Q&A with Andrew Haslam
Andrew joined Squire Patton Boggs office in 2016 as UK eDisclosure Project Manager, after nearly 20 years of working as an independent consultant. He supports the Litigation and International Dispute Resolution Practice Groups. We are delighted to announce he will be hosting our next eDiscovery event. We met up with him recently and he answered some questions immediately on our minds
- Why should law firms or companies be setting up eDiscovery teams?
Because they need the in-house expertise to act as the coordination between the technology and the legal teams. This is a professional fee earning role, that has the capability to develop into a long term career (that won’t be replaced by an AI bot). In an ideal world, the team should consist of a number of roles. At times these roles may overlap within one or more people depending upon their individual skills.
First, are eDisclosure competent lawyers, that is legal qualified individuals who understand enough about the available tools and techniques to effectively lead an eDisclosure project, selecting the optimum blend of products and tactics to meet the needs of the case. Second are the eDisclosure support personnel who have enough legal knowledge to understand the parameters of the matter, but are more focused on driving the technology engine. Finally, (and this element will probably be supplied by an external agency) is the actual engine room technicians who keep the software sunning in an optimal manner.
None of this is predicated upon law firms setting up eDisclosure software in-house. That option has been taken by a small number of large organisations, but everyone else is served by third parties. Law firms will thrive by establishing the right partnership and focusing on the fee earning professional effort element.
- With topics such as pre-litigation preparation, data deletion and predictive coding trending in 2016, what trends do you believe will shape 2017?
Establishment of in-house teams, and the creation of workflows that include the technologies as standard. Becoming ready for GDPR and the requirement for breech notification will give increased emphasis to being litigation ready and even more emphasis on information management and taming the proliferation of data.
- What advice would you offer businesses to accommodate the talent shortage at the coordinator and project management levels when there is resistance to provide training at the entry level?
Embrace training in this area, which equally means there is a market opportunity for people/organisations to provide training.