HSF launches global cloud eDiscovery platform with Epiq

Stephanie Barrett, head of eDiscovery & legal technology in Herbert Smith Freehills’ alternative legal services team (ALT) says her team is building a “global technology toolkit.”

UK top 20 law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has launched a cloud-based eDiscovery platform with Epiq, in a move that will unite its eDiscovery teams globally and introduce new workflow capability.

Led by Stephanie Barrett, head of eDiscovery & legal technology in Herbert Smith Freehills’ alternative legal services (ALT) team, HSF has designed the platform to help support its international litigation clients, applying the ‘follow the sun’ approach that it uses to good effect across its entire alternative legal services offering.

Speaking to Legal IT Insider, Barrett said: “What we have done with Epiq is something quite special for Herbert Smith Freehills. Yes, we wanted to move to the cloud but what we really wanted was to tap into how best to support our clients globally and apply the follow the sun piece. We have eDiscovery all over the world and wanted to design a platform where we can be properly connected. Sitting on the cloud platform is a landing page and we can all connect to each other’s data centres, so it’s a truly seamless global platform, while obviously underneath Epiq manages that jurisdictional element that most people don’t need to worry about.”

HSF has eDiscovery operations in Australia, New York, London and Belfast and Barrett says: “We have been connected but have all been on different platforms and at different stages of the journey. We wanted to consolidate that and bring it all together.

“Where we’re at now is that the UK is the first to go into the new cloud platform.”

Epiq first released its cloud eDiscovery platform in 2019. The New York-headquartered company is technology agnostic and through its managed services eDiscovery offering works with vendors including Relativity, Brainspace and NexLP.

Barrett says: “We have Relativity but also Nuix and EnCase and we want to build a global toolkit so that all teams have access to the same technology.”

Epiq was selected as part of an in-depth process and Barrett says: “We were aware of Epiq and in Australia have a longstanding relationship with them, but we looked at different options and built out a roadmap with all of those different options. What Epiq offered us is the ability to be involved in the design. We wanted to be involved in the process and this announcement comes after 18 months to two years of us being involved, and that’s really exciting.”

According to a release out from HSF today (10 March) the new platform will provide high speed data transfers and processing capabilities designed to handle large data volumes. It also provides multiple layers of security and user-permissions that can be adapted for different regional teams.

It introduces an automated ticketing system into the platform design, so that the eDiscovery and legal review teams can more easily manage their service delivery, resource management and quality assurance.

HSF has been growing its in-house eDiscovery capability and in 2019 announced that it would add a new ALT eDiscovery team in the US and expanded capability in Asia. It already had eDiscovery teams in Australia, London and Belfast at that time.

You can watch editor Caroline Hill’s interview with Stephanie Barrett on Litera TV on Friday 19 March https://www.litera.com/litera-tv/