Vince Neicho, long-time Litigation Support Senior Manager at Allen & Overy in London, has joined Integreon as VP and Expert Legal Solutions Consultant. A day or two after the announcement, LinkedIn served up the information that Vince had been at Allen & Overy for 42 years. The press release about the appointment is here.
I knew Vince’s name for a long time before I met him. He was nicknamed “the Godfather of English litigation support”, and his name turned up whenever there were discussions about the civil procedure rules and, in particular, their inter-relation with the real-life business of managing disclosure.
In those days, most of my work involved handling data, often working on the conversion of one firm’s output to meet another firm’s input requirements. One particular job involved liaison with several firms, not all of whom were as good or as helpful as they should have been. Vince was informed, co-operative and keen to keep the process as simple as possible; furthermore, his data was in better shape than anyone else’s.
Later, when I was helping a firm develop their eDisclosure expertise, one of the lawyers said rather sadly “We don’t have a Vince”. His name had become a shorthand for in-house expertise (and needed no surname – just “Vince” sufficed).
I came across him again when, with Jonathan Maas and others, he set up LiST, the Litigation Support Technology Group, which brought together lawyers and technologists to produce a draft revised disclosure statement, a data exchange protocol, and a technology questionnaire. The work done on these fed into later developments, including the work of Senior Master Whitaker’s Working Party which produced Practice Direction 31B and the Electronic Documents Questionnaire. Vince and I were both members of that working party, sitting up late at night in a near-empty A&O thrashing out wording for submission to the Rule Committee. Vince went on to help Lord Justice Jackson with his further developments of the Rules.
Vince Neicho with Lord Justice Jackson in Singapore in 2011
His contribution has not been limited to the UK. He has served on the Litigation and Practice Support Peer Group Steering Committee of the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) and, indeed, is taking part in a panel at ILTACON 2017, ILTA’s big annual event in Las Vegas in August.
We did proselytising missions together, doing panels in London, the US, Singapore, Hong Kong and Brussels. He is the moderator’s dream panellist – informed, articulate and succinct.
Vince Neicho (centre) on my TAR panel in Brussels 2016
It is a very shrewd move on the part of Integreon to take him on board at a time when the focus is increasingly on the alternative ways of getting the job done and on articulating a position to clients, lawyers, opponents and the court or regulator.
On top of all that, Vince Neicho is one of the nicest people you will find in eDiscovery / eDisclosure. I hope that this move means that I will have yet more opportunities to work with him in encouraging a different and better approach to supporting lawyers responsible for disclosure.