LegalTech 2011 is only a few days away and the programme is packed. Almost everyone whose name has appeared in these pages is taking part in something, and I will not attempt to list them all. Following on, however, from my recent piece about the Georgetown Advanced e-Discovery Institute (see International discovery, sanctions, ethics and US-UK comparisons at Georgetown) and the growing mutual interest in US e-Discovery and UK e-Disclosure, I thought it worth drawing your attention to the sessions involving UK participants. If I have missed any, please let me know.
Epiq Systems have two panels involving well-known UK participants. Greg Wildisen of Epiq moderates a panel called Navigating the Challenges of Cross-Border Regulatory Investigations with panelists including Professor Dominic Regan and David Cracknell of Slaughter and May’s London office. That is followed by a panel called Managing a Global Review while Minimising Risk moderated by Laura Kibbe of Epiq. The panelists include Senior Master Whitaker and Neil Mirchandani of Hogan Lovells in London. Non-UK participants known to readers of this blog include US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck (who has teamed up with Master Whitaker in various jurisdictions, including Brussels and Hong Kong), and David Kessler who has recently moved to become Co-Head of E-Discovery at Fulbright & Jaworski – an entertaining and informative fellow, David, as I discovered to my relief when he was on a LegalTech panel which I moderated for Epiq last year (I say “relief” because it can be an interesting business, moderating panels of people you have never met before). Anyone interested in global and cross-border matters should attend these sessions.
Andrew Szczech of Kroll OnTrack UK takes part in a panel called Trends in Social Media and Cloud Computing. Jan Durant, IT Director of Lewis Silkin is on a panel called Business Processes Utilising SharePoint. Alex Dunstan-Lee of KPMG in London is doing a session called The Clearwell E-Discovery Platform: did you know? UK solicitor Mark Ross, VP legal solutions at Integreon, is covering Legal Process Outsourcing: Ethical, Practical and Legislative Considerations.
Apart from the UK, the non-US world is represented by Michelle Mahoney, Director of Applied Legal Technology at Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Australia, talking about the Intersection of Project Management and Practice Support. She was anointed Practice Management Champion at ILTA last year, so knows what she is talking about.
As for me, I am moderating a panel for Thomson Reuters which takes me beyond my usual subjects of e-discovery and cross-border litigation. The session has the broad title Technologies Lawyers Should be Using Today, with a panel as broadly based as the title implies. This departure from my usual narrow remit of e-disclosure and trans-border discovery is entirely deliberate. A quick flip through The Know List’s Christmas edition shows that UK firms are just as sophisticated as their American counterparts in almost every other aspect of legal IT. Litigation, however, hardly gets a look in, though there is a good article by Deborah Blaxell of Epiq on litigation processes. Litigation support may be a specialist area, but the principles on which a firm chooses and manages its IT applications, and includes them as part of the business profile offered to clients, are the same as for everything else, and I am looking forward to moderating a panel with this broad remit.
The main US – UK event, so far as I am concerned, is a performance of the e-Disclosure play which I produce annually for IQPC in London. The general format is that US judges take the parts of severe case management judges, whilst UK judges play the role of advocates. The scenes are taken from well-known UK cases and from easily-imagined conversations which, in this version, extend to discussions with the clients.
The purpose is not entirely frivolous – it is helpful, occasionally, to see ourselves as others see us. Some of the UK cases defy parody, and you can get a laugh, albeit a slightly grim one, simply by reading some of the judgments. The play is billed as one of the three main judicial sessions at LegalTech and is a Plenary Session in the middle of Day 3. This is my first off-Broadway show and I am extremely lucky in my cast – US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck and US Magistrate Judge Elizabeth LaPorte on the US side, and Master Whitaker and His Honour Judge Simon Brown QC for the UK side. I will moderate the session, as usual. It is supported by Epiq Systems and by Huron Consulting Group, now owners of Trilantic.
Trilantic are, of course, holding the Commonwealth Brunch as they do every year on the Sunday morning before the show. Contact Laura Kelly email@example.com if you are interested in joining this always memorable event.
I usually take one of my boys to LegalTech. This year, my wife Mary Ann is coming for the weekend before the show starts. The UK contingent is meeting in the Hilton bar at 6:00pm on Sunday. See you there.