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

Growing litigation support options in NZ

February 9th, 2012

A common concern that I have heard of late is that there are not enough litigation support options available in New Zealand. Fortunately this is not the case, as it has never been a more important time to have litigation support options available since the new electronic discovery rules commenced on 1 February.

Over the past few months I have spoken to many providers of litigation support services to the legal market. I have looked at the options available in New Zealand and also explored what is available overseas that could benefit those in New Zealand. There are many options available both within New Zealand and from overseas – some to suit the smallest of matters through to even the largest matters that we see in New Zealand. I am finding the firms that are willing to look away from solely New Zealand options can open themselves up to more sophisticated and cost effective options.

For those that misinterpret the news rules as solely providing scanned copies of documents, you can be rest assured that there is an abundance of scanning providers popping up everywhere !


I have just returned from a few days in New York attending LegalTech – the leading legal technology conference. LegalTech has all the technology providers, lawyers, consultants, key judicial figures from around the world – all together in the one place. Each year the new releases of products are launched at LegalTech. (I will follow up in a later post about the trends from this year’s LegalTech). I was able to catch up on the latest developments and hear from the world leading movers and shakers in the legal technology industry.

If the number of meetings with service providers and demos of new products (and subsequent follow-up meetings and calls since my return), is anything to go by then there is a real interest in the New Zealand litigation support market. My guess is this is largely due to us having just implemented our new electronic discovery rules. This interest from further afield has got to be a positive development if it means that we now have greater exposure to more sophisticated and cost effective options.

Attending an event like LegalTech is a great opportunity for an independent litigation support consultant from New Zealand, as I can keep up on all the latest developments and then bring these latest methods and technology options to share with the New Zealand market. This should assist law firms in New Zealand keep up with the most efficient and effective options available. No doubt this will assist considerably in helping parties comply with the new discovery rules. Those that can embrace technology from an early stage will be in a stronger position to commence the proportionality discussions with the other party and then maximise the use of technology throughout the remainder of the discovery process.

As we know technology and methods continue to evolve, so it is essential to keep up with the latest solutions. I have often witnessed some organisations invest in particular technology, which has been surpassed by other options, but because the firm may have made a considerable investment in the technology, they shape their practice around the technology as opposed to using the right product to suit their evolving practice requirements.

Prior to LegalTech, I was also able to visit London for a few days to catch up with a number of service providers to discuss the options that they may be able to provide to the New Zealand market.

By making these industry leading products and services available to the New Zealand market, we are seeing more choice and value for money – options that may not have previously been readily available. The options were probably always available, but you may have not known where to start looking. It is all very well “googling” a product or service, but sometimes a law firm needs to understand their own technology requirements as well as what a product or service provider can or cannot do – once you go deeper than the glossy sales material. Getting independent advice is essential, as all of this needs to be assessed and explained in plain english !

Hopefully these litigation support options will assist lawyers to work smarter to optimise their legal expertise. The options are now available, both within New Zealand and from overseas. All that I do is bring these options to the table !



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