A large financial institution was being investigated by a sector regulator; as a part of that investigation, disclosure of well over three hundred thousand documents was required. These documents had to be assessed for their responsiveness to the categories of documents sought, and whether any matters to which legal privilege attached were contained within.
The institution had retained a prominent 'Magic Circle' firm of solicitors to handle the investigation, which firm required an outside team of legally-qualified professionals to accomplish large-scale document review. Level 2 review required personnel to be professionally-qualified and to be able to undertake work to a standard which would satisfy a regulator, or possibly, ultimately, a court, that disclosure of documents had been completed in an adequate fashion.
Further, there were significant time constraints present on the project, due to already extended deadlines looming, as well as costs constraints. A notice period of just one week was given in order to put a team together for the purposes of the project.
The challenges faced by the client included but were not limited to the following:
- The operational expense of internal resource allocation for the project.
- The coincidence of several large internal projects and events at the same time,
preventing internal resources from being a realistic option.
- The necessitation of internal resource over-time obligations and the corresponding cost implications.
- The niche skillsets of the lawyers sought for the project meant that the prospect of sourcing, vetting, interviewing and assessing sufficient numbers of appropriate candidates was not feasible or efficient.
The resources provided, after one day of training, were able to begin reviewing documents using the Clearwell technology system, and addressing the large numbers of outstanding documents. Asmattersarosetheywerecheckedwithinternalstaff,and all answers were shared among the resources so that they did not need repetition. As matters progressed, and high-level regulatory analysis by internal staff led to the refinement of targets, the instructions to resources could be continuously re-evaluated and altered in light of shifting needs.
- The project was completed after the regulatory deadline, but on time for the revised timeline.
- The team of Barristers was fully vetted and sourced on the basis of each individual’s past experience, and were capable of utilising the computer architecture provided to immediately begin, after briefing on the project, to work through the documents provided.
- The team were all technologically proficient and capable of learning all required protocols as they arose, in order to ensure that there was conformity in the manner of assessment of the responsiveness of documents, and their level of legal privilege so as to withstand regulatory scrutiny.