Information technology advancements have made business a lot more efficient and now that need for better efficiency is reaching into the courthouse and forging closer ties between corporate litigants and their law firms.
That’s because North American courts are starting to mandate that companies engaged in litigation provide electronic disclosure of documents. It can be extremely time consuming and ultimately very costly for a company and its law firm to sort through all of the requisite electronic documents to determine what is relevant to a case.
So law firms across Canada that assist large corporate clients with litigation are focusing on ways to reduce the time and ultimately the cost of vetting electronic materials relevant to the case, fuelling a renewed partnership between corporate counsel and private firm lawyers.
“One of the biggest costs right now is related to managing the massive volumes of electronic documents involved in litigation,” acknowledged Melanie Schweizer, senior counsel at Bell Canada’s Toronto office. “As a client, we’re really looking for firms to deliver value to us and we’re scrutinizing things a lot more closely to ensure that the file is run as cost-effectively as possible,” she said. “Gone are the days when in-house counsel will send a file to an outside counsel and let them do whatever they need to do to make the litigation work.”