It is barely a fortnight since I reported on Recommind‘s coup in appointing Nick Patience as Director of Product Marketing and Strategy. Since then, Recommind’s name has turned up more often than I can keep pace with. I put it that way because I try to leave space between multiple references to the same provider, which becomes difficult when a lot of separate stories emerge at once. Only one of the stories, a product announcement, is LegalTech-specific; the rest seem just to have happened along at the same time.
If I group them together now, that will this leave space for whatever comes along after LegalTech.
Axcelerate eDiscovery 4.3
The fact that Recommind is amongst the leaders (in time terms as well as in reputation) in the technology known as predictive coding, may obscure the fact that its roots are in broader information management software and that the predictive coding component is but a part of its overall eDiscovery offering. The technology originally developed for broader search and categorisation has two eDiscovery components, Axcelerate ECA and Collection and Axcelerate Review and Analysis, which between them perform the functions implicit in their names. Axcelerate On-Demand extends the same capabilities into the cloud and, as again its name implies, is available without in-house installation – like tomorrow, if you need it.
Axcelerate eDiscovery 4.3 introduces new seamless management capabilities across the entire process. The press release quotes Woods Abbott, Senior Manager of Legal Operation / eDiscovery at Raytheon, as praising not just the processing and workflow capability but, crucially, the sampling tools which are a big part of the battle to convince lawyers that they retain control of the decision-making.
Herbert Smith partners with Recommind
This is the most interesting of the stories which have come out of Recommind in the last few days. Herbert Smith has been a leading London litigation firm for as long as my law firm memory goes back (since 1980 since you ask). The firm has offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and, last year, opened an office in Belfast to handle document review in large and complex disputes.
Herbert Smith has picked Recommind to pull together this worldwide litigation and disputes function, with the specific aim (amongst more general efficiency reasons) of using predictive coding to take senior lawyer input at the top of the process to feed what is, effectively, in-house version of legal process outsourcing.
I will let this one run for a bit and then hope to go and see Andrew Moir, the partner quoted in the press release, to see how Herbert Smith is making use of this technology.
Recommind revenue up by 95% in 2011
The press release speaks for itself. The revenue derives from more than just the eDiscovery products, but the growth of use of Axcelerate On-Demand stands out, as does the 53% increase in staff, including the high-level appointment of Nick Patience and the doubling of staff in the London office.
Case study: finding the FCPA-relevant documents with Axcelerate on demand
This case study includes an estimate that a potential 16,000 hours of lawyer time was reduced to 1,000 hours, which ought to be enough to attract your interest, even if your cases are much smaller in scale. The components included more than just search (if “just search” is the right expression”) because the critical documents were in multiple languages and involved data privacy restrictions in various countries. You do not need these components, nor the volumes and urgency of a large FCPA investigation, to warrant the use of this kind of technology.
Articles and interviews
The prolific Howard Sklar continues to pour literate common sense over the subjects of compliance and eDiscovery. The list of articles on this page includes two which caught my attention recently – an article on Forbes.com headed Creating Efficiencies in your Anti-Corruption Compliance Program, and an interview with Metropolitan Corporate Counsel called Reduce Over-Preservation: one of many uses of technology. The latter in particular reminds us that a proactive, anticipatory approach to information management can significantly reduce, and in a defensible way, the overall volume of potentially discoverable data, quite apart from the tools and skills which you bring to bear when litigation or an investigation strikes.
The attraction of Howard’s articles, quite apart from their inherent qualities, is that they make the case for the use of advanced technology generally, and not just for Recommind’s products.
LegalTech is an opportunity to catch up with the people behind these stories, not least to get their view on where predictive coding is going in 2012. With the likes of Sklar and Patience on board, that estimate will be based on more than Recommind’s ambitions for itself.