I am delighted to welcome Legal Inc as a sponsor of the e-Disclosure Information Project, joining a group which is increasingly representative of the full range of e-disclosure suppliers and service providers.
Legal Inc was set up by Lisa Burton and Dipak Patel. Lisa is a law graduate and Dipak brought technical expertise, the two elements needed to bring technology to lawyers. Legal Inc describes itself as a “full-service one-stop shop” in the field of litigation support. That means that they can take on the whole or any part of a litigation support, e-disclosure and information management project for law firms or corporate clients, working with specialist partners for those things which they do not do themselves.
I see little point in doing a précis of Legal Inc’s services when their web site does that perfectly well for itself (which is not, I should say, true of all the players in this market). Take the litigation support link and skim the Overview | Challenges | Approaches | Benefits pages for a pretty good idea of what Legal Inc offers.
One of the things I am always conscious of is that web sites about unfamiliar topics always appear daunting to those for whom it is all new. At a time when new cases (Digicel v Cable & Wireless, Abela v Hammond Suddards and Hedrich v Standard Bank London) are bringing new audiences, perforce, to the subject of electronic disclosure, the key test is whether a services supplier seems approachable. Legal Inc’s straight-up-and-down description of what they do is eminently approachable.
I first met Lisa Burton on the night that Legal Inc came top in their category – electronic disclosure support/service provider of the year – at the Legal Technology Awards in February 2008, and met Dipak Patel a few days later at LegalTech in New York. We next came across each other when Legal Inc were one of the sponsors and I was the speaker in a series of seminars on electronic disclosure run by the Law Society during last year, which ended a few weeks ago with one in London (see Law Society seminar – Disclosure – the risks after Hedrich).
Applications which Legal Inc work with include the review applications CaseLogistix from Anacomp and Ringtail Legal from FTI Technology. There is no substitute for seeing demonstrations of products like this, and not just for the illumination they bring to what is inevitably a technical subject. The secondary motive for having a demo is to see if you could work with the supplier – this matters less if you are technically-skilled yourself but is vital if you are not and are going to have to entrust your client’s documents and data to a third party. A demo is an audition of the presenter as well as the product. Legal Inc will pass the audition.
I have other connections with Legal Inc. They are now working with litigation support consultant Andrew Haslam, whom I know well. They are involved in IQPC’s Information Retention and E-Disclosure Management Conference in London on 20-21 May. I am on its Advisory Board and taking part in the judicial panel on Day 2, and Legal Inc are running a pre-conference workshop called The Anatomy of Practical Disclosure on 19 May with Vince Neicho of Allen & Overy, Bill Onwusah of Lovells and Bill Sillett, Enforcement Division Manager at the FSA. I will miss that – I will be on the red-eye back from Orlando that night after being at CEIC 2009 with Guidance Software – but it looks to be an interesting session.
Although much of Legal Inc’s work involves big jobs for major clients, they make a particular pitch for smaller projects and for those new to electronic disclosure. The first is a function of pricing and the second is one of consultancy. Consultancy in this context connotes a service which meshes with the lawyers’ role, filling the gaps where the lawyer lacks either the skills or the resources to provide the full service to the client. Legal Inc’s approach to pricing means they ought quickly to be able to give you an idea of what a job will cost, so you might put to the test what I say about approachability and give Lisa Burton a ring.
Sponsorship of the e-Disclosure Information Project is a two-way thing – if my part is to spread understanding about electronic disclosure, I look to the sponsors for their hands-on experience and for the feedback they get from those they deal with. From that we derive new messages and different ways of promoting the subject. We have already been kicking some ideas around of which I will say more when we have got a little further down the track.
Meanwhile, it is very good to welcome Legal Inc to the e-Disclosure Information Project.