Crisis Response &
Incident Investigation


In-sourcing document review and data assessment: Law firm quality at outsourced rates

For a company involved in litigation, internal or governmental investigations, transactions or compliance issues, one of the most significant and expensive tasks is the review of documents and data, increasingly in electronic form. Sutherland attorneys are leading an effort to control and reduce the high cost and risk imposed by current procedural rules, litigation precedents and industry practices. We object to the increase in retention requirements for companies doing business in the United States, so we are working to improve the status quo.

Our firm knows that controlling costs and maintaining quality is critical to the effective assessment and use of company, opposing party or counter-party data. We have an established, trained team of staff and contract attorneys with experience working alongside Sutherland lawyers in data assessment and analysis. This team is overseen by partners, counsel, and associates in the firm’s e-discovery group and supervising attorneys in the substantive practice area.

When faced with a need for data collection, analysis, and/or production, some companies and law firms scramble to assemble a temporary team of contract attorneys or outsourced reviewers (often outside the United States) to minimize cost. This scenario can result in lower costs, but the work often is uneven, ineffective and difficult to audit, which increases the risk of inadvertent or inaccurate production and waiver of privilege. However, creating an effective team and identifying goals, establishing a management framework, selecting lawyers or vendors, overseeing and auditing quality and consistency, building technical capability, and creating fee and insurance arrangements are time consuming, expensive and risky.

Sutherland provides that resource. We already have constructed and tested our team, framework and quality assurance, offering clients an experienced group of counsel on demand. Our team approach combines insightful legal perspectives and focused project management in data analysis projects. We rely on well-established training, supervision and standards to provide effective, thoughtful and accurate reports at a cost consistent with contract attorneys.

The Sutherland team has delivered time and time again based on our experience assessing more than 11,000,000 documents equivalent to 25 terabytes of information in a variety of matters that include litigation and arbitration proceedings, internal securities and compliance investigations, corporate due diligence, and corporate restructuring. Sutherland requires high quality, efficient, and cost effective work from its staff and contract attorneys.

Following are some of the distinguishing strengths of the Sutherland team:

  • More than 30 licensed attorneys with an average of 14-16 months of experience with Sutherland.
  • Significant track record of reviewing documents, preparing document discovery responses, reporting on key documents and issues, conducting key word searches and analysis, analyzing documents for possible privilege claims, and preparing witness kits for use in depositions, hearings and trials.
  • A training and supervision structure that produces work that is consistent and accurate, exceeding the quality of results obtained from temporary teams of contract attorneys, non-dedicated associate attorneys, or offshore review facilities.
  • Education and experience in document management and review platforms and databases such as Ringtail, Summation, iConnect, Relativity and Kroll, and extensive experience with LexisNexis.
  • Experience collaborating with trial lawyers in preparing witness files for depositions, creating timelines, collecting key documents, and summarizing evidence.
  • Participation in motion practice related to discovery, including providing analytical and drafting assistance in preparing and responding to motions.
  • Team leaders and members with relevant work experience in a variety of fields, including accounting, biology, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, petroleum engineering, and patent prosecution.
  • Team leaders and members possessing fluency in Spanish, French, Russian, Italian, Arabic, Urdu and Vietnamese.
  • Quick response teams for on-demand review and analysis.

The team’s recent accomplishments include:

  • Review and analysis of more than 11,000,000 documents.
  • Production of documents in response to more than 175 litigation discovery requests.
  • Response to more than 60 sets of document requests from government agencies.
  • Collection of witness-specific documents for more than 200 depositions.
June 28, 2017
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