Customer stories

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland accelerates case analysis with end-to-end eDiscovery and investigations platform. Global law practice automates electronic discovery with OpenText Axcelerate to enhance results, save time and reduce costs

Challenges

  • As technology transforms legal practice, firms must find the best approach to accessing and delivering digital solutions
  • Reviewing large volumes of electronic data document by document as part of legal action or investigation is prohibitively slow and expensive
  • Providing technology to support eDiscovery activities at Eversheds meant finding a solution to enable its legal teams to streamline the collection, processing, analysis, review, classification, and production of massive amounts of electronically stored information

Results

  • Maximized efficiency and realized cost savings of 40-50% with a powerful eDiscovery solution

  • Leveraged OpenText expertise and built a trusted partnership

  • Better managed resources with secure cloud deployment

Story

The legal profession is increasingly turning to technology to maximize efficiency, increase productivity and deliver optimal results to clients, faster and at lower cost. As technology transforms legal practice, firms must find the best approach to accessing and delivering digital solutions. To provide its legal teams with the latest technologies, strategies and workflows, Eversheds operates an in-house technology services group to support practices across the firm, including the litigation and dispute management practice teams. Melina Efstathiou, Head of Litigation Technology for Eversheds Sutherland, commented on the advantages of having technology services in house: "We bring the technology expertise to the table, to go hand-in-hand with the legal advice that is provided on cases. We help facilitate tech-enabled approaches and tech-enabled results so that our legal teams don’t have to seek out vendors and outsource services."

Time and cost-efficiency are always at the core of any discovery exercise. I think the unique advantage of having OpenText Axcelerate in house is indisputable. We’re able to quickly scope out projects and provide an immediate recommendation around the application of technology and the use of OpenText Axcelerate. By having in-house services versus having to outsource this, the legal teams have seen a reduction of 40% to 45% in terms of time and cost-efficiency.

Melina Efstathiou
Head of Litigation Technology, Eversheds Sutherland

Digital solutions for digital problems

Discovery or Disclosure (now frequently referred to as eDiscovery / eDisclosure) is an element of legal practice that has been transformed by technology with the shift from paper to a digital world. To review large volumes of electronic data document by document as part of legal action or investigation is prohibitively slow and expensive. The volume and complexity of digital communications in today’s business world necessitate an automated approach. Providing technology to support eDiscovery activities at Eversheds meant finding a solution to enable its legal teams to streamline the collection, processing, analysis, review, classification and production of massive amounts of electronically stored information.

Several years ago, the firm selected OpenText™ Axcelerate™, an end-to-end eDiscovery solution that offers integrated data collection and culling, advanced analytics, technology-assisted review, rich visualizations, production and automation to reduce costs and eliminate the need for multiple vendors and point solutions. The Axcelerate solution powers the company’s eDisclosure review platform, which Eversheds calls ‘ES Locate.’ The firm recently renewed its OpenText Axcelerate contract, citing the many benefits it has seen from the solution, from increased efficiency and lower costs to ease of use and a trusted partnership with OpenText.

Intuitive interface for ease of use and insight

Eversheds has found that Axcelerate’s investigative capabilities, combined with an intuitive interface, help its legal teams get to the facts that matter sooner and inform case strategy. Axcelerate empowers users to take greater control over the process, from ingesting, collecting and culling data intelligently, and automating as many manual tasks as possible, to reviewing only what is necessary. Efstathiou noted the importance of the solution’s ease of use: "From the beginning, the feedback has been nothing but positive. What the legal teams love about the platform is how easy it is for them to use."

As the legal teams have become familiar with Axcelerate, Efstathiou has observed their evolution in the way that they use the tool to interpret the data: "Learning about the analysis of data not only helps them understand what is accessible and available, it also makes them feel more autonomous in the way that they would interrogate the data themselves. The more familiar they get with metadata interrogation and learn how to find specific audit trails and information, the more they start questioning the data. It creates a very intelligent dialogue between the legal user and the solution itself, to the point that they are also better able to defend the outcome of the disclosure exercise."

People in a meeting

The way we have embraced having our data hosted in the OpenText Cloud has rendered us with unique benefits. The solution offers us a completely unique and segregated cloud environment to ourselves. We don’t need to worry about any shared resources or any accessibility by anyone else. So, from a security and privacy standpoint, we’re absolutely covered.

Melina Efstathiou
Head of Litigation Technology, Eversheds Sutherland

Improving time and cost savings

By combining their in-house expertise with Axcelerate, Eversheds has seen dramatic savings. "Time and cost-efficiency are always at the core of any discovery exercise," stated Efstathiou. "I think the unique advantage of having Axcelerate in house is indisputable. We’re able to quickly scope out projects and provide an immediate recommendation around the application of technology and the use of OpenText Axcelerate. By having in-house services versus having to outsource this, the legal teams have seen a reduction of 40% to 45% in terms of time and costs."

Maximizing resources with cloud deployment

Eversheds chose a cloud-based approach for flexibility, scalability and reduced resource requirements. To address concerns around data security in the cloud, Eversheds uses a virtual private cloud. Efstathiou commented, "The way we have embraced having our data hosted in the OpenText Cloud has rendered us with unique benefits. The solution offers us a completely unique and segregated cloud environment. So, from a security and privacy standpoint, we’re absolutely covered." She added, "The cloud has a unique fluidity when it comes to scalability and support needs. For me, it has just made life so much easier."

Leaning on OpenText experts

Though the team at Eversheds boasts a wealth of experience and expertise, they have also availed themselves of OpenText’s expertise when needed, resulting in an ongoing collaboration and dialogue with OpenText on everything from forensic collections, advanced workflows, product roadmaps and training for lawyers.

Efstathiou reported, "We have knocked on their door many times. Technology is moving at such a fast pace that even when you think you know it all, you absolutely do not. And this is where you revert to the experts like the ones at OpenText, to learn from them."

For example, for digital forensic expertise, Eversheds relies on OpenText Digital Forensics Analysis services. The OpenText digital forensic team is able to dig into the binary information behind the data to identify evidence not available to the normal user. The team can establish the authenticity of suspicious documents or emails, identify potential intellectual property theft evidence or recover deleted material previously considered unrecoverable. Efstathiou explained, "When needed, we engage with the forensics team at OpenText. The benefit is that we’re already starting from a common level of understanding—we can articulate what we’re trying to achieve and what we want to get as output for our platform, in a much simpler and easier way. The level of expertise and quality of work offered to us by OpenText truly matches the quality and the deliverables that we expect."

Reflecting on the role of the technology services team at Eversheds Sutherland and the support of OpenText in helping bring the benefits of technology to its legal practice, Efstathiou concluded, "The application of technology brings small victories every single day, but there are also those unique ‘Aha!’ moments that we all have. And we feel just a little bit prouder of ourselves for being able to advocate for the use of technology and actually being able to implement it in a meaningful fashion."

About Eversheds Sutherland

As a global top-10 law practice, Eversheds Sutherland provides legal services to a global client base ranging from small and mid-sized businesses to large multinationals. With more than 3,000 lawyers, the firm operates in 74 offices in 35 jurisdictions across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. In addition, a network of more than 200 related law firms, including formalized alliances in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa, provide support to clients around the globe.