Reducing Billable Costs and Expediting the Early Case Assessment and Review Process

Their Story

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP is a leading Scottish-headquartered UK law firm, advising clients in more than 120 overseas jurisdictions. Since 1768, the law firm has played a critical role in a variety of sectors across the economy, from Edinburgh’s financial services sector to landmark clean energy projects to Scotland’s first tech unicorn. Their major focus has been, and continues to be, on the future: ensuring they provide support for economic growth, international commerce, and innovation.

With the firm’s practice spanning many substantive areas, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP needed an innovative technology solution that provided streamlined workflows to support their clients’ ever-changing and growing demands to manage a wide range of matters. Focused on efficiency, reliability, collaboration, customer support, and security, the law firm has made a concerted effort to find technology and discovery management solutions to the complex matters that arise during investigations and litigation.

So often you find the Enterprise apps that are full of functionality  and power, but they haven’t really thought about the user experience or  the user flow. It’s clear that Everlaw have spent considerable time and resource simplifying this process but not at the expense of capability. “

–Steve Dalgleish, Head of Technology, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP

Their Challenge

Given the scope of cases the firm was working on, and with collaborators working from different locations, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP was looking for an innovative solution that would help manage costs and allow expanded access. More specifically, the firm was looking to replace their on-premises technology to:

  • Ease the burden for administrative tasks. The team wanted to expedite the discovery process by allowing fee earners to work directly within Everlaw without relying on administrative staff to handle the technical aspects — ultimately, freeing up the IT team to work on other billable work. 
  • Find a solution for the breadth of projects they worked on to make the discovery process easier. Whether working on a big or small project, the team needed a tool that allowed them to quickly assess data and determine the scope and budget of upcoming projects. They had previously worked with ediscovery solutions that weren’t as intuitive as their growing demand required. They needed a platform that made it easy to sift through and investigate troves of data early during discovery and improve efficiency during review.
  • Eliminate unpredictable pricing. One of the law firm’s primary objectives was to find a partner whose pricing model was predictable for cost control and improved client transparency. Additionally, the firm recognised that an easy-to-use platform and self-service model would simplify the administrative and budgeting process. Everlaw’s flat pricing and intuitive platform helped Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP achieve those goals.

The Everlaw Solution

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP began their search for a new ediscovery provider, and were immediately intrigued when hearing about Everlaw, as it provided a cradle-to-grave approach to their investigations. The team found great utility in a variety of Everlaw’s features and functions, including:

  • No technical knowledge barrier to entry. Everlaw’s Customer Success team consulted on projects and workflows to get the firm up and running, with access to the support and training teams as needed on new projects. And as there was no need for users to certify prior to using the platform, access was able to be granted widely across the firm and to clients.
  • Language translation technology. Since the law firm works in international commercial disputes, translating document sets containing multiple languages was greatly slowing them down during the review process. The team leveraged Everlaw’s built-in language identification and translation tools, which are included. As a result, they were able to bypass an otherwise lengthy translation process and significantly reduced the cost of their transcription services.
  • Expanded use cases across the firm. Everlaw has enabled additional practice areas of the firm, such as the employment, data privacy, and construction teams, to use technology to perform their initial case investigation and document review. Their previous technology solution was focused on commercial disputes, but Everlaw’s ease of use and flexible technical solutions enabled it to be utilised broadly across the firm. 
  • Created standard practices across two legal systems. While Scots law does not have the same disclosure requirements as English law, the Scottish teams have found time-saving benefits in using Everlaw’s indexing and search functionality to quickly respond to new matters. This changed the firm’s mindset regarding how to approach a case as Everlaw is flexible enough to accommodate both traditional disputes in English courts as well as disclosure and investigative practices in other jurisdictions, such as Scotland.

It’s major that anyone can use it. I can setup a GC, outside of Shepherd and Wedderburn, with some training and he can go off and get started. With our previous platform, I was restricting who could actually use it whereas now, it’s enabling anybody who wants to use Everlaw to use it.”

–Ben Pilbrow, Partner, Commercial Disputes & Regulation, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP

Results

The combination of Everlaw’s advanced features with the easy-to-use, cloud-native platform allowed Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP to create more efficient workflows for their legal teams without sacrificing the level of their work. By bringing in this technology, the law firm was able to provide their clients with the high-quality support they expected while reducing billable hours and easing the workloads of their internal teams. Due to the positive results of working with Everlaw, the firm continues to expand their use across different practice areas.