Morae Global Corporation and London-based legal staffing agency The Stephen James Partnership have entered a partnership to provide remote and scalable eDiscovery and document review solutions for the UK legal market. While the offering has been put together to help clients react to COVID-19, it is expected to be a longterm partnership that will enable remote teams to be assembled quickly and without the same limitations on numbers experienced by physical document review exercises.

The partnership was brokered by SJP’s founder and CEO Samuel Clague and Morae’s head of UK managed services, Patrick Kellermann. Kellermann told Legal IT Insider: “In person document review wasn’t going well in Corona times so we created a solution to perform document review remotely using a team that is located in their own homes and other locations, whereas traditionally they are in one location.” He adds: “A few things struck us as essential: the document review process needed to be secure and also have the same element of team oversight and engagement. So much of what makes document review run well is close collaboration with the lawyers supervising the document review. The emphasis is on security and a level of engagement, so we were able to go purely virtual without compromising security.”

Morae uses a virtual desktop, Zero Trust environment to give authorised parties access to documents including secure access to RelativityOne. Kellermann said: “Authorised parties are given access through a virtual tunnel in an environment that is highly locked down so they can’t copy or take screenshots.”

He adds: “You could ask ‘couldn’t someone pull out a cell phone and take a picture?’ and they could, but we deal with that through trusted talent and vetting so that we only use highly qualified professionals who are bound by a contractual arrangement on top of all the security. That ensures that the data remains safe.”

According to Clague, who founded SJP in 2010 after studying law himself, the vetting is the most important part. “Providing best in class is a given but for a lot of people to get through the door means vetting and screening, and we’re comfortable that has helped us because we offer a fully bespoke vetting solution,” he said. As well as offering ‘basic vetting’, SJP offers full background screening and enhanced security checks.

As to why the offering will have longterm staying power, Kellermann says there are three trends in its favour: a shift towards remote working; downward pressure on costs; and the need to scale review teams. “There is a certain fee associated with expert paralegals that are London based,” he says. “Being on the same time zone and having the right education is still critical but the cost of paralegals outside of London is lower, so there’s potential for cost savings without compromising on quality. In terms of scale, in person you’re limited by how many people you can find that can make it to a location. SJP has a roster of carefully vetted high-quality talent so we could scale to a team of a thousand document reviewers tomorrow.”

Morae is organised along three lines: managed services (eDiscovery and contracts); legal technology; and strategic solutions. The fast-growing company in July acquired legal management consultancy Janders Dean and in May last year acquired Phoenix Business Solutions.