It is a particular pleasure to welcome London-based eDiscovery / eDisclosure provider Millnet as a sponsor of the eDisclosure Information Project. It is a company with which I have long-standing links and which has turned up in these pages from time to time, most significantly and recently for its involvement in one of the exercises which were the subject of my article Two predictive coding case studies emphasise time and cost savings.
Millnet has been around for more than 16 years. It began as a financial printing company, a business which continues to thrive along with reprographics and digital print. The litigation support function is led by James Moeskops whose past includes a stint dealing with graduate recruitment at one of the Big Four, so it is perhaps not surprising that he has a good eye for identifying the right people to support Millnet’s clients and to grow the business. I wrote recently about Charles Holloway, former litigation partner of whom I said:
Charles is a former litigation partner at a well-known firm of solicitors, and brings much needed legal gravitas (leavened, I should add, with much wit) to a market which risks missing its target through over-emphasis on the alleged magic of technology. The UK eDisclosure industry (and it is no different in the US and elsewhere) very much needs lawyers in it to act as a buffer between those who face the problems caused by technology and those offering the solutions. The Millnet blog, Smart eDiscovery [which Charles writes], is a regular and much-needed part of that translating mechanism.
That legal weight has just been supplemented by the appointment of John Lapraik, formerly a partner at Kennedys with responsibility for eDisclosure issues. John will provide eDisclosure and project management advice to clients as well is responsibility for Millnet’s internal processes. The addition of someone with relevant experience within a law firm is a sound move.
Naj Bueno has responsibility for business development with an emphasis on international business development. eDisclosure marketing, particularly in London, is pretty staid, and no one would call Naj staid. She and Charles Holloway make a good team, and you can judge Millnet’s international reach by the fact that I came across Naj and Charles last year at the big US shows – LegalTech in New York and ILTA in Nashville – as well as at IQPC in Munich, with an apparently full diary of meetings each time.
Millnet chooses its software with the same critical eye as it recruits its people. It offers Equivio’s Near Duplicate Identification and Equivio Relevance, the processing tools Nuix and Index Engines, the world-sweeping review application Relativity and its own eDiscovery toolkit called DocBuster. The in-house skills which develop DocBuster are available for data migration between platforms and the data manipulation which often necessary when managing electronic information from multiple sources. That skill-set also gives Millnet a good eye for the strengths and weaknesses of the various tools in the market.
One of Millnet’s big successes recently has been the introduction of what they call Smart Insourcing, which they describe as “the alternative to legal process outsourcing”. From a law firm’s viewpoint, there is a gap between keeping all the eDisclosure work in-house and sending it all out, perhaps offshore. Like many providers, Millnet offers extremely good consultancy services which clients can call on as needed; the ability to call down such help on demand and from a trusted source is a significant benefit for clients.
Whilst you are following the various links above, incidentally, you may note something missing from many eDisclosure / eDiscovoery web sites – yes, it actually explains what Millnet does, describes the tools it uses, and explains the terms used, all in a font you can read and easily-navigated sections. You can also easily find the phone numbers. You will infer from the fact that I remark on it that not everyone manages this primary and basic function of a web site.
I caught a glimpse of Millnet’s main working area when I was in the Scrutton Street offices last week; I suppose I ought to have guessed this from the frequency with which its name crops up around the market, but there were a lot of people at work in a space which was barely recognisable to anyone who remembers its first steps into eDisclosure. It looked rather smarter than I recall it – an often overlooked factor when trying to recruit and retain staff in a competitive market.
I often make the point that I hope for more from my sponsors than just their financial support. The best of them bring me lively and informed discussion and information from the front line, whether in the formal meetings and events which they organise or in bars around the world; I had an extended conversation about predictive coding with James Moeskops recently which began at a Nuix party overlooking Sydney Harbour and ended a few weeks later in a Munich hotel bar. One of the attractions, indeed, of foreign conferences is the opportunity to speak properly with London-based people whom I may rarely see on home turf.
I very much look forward to more of that with Millnet in 2012.