Latest News

Latest Asia-Pacific news round-up

Here's our latest round-up of Asia-Pacific news, courtesy of our news syndication partner Chris
McLean's Australasian Legal Technology blog – you can find more details at

• CRM4Legal hitch up with Alphawest
Client Profiles, the makers of CRM4Legal, the Microsoft Dynamics based customer relationship management product that we've mentioned here before have signed up a local distribution deal with Alphawest. The move seems a logical one from both sides with Client Profiles recently opening a Sydney office and looking for a way into Asia-Pacific law firms and Alphawest having recently ceased supporting LexisNexis Interaction, CRM4Legal's main competitor.

• Locals author E-courts book chapter
Farrelly Potter's Sandra Potter, Phil Farrelly and Derek Begg have co-authored a chapter in the recently released book E-Justice: Using Information Communication Technologies in the Court System. Their section, titled The E-Court Roadmap: Innovation and Integration – An Australian Case Study details the progress Australian courts have made in responding to the rapid advanced in information technology. You can find and purchase the book here

• BigHand Mobile helps Russell Kennedy maximise BlackBerry investment
Melbourne law firm Russell Kennedy has seen an increase in BlackBerry utilization for mobile working, and an associated improvement in document turnaround times, as a result of implementing BigHand Mobile (BlackBerry Edition) across the firm. The BlackBerry digital dictation capability, together with other remote working options offered by BigHand, has also enabled both lawyers and secretaries to work from home when required; such as for maternity or to enable a better work-life balance.
Bruce Stafford, the firm's IT Manager said “The key to good technology management is making the most of the systems you have in place and the great thing about BigHand software is that it enhances our existing investment in BlackBerry wireless technology. Getting lawyers to use their smartphone for dictation means document production is boosted by the instant nature of wireless technology, and the increased workflow visibility helps work sharing among office-based support. In terms of product selection, we originally looked at several products as software solutions but our use of BlackBerry technology meant BigHand were the most viable option.”
Following the BigHand BlackBerry project Russell Kennedy are now set to look at the Interwoven BlackBerry module, with both systems also offering integration with each other and the potential for further efficiencies down the line. BigHand DDS is used by four of the top five Australian law firms, as well as Crown Law QLD, Deacons Hong Kong, HWL Ebsworth, Gadens Lawyers, Gilbert + Tobin, Hicksons, and Keddies Litigation Lawyers.

• Austlii gains a cash boost
Victoria has announced that they will be contributing $839,000 over three years to the Austlii project, a not-for-profit organisation that provides open access to Australian caselaw and legislation.

• E-discovery hits home in Australia
Well at least when the Practice Note enters into force! For all of you involved in the world of litigation the upcoming Federal Court Practice Note 17 looks like a boon for purveyors of e-discovery related services. Basically, the Practice Note makes electronic discovery mandatory for any matter with over 200 documents, effectively covering all Federal Court litigation larger than a simple injunction. Cases are broken into two categories, 'basic' with 200 to 5000 documents being discovered and 'advanced' with 5000 plus documents.

Simple cases will require the parties to discover all documents in searchable PDF format, with a unique number on each page and the document type, date and title being included in an electronic list of documents. The advanced category of matters involves the parties reaching agreement on file types, folder structure and other matters and may involve the negotiation of a document exchange protocol. The move makes electronic discovery the norm rather than the exception and while not having a great impact on the large law firms may cause some discomfort in the mid-end of town.

The Practice Note is still in draft although it is expected to be put in effect within the next few months. You can find the note and a variety of supporting documents at the Federal Court's site here – which must win the award for the most obscure URL for a government body –