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Faster legal response with digital risk management solutions

Rajah & Tann Technologies setting new heights in this year’s SBR Technology Excellence Awards.

Fast responses to urgent legal service requests are equally critical for clients and Rajah & Tann’s Shipping & International Trade practice group. To facilitate shorter response times, the group fully embraced digital tools that have multiplied the speed and efficiency of legal review.

By adopting advanced techniques for document review, the group has been able to process more information to keep up with the ever-growing demand and allow more time for legal analysis and problem-solving. For their efforts, they managed to win the Legal Tech - Legal Award at the 2023 SBR Technology Excellence Awards.

The awards programme recognises the efforts and innovations of Singapore companies to provide the best products and services to the market, and Rajah & Tann Technologies have distinguished themselves from their competition by driving multiple digital transformation initiatives to tackle the daily threat of an information avalanche that the digital age poses to the legal profession.

The endless acceleration of digital adoption in all facets of society has resulted in exponential growth in data generation. This trend is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. Information qualifying for legal review increases in tandem and traditional methods for legal review prove unviable and inefficient. New digital tools, a reformulation of review practices, and the lawyers’ readiness to embrace change are the foundations needed to meet new digital challenges posed by clients.

The group’s Project Cooper, for example, handled a case where a client presented an urgent need to review the contents of large file share servers, email repositories, and even backup storage devices, totalling 2.69 TB of data that needed to be assessed.

Whilst strict deadlines were imposed for producing relevant lists and legally privileged data, the group quickly moved to adopt digital tools and new methodologies to cull data, prioritise information and respond within the tight timeframes that were set. 

The volume of information that 2.69 TB of data can contain is not easy to imagine. Traditional methods of document review are generally not feasible when presented with such large data volumes. Innovation and modernisation are often born out of necessity. Digital review tools and software enabled the team to implement precise and effective culling of information by first segregating irrelevant ‘computer data’ from potentially relevant ‘human readable’ data, the latter of which includes emails, word documents, PDFs, and images.

Further processing of the human-readable data was undertaken to categorise the data as  documents, spreadsheets, emails, databases, lists, etc. Even more nuggets of data were extracted such as email senders, recipients, filenames, message and document dates, etc. From there, structured data analytics and data science-based techniques were used to identify document duplicates and assess similarity based on the contents of the documents.

By conducting more data structuring measures such as email threading and family structuring, the group was able to trim the initial data set down from 2.69 TB to 752 GB, removing almost 5 million data items that were irrelevant to the case. Using analytics, search queries, and parameter settings reduced the size to a final count of 319 GB or around 256,000 documents.

By adopting and using digital legal review tools and digitalising their legal review practices, the group assisted the client in meeting the urgent deadlines for the production of documents. The legal team was able to efficiently deal with many types of information and is now fully conversed and ready to deal with the same challenge in the future. Most importantly, the client was pleased with the fast turn-around from the data dump to the legal response and with the significant saving they observed in the costs associated with traditional, tedious legal reviews.

The Rajah & Tann Technologies team exists to enhance the capabilities of legal teams and counsel in Singapore by provisioning their digital risk management solutions and know-how for the variety of legal challenges faced, including large-scale digital evidence review. Through their digital transformation initiatives, the team have boosted digital competencies in the Rajah & Tann Shipping and International Trade Practice for matters of dispute between parties, and they have promoted best practices for handling digital evidence.

The SBR Technology Excellence Awards is presented by Singapore Business Review Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2024 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's outstanding contributions in pursuit of technological innovation, please contact Jane Patiag at [email protected].

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