By Gregory Campbell
Typically, legal professionals have associated ediscovery with the litigation process; however, litigation is not the only method to settle a legal dispute that can leverage cloud-based technology. I recently took part in a fascinating journey into the practice and technology of arbitration alongside some distinguished co-panelists at a virtual event (Arbitrations Are on the Rise: What Does This Mean for ediscovery in the UK?), which explored this in more detail.
Technology’s Function in the Arbitration Process
The panel helped confirm my view that even pre-pandemic, legal professionals found innovative ways to leverage technology to make the arbitration process more efficient and cost-effective. For example:
- it has been fairly common for legal teams to use video conferencing for arbitration hearings where the applicable law permits, whilst —
- the IBA Rules (on the taking of evidence in international arbitration) as far back as 2010 considered the searching and production of electronically stored documents in an “efficient and economical manner.“
The July 2020 Protocol for Online Case Management in International Arbitration (the “Protocol”), which sets out some principles for effective management of disputes, also reflects this, including highlighting the need for arbitration to “evolve to keep pace with regulation, technological progress and the increasing digitisation of information, products and services. Importantly, they must also progress to keep pace with their users, who are increasingly globalised, located in different jurisdictions and reliant upon digital technologies as a means of efficient communication.”
The reference in the Protocol to the use of collaborative tools in arbitration is interesting, as it shows a recognition that collaboration is integral to the process because it involves communicating with many people cross-functionally, wherever they may be at that time, be that in their office or their home, anywhere around the globe. It recognises that legal practice itself is collaborative: across roles, geographies, co-litigant firms, experts, in-house and outside counsel.
How Everlaw Makes Remote Work Easier
At Everlaw, our customers have consistently reaffirmed our belief that, to avoid disruption to existing processes, it is key to adopt technology that is easy to use with the minimum of training. As an added bonus, we’re also seeing many of these existing processes being revisited and reimagined, for example, through enhanced usage of in-tool collaboration features. Based on the feedback we’ve received from customers, the ability to securely share documents, send messages and collaborate on draft documents without leaving the review platform helps teams work better together.
Arbitrations with Everlaw
The Protocol suggests that there are potential efficiencies to be gained in the arbitration process through the use of a single, end-to-end case management platform provider. It does, however, specifically note that firms on the opposite sides of a dispute may not want to use the same provider for tools offering ediscovery review and analysis capabilities to prevent conflicts.
At Everlaw, we welcome opposing parties using our platform on the same matter, be it directly through us, or through our partners. As a cloud-based ediscovery software company, we do not provide consulting services in the traditional sense, thus reducing the potential for any such conflicts arising through such usage of our platform.
We empower our users, whether they are parties to an arbitration or otherwise, by giving them access to our intuitive technology, enabling them to get started right away — without arduous onboarding.
The world has changed, and so has the practice of law. Find out what the future entails in our ebook “How Collaboration Will Aid Legal Professionals in a Post-Pandemic World.“