find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Technology changes the face of litigation support

Technology changes the face of litigation support

Beth Patterson Allens

New data analysis capabilities are revolutionising the way firms approach document discovery in large-scale litigations, the head of IT at a major firm says.

Traditional hard copy document reviewing has long been replaced by online reviewing, but now e-discovery is also becoming more complex, according to Allens chief legal and technology services manager Beth Patterson.

While documents were once reviewed in a linear fashion, advanced data analytics and predictive coding now allow firms to sort and group documents in a variety of ways, she has found.

“Through these [technologies], similar documents can be grouped together, for example clustered by concepts, which the system generates based on word and phrase relationships, rather than the linear approach,” Ms Patterson said.

“We can use early case assessment technologies to analyse and cull irrelevant documents through a range of techniques including deduplication, date range culling and keyword searching,” she added.

This allows legal teams to prioritise documents for review according to their strategic importance.

"For example, there could be a regulatory matter where, analytics could be used to identify categorie(s) of documents upfront which are mostly irrelevant and then renegotiate those categorie(s) with the regulator early so that large volumes of irrelevant documents do not have to be reviewed, saving clients time and money," Ms Patterson said.

Firms can also allocate low-priority documents to low-cost document review teams while higher relevancy documents can be siphoned off to more senior lawyers, she suggested.

"These techniques are all defensible, meaning they are largely accepted by Courts," she said.

Technology can also assist in reviewing "non-traditional" data sources, including social media, text messages or chat logs.

"Not so long ago, paralegals need to go through those Social media sites or messages as a first cull process. Now the technology lines up the evidence for lawyers, defensibly culling irrelevant items and grouping similar items for review," she said.

Last week Ms Patterson was awarded the Litigation Support Professional of the Year at the International Legal Technology Association awards in Las Vegas.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth IT director Berys Amor was also recognised for her role in developing a crisis management app, winning Innovative Project of the Year.

The app, known as Crisis Covered, allows key people access to secure and confidential legal advice immediately after a workplace incident or crisis.

Like this story? Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive Lawyers Weekly every day straight to your inbox.


Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Technology changes the face of litigation support
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...