pro forma draft directions orders are going to make it hard for practitioners – or judges – to ignore the issues which electronic disclosure brings.
I prefer anyway to describe all this in terms of the benefits which flow for those who know what they are doing. One of those is that the use of technology, much of which can be outsourced, is a leveller, allowing smaller firms to compete with larger ones. Much of Summation’s user base in the US comprises smaller firms – that is not to understate its potential for larger ones, merely to emphasise the demographic fact that most law frms in the US are small, yet nearly all handle volumes of electronic documents.
The competition comes not just from Concordance, Summation’s traditional rival in the same space, but from a range of hosted solutions whose pricing is increasingly within reach. Price is not the only factor – do you like the product?, do you warm to the people?, are you happpy to delegate to them part of this new responsibility?
The responsibility cannot be ducked – it has been hitherto, but that is now changing fast. If judges are beginning to take a close interest in how you manage electronic disclosure, you might as well get good at it. Step One is to find out what these responsibiities are. Step Two is to pick up the phone and start finding out who you want to help you handle it.
The Summation seminar starts with registration at 8:30 on 20 May at One Aldwych. It lasts only until 11:00. Registration details are here.