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Clifford Chance

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During the course of litigation, or in response to regulatory enquiries, our clients are required to collect large quantities of data that can amount to many hundreds of thousands of emails and documents. The documents must then be reviewed to identify those documents that are responsive to the particular litigation or regulatory request.

We worked with a team of partners, lawyers and case managers in London to analyse this process and found that, by making a few changes, we were able to improve its efficiency significantly.

For example, by instituting formal communication points within the process, we were able to increase the flow of documents through the review team – which comprised both paralegals and junior lawyers – by giving them more efficient access to the experienced lawyers working on the matter. Queries from the review team were dealt with on a daily basis, therefore reducing the number of documents tagged incorrectly. Feedback is immediate, giving the reviewers a clearer understanding of the documents and related issues. The introduction of a statistical ‘sample size calculator’ also enabled the team to decide, on a mathematical basis, the optimum number of documents to be checked for quality assurance purposes.

Using these techniques on suitable document reviews can potentially lead to significant time savings on the previous process overall by decreasing the number of documents that are tagged incorrectly and reducing the amount of senior lawyer time spent reviewing irrelevant documents.

We have also introduced a standard template briefing document and review protocol. This has ensured that teams are better prepared before the review and the lawyers are engaged from the outset with the review team and the issues.