The interconnectedness of people, organizations and nations around the world has never been more apparent than it is today.
The ongoing and rapid increase in globalization has driven change and growth in countless industries, transformation in business processes, diversification in economies, and yes, even widespread pandemics. It has also led to a spike in cross-border legal and e-discovery matters—a trend that is continuing on an upswing. Navigating international e-discovery in the best of circumstances is a challenge for even the most sophisticated attorneys. It is more so now, as legal teams struggle to adapt their work in the midst of this global health crisis.
Teams must have an understanding of local laws and nuances, as well as the necessary processes to accommodate cross-border restrictions and foreign language translation
To effectively manage international litigations or investigations, teams must have an understanding of local laws and nuances, as well as the necessary processes to accommodate cross-border restrictions and foreign language translation. When a matter unexpectedly expands from a domestic project to an international one, problems can arise if the team and supporting providers are unable to pivot accordingly. For example, if a country where the provider does not have technology infrastructure established comes into scope, another provider may be needed to accommodate, adding cost and complexity.
Supporting Cross Border Matters Through Technology and Proven Expertise
Managing geographically dispersed review teams is another common challenge. In addition to minimizing disruption due to language barriers and translation, counsel must control quality and manage review progress across teams working in various time zones. An internationally-reaching, cloud-based technology infrastructure is the most effective way to meet these demands and streamline the fragmented nature of a multinational review. Today, as legal teams are even more broadly dispersed than during a typical cross-border matter—all working from home, rather than in review centers—the ability to track progress and maintain quality control all within a single platform is even more important.
FTI has spent years building expertise and best practices around these challenges and the changing landscape of cross-border e-discovery and investigations. Our strategy has included developing client-centric solutions to the most pressing problems, and building teams that provide global reach and localized expertise where our clients need it most. To this end, we have expanded our Relativity managed e-discovery services across North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, India and Australia. Most recently, we launched our Relativity offerings in China, furthering our reach to help teams in the region meet new and emerging challenges and contain cross-border e-discovery costs.
Our approach is supported by a lineup of e-discovery and analytics experts with localized knowledge and expertise in dozens of jurisdictions around the globe. This allows us to help clients meet the unique demands, regulations, customs and language requirements of each region in which they are facing legal matters—and align and scale that work alongside teams working on related matters in other countries. Our global Relativity infrastructure allows teams to work together in a single platform, regardless of their location—so they can continue their time sensitive and high stakes work as the sun sets on one review team and rises on another. This includes maintaining and continually updating rigorous security protocols across our offices, technology, and with our people.
Supporting Our Client’s New Normal
The flexibility of our global solutions was also primed to meet logistical challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our stable and robust technology infrastructure has made it possible for clients and teams to maintain a level of continuity in domestic and cross-border e-discovery, so that budgets and timelines don’t suffer as a result of remote work limitations.
The global stage is changing. We’re all experiencing the human mind’s ingenuity, agility and levity in adapting to unexpected challenges. I fully expect that the challenges around cross-border litigation and investigations will continue to shift, in response to the impacts of the pandemic, and the climate that will follow it. FTI is watching the landscape closely. We’ll continue to innovate and work diligently to deliver global solutions and local expertise for the known and unforeseen demands that lie ahead.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.