We have seen a lot of activity from Epiq Systems recently, both in different jurisdictions and in print. Each of the things mentioned below might have warranted its own article, but you perhaps get a better idea of Epiq’s breadth and reach if I group them together.
I have already written about the eDiscovery round table which Epiq organised in Hong Kong in September and which I moderated – see Moving forward with eDiscovery in the Hong Kong civil courts – the Epiq Systems / ALB Round Table.
Document Review in Canada, London and elsewhere
Epiq has also opened a new document review centre in Toronto, building on recent large eDiscovery document review projects in Canada which have encouraged Epiq to expand its presence there. The new document review centre is capable of seating 50 reviewers and the project management, recruiting and staffing support to back them. The press release is here.
Meanwhile, Epiq has increased its London document review space by 50% at its Old Jewry premises. Saida Joseph, Epiq’s International Director of Document Review Services, said “This expansion will help us meet growing demand for scalable review solutions in London. This year alone, Epiq has reviewed more than 3 million documents in 10 languages, and conducted nearly 3,000 hours of audio review at the London location,”
This complements an increase in Epiq’s international document review capacity with dedicated facilities in Hong Kong and Tokyo and increased document review capacity in New York and Washington plus existing dedicated review facilities in Texas and Arizona.
Technology-assisted review in the age of Big Data
We have also seen an article from Epiq in the Lawyer called technology assisted review in the age of Big Data. Written by Saida Joseph and Celeste Kemper, Director of Document Review Services Asia, the article looks at how technology assisted review (predictive coding) can be applied to the analysis of very large data volumes.
Two key points emerge from the article. One is the metrics which can be derived from a document population by using TAR at a very early stage, informing decision-making about resource requirements as well as strategy.
The other point which is well made in the article is that technology assisted review is not a threat to lawyers but an opportunity to magnify the reach of their expertise. As the authors put it:
In reality, TAR is about injecting augmented intelligence into the legal process and humans and machines working together. With the volume of data growing exponentially, human linear review of documents is difficult in legal cases without extreme cost, undue burden and lengthy timelines. But machines alone are not the answer. The use, and the value, of the output is solely dependent on intelligent input and training from a human expert.
Meanwhile, Epiq’s international managing director Greg Wildisen has taken part in a round table on cross-border regulatory cooperation organised by the Lawyer, in the company of an impressive turnout of general counsel and external lawyers. The subject was the web of inter-related financial services investigations which arise when US and UK regulators cooperate.
Round table on cross-border regulatory co-operation
Some points emerge from the resulting article which are worth focusing on. One is the reference to the new breed of litigation project managers who, as the article puts it, “sit beside general counsel and conduct the logistics of the dispute… often… responsible for managing external costs”. The other is the prudent observation from Epiq on the merits of a proactive approach which anticipates the initiation of proceedings by a mixture of policy and technology.
Perhaps the most interesting observation is the one about lawyers sharing some of the risk of litigation with their clients. Pavel Klimov of Unisys says “Yes, litigation is unpredictable but so are so many other things in life. You can get life insurance pretty quickly so law firms should be able to develop better offerings”. This insurance analogy is one which I have raised a few times; it applies to both lawyers and to eDiscovery / eDisclosure providers and approaches the fees question by defining the risk and pricing it by reference to those same metrics as are referred to in Epiq’s big data article.