The NZ E-Discovery Blog  Facilitating proportionate and efficient e-discovery

Counting down to LegalTech 2014 – a NZ perspective

January 28th, 2014

We are only a week away from LegalTech 2014, when anybody that is involved with legal technology converges on New York for the largest eDiscovery and legal technology event of the year.

The show is taking place in New York from the 4th-6th of February, as always at The Hilton New York in midtown Manhattan. Further details about Legal Tech can be found on the event website.

I will be one of the 10,000 plus in attendance. It again looks like I will be the sole representative from the New Zealand eDiscovery and legal technology industry.

What will LegalTech 2014 bring?

Each year there is much interest in what will be the hot topics/latest trends of LegalTech. For me, I expect LegalTech 2014 to once again consolidate on some of the main themes from 2013. I am sure the following themes will once again be key areas of focus –

  • Predictive Coding – (this will come as no surprise !)
  • Information Governance
  • Big Data
  • The impact of the cloud and SaaS options
  • Proportionality – how this is becoming more embedded within court requirements globally, in addition to the greater emphasis on cost controls that are driving significant changes in practices and how technology is being used.

With all of these themes it will be interesting to see if there is any different focus 12 months on. As an example it has been fascinating to see how predictive coding has progressed over the past 2-3 years, and it will be interesting to see if there is any different emphasis this time around.

What do I look to get out of Legal Tech?

At a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult for those in the legal industry to keep up with the advances in technology, an event like LegalTech has to be a permanent fixture for anyone involved with legal technology. LegalTech is an opportunity for everyone in the legal technology industry to be in the one place at the same time.

The key aspects of LegalTech for me are –


The networking potential is what LegalTech is all about for me. It’s a great opportunity to meet with fellow industry colleagues, with many making the trek from various parts of the globe.

LegalTech is often the only opportunity I get each year to see many industry colleagues. It is a great platform to share experiences and discuss issues that we are coming across. Many of us face common issues like persuading law firms and corporate organisations of the value we can add to assist them in their job.

Many of the contacts I have made through LegalTech over the years have built foundations for future relationships. On many occasions to assist my clients who may require a provider/consultant in a different location, I have called upon an industry colleague I have made contact with at LegalTech.

I always find the networking opportunities to be helpful to find out exactly what is not mentioned in the ‘press releases’ to get a more balanced picture of the technologies – what is the experience of others in practice.

Latest technology

The show is also about finding about all of the latest technology and the providers offering these solutions. LegalTech is usually when many of the providers launch new releases of their products. It is always a valuable opportunity to find out about what developments is on the radar/road map of the providers.

All legal technology providers are represented in some capacity at the show. If they are not at LegalTech, the question is asked as to why not. Many of the providers that do not have a ‘booth’ will no doubt be seen in the hotel lobby or hosting demos in suites across the road.

I will of course brace myself to make at least one circuit of the exhibit floors. Warning though for any first timers to keep a steady pace, as if you hesitate or slow down then you will be nabbed and face some ‘over enthusiastic’ sales person trying to convince you that their product will solve all of your needs.

Developments in practices

We are continually seeing new practices develop to help manage the eDiscovery process more effectively.

It is paramount that anyone who is committed to this industry keeps abreast of the continual developments in practices and technology. Just think it was only a few years back when many thought of eDiscovery, their understanding largely centred on the scanning of paper documents.

Over recent years we have witnessed considerable shift in practices. It is always beneficial to hear further about latest trends and how others in leading jurisdictions are addressing similar issues, some of which may only be starting to emerge at home.

Often you pick up on ideas/problems/solutions that you may not have considered. We are all learning about better ways to do things that can assist either the needs of our firms or those of our clients. On my return I will be able to share the latest developments in practices and technology to support the needs of my clients.

An extended visit

This year I am spending a couple of more days in New York outside of LegalTech. The additional time will give me the opportunity to arrange appointments outside of the hustle and bustle of LegalTech. Anyone that has attended a LegalTech will know that the time flies buy and it is difficult to fit everything in within the 3 days of the event.

The 3 days are hectic, yet enjoyable. Time is taken up with meetings, demos, attending seminars and then followed by dinners and parties long into the night. I almost have my ‘dance card’ full with many engagements.

Arriving earlier in New York this year permits me to make my debut at the Commonwealth Brunch. The brunch is annual event that industry veteran Nigel Murray has been organising for many years. Up until this year, every year I have simply arrived too late in New York to attend.

Finding out more

To find out more about last year’s LegalTech, have a look at my overview. For those wanting a more comprehensive report of LegalTech 2013, I would recommend having a look at the report from Andrew Haslam of Allvision Computing. Andrew has published a report of LegalTech since 2008 and it summarises the event in detail and is always an entertaining read.

I look forward to posting again about LegalTech 2014 event on my return from New York. To follow the live happenings from the show, then turn to Twitter using the hashtag #LTNY.



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