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

E-Discovery – Australian Style

June 21st, 2013

I spent last week in Sydney attending the 7th Chilli IQ Information Governance & eDiscovery Summit. The Chilli IQ event has become somewhat of an institution on the eDiscovery landscape ‘downunder’ as it attracts the major local players in the industry.

Overview of the Chilli IQ E-Discovery Summit

Like last year, I will direct those interested in a full overview of the Summit to the comprehensive overview by Jenny Katrivesis of Chilli IQ. Jenny’s overview is available here

For me some of the key themes that I took from the Summit were –

  • Predictive Coding is not right for every situation, but it should at least be considered as an option.
  • LPOs are not dead and similar to the use of technology like Predictive Coding, should be an option that firms consider if the path can add value to their clients.
  • The importance of those in the industry to provide the necessary information to assist lawyers and their clients make informed decisions.
  • The increasing importance for those in the industry to continue to upskill – there are now even greater complexities to consider, especially with the evolving sources of information like Social Media.

Some of the sessions probably stood out to me more than others.

Michael do Rozario of Corrs Chambers Westgarth kicked off the summit with an informative perspective of eDiscovery developments from an Australian and international perspective. Michael also provided an interesting insight into relevant case law in relation to eDiscovery and the use of various technology.

Justice Sackar of the Supreme Court of NSW gave an excellent presentation looking at the use of technology by the judicial system.  There were some interesting views expressed, which we might not all have agreed with every aspect, but it was refreshing to hear a judicial perspective in this area delivered with such clarity.  

I participated on a panel discussion about the growing importance and evolution of the role of legal technology experts of both inhouse and external expertise. Joining me on the panel were Scott Gillard of Minter Ellison, Jonathan Prideaux of Clayton Utz, Jo Sherman of EDT and Gavin Wingfield of King & Wood Mallesons, who moderated the panel. It was a very interesting panel as we all shared experiences of how our roles have evolved over the many years. We looked at the challenges we face and where we see the value we can add to our clients and law firms. We also had some ‘lively’ topics towards the end of the session.

The conference was expertly chaired by Jo Sherman of EDT on the first day and Gavin Wingfield of King & Wood Mallesons on the second day. It was always a hard act to follow after the polished performances of Warren Dunn of Ernst & Young over recent years.

The conference attracted an impressive list of sponsors – the best turn out I have seen for many years. Market leaders like Nuix, EDT, Recommind, FTI, Sententia Discovery, eLaw and Law in Order were all present at the Summit.

Away from the Conference

I do get across to Australia frequently, but an event like the eDiscovery conference is a perfect opportunity to catch-up with everyone in the one place. There were the usual familiar faces, some that I only get to catch up with on an annual basis around the Chilli IQ eDiscovery Summit. Once again it was good to catch-up and continue discussions long into the night…

For me it was a good opportunity to spend some time with Australian service and software providers.  Away from the conference I was able to have more in-depth conversations about all of their developments. There is much happening in the industry down this side of the world. Many providers are diversifying away from their core functions, with further offerings to the legal market. I am always grateful to the many people that make the time to meet with me and to discuss further opportunities.

Recent developments by EDT and Recommind will no doubt be providing more visible options in the Australian legal technology space.

Thanks again must go to Chilli IQ for their efforts in putting together the event. I know from experience with organising the New Zealand E-Discovery Conference, putting these events together is not easy as there is much time and work that goes on behind the scenes to make the event come together.   

Going forward we just need a way to attract more lawyers (both in-house and from law firms) to the event – this is something we all struggle with around the world, getting the message out to a wider audience.

I am sure Chilli IQ is already planning on how they can improve on the conference again next year and perhaps take it to another level and a wider audience.



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