Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Phoenix Arrive in Australia

We welcome the boys from Phoenix Business Solutions to the sunny shores of Australia. For those in the law firm IT and KM space who are in Oz and have not yet had a chance to become familiar with the UK headquartered company, we suggest taking a look at their solution offering.

In a similar approach to our old favourites
Baker Robbins, the team from Phoenix have developed a series of add-on tools around the Autonomy Interwoven platform, while also having (in the UK at least) the relationship with our London friends at HighQ.

Interesting times ahead for all no doubt.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Yet Another Attempt...UK Legal Technology Awards

Nothing really new or exciting in the list of winners (or indeed the short list or the categories themselves) from the latest attempt at a UK "gala" legal technology awards event which was held in London tonight.

This is the third or fourth attempt at being able to sustain such an event, with a number of organiser holding onto it for two to three years over the past decade before the realisation of a profit/demand/relevance issue.

The list of "winners" follows:

Best Green Initiative: Lawrence Graham LLP
Best New Product: Vuture Group – Vuture Vx
Best Value for Return on Investment: Mimecast
Best CRM Solution of the Year: LexisNexisInterAction
Best Legal Technology Event of the Year: International Legal Technology Association
Best IT Strategist of the Year: Abby Ewen, Simmons & Simmons
Best IT Team of the Year: Halliwells
Best Person of the Year: Peter Owen (Lights-On)
Best for Service Excellence: Mimecast
Best Project of the Year: Irwin Mitchell – LexisNexis

Good luck to Dan Brown and the team for their second year in 2011, and hats off for pulling at least something together.

Monday, January 18, 2010

SAP Trumps Elite 3E at Baker McKenzie

The worst kept secret in the history of law firm practice management/time and billing software replacements is about to be confirmed. A number of sources (including today's US edition of the Insider) have stated that Baker McKenzie has finally signed their contract to kick Elite Enterprise out the door and replace it with SAP (system of choice at Linklaters for some ten years now).

Although not unexpected, and a deal which has been a long time in the making, this will still be a crushing blow for our friends at Elite as they suffer the loss of not only a long standing and innovative Enterprise client (the biggest client in their stable), but also the loss of their biggest potential 3E client (not to mention the loss of 30 attendees at the annual conference).

Now that the news is out, it is a matter of sitting back and observing the project - one that will have numerous time and cost pressures no doubt in addition to significant feature and functionality challenges. We wish all the international teams at BM all the best over the next few years. Nil Sine Labore.

Anyone looking to jump in feet first as one of the project managers of this giant undertaking should check out the latest job specification

Knowledge Management & Succession Planning

A gin and tonic with Tony at our old plush curtained balcony bar in Sydney last week saw a conversation around succession planning and the impact of retirements, defections and/or the organic loss of staff on a firm's knowledge programme. Yep...exciting drinking conversation I know. No wonder we're both such a great catch...you should have seen the line of international super models lining up to hang off our every word.

Anyway, the topic of our conversation is obviously not a new problem, and indeed there are not that many new strategies or innovative approaches to tackle the issue. The very least one can do is to be aware, educate management on the risks, know when your partners are due to play golf and spend time with their grand kids, and also check each knowledge and training initiative to ensure that thought and consideration is given to the 'what-if' scenario.

A nice little paper from the antipodeans Janelle Pritchard and Karen Becker at Queensland University of Technology in Australia on Succession Management as a Knowledge Management Strategy. This paper is not necessarily focused on legal, but certainly worth thinking about as the gap between young and old members of the firm widens (if indeed it is at your firm).

Another older case study which is still worth reading explains how Boeing faced their demons in this area (first posted in InsideKnowledge in 2007 and highlighted on the knowledge thoughts blog started by Matthew Parsons). Article
here kids.

2010 Litigation Support And eDiscovery Trends

While we're still in January (even though we did see an Easter egg at the store this morning), it is still the time of the year when we look into the trends for the upcoming year.

There is an excellent article by our old (yep...we're talking about his age) pal Bob Tennant who outlines the 2010 litigation support technology trends and emerging technologies.

Full article

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Friday's Cocktail Leadership

For Friday cocktails this week we recommend a thick slice of blood orange in your gin and tonic....a nice change from the norm.

As usual - if you're looking at this post for intelligent conversation about law firm leadership, knowledge management, etc, then please look away now. This is for everyone who has worked hard all week and wants fifteen minutes of nothingness. For example - did you know that the oldest piece of chewing gum ever found is over 9000 years old. It was discovered near Ellos in southern Sweden in 1993. Amazing....we know!

Speaking of gum (and with our constant attention to all things environmental) we love the new concepts from Pepper Smith. Go
here to see what they are doing with chewing gum wrappers.

Sorry...we're babbling already. Anyway, welcome to Friday. Welcome to 2010. Welcome to the five extra kilograms that seem to have been added to our scales without explanation (although I think I know who is responsible....I know the answer to the "who is
James Boag?" question).

It has been a busy start to the year for your old pals at Janders Dean after a relaxing and rewarding December spent up and down the east coast of Australia.

Hang on. Before we go any further, let's talk about this 'Australia' thing. We've not been gone for long, but we've noticed a few things on our return that we need to bring to your attention. A Big Issue should not cost $5!

And when did it become the norm for people to own two pairs of 'thongs' (flip flops for all you non-antipodeans) - one pair for everyday use, and a 'good' pair?!

Actually....thinking about it....when did it become acceptable to wear thongs at all (again - we're talking flip flops). We've seen them pretty much everywhere, including in offices, and we are not happy about it. Not one little bit.
Jimmy always has a sale on at this time of year, so go and buy yourself something better for goodness sake!

And another thing - drinking pre mixed spirits from a can is not cool. Never has been. Never will be.

Thankfully we've survived the trip so far but we did have to use this
very valuable resource for translation. Now enough of that.

A great big hello to the Snow Princess who has left on a
jet plane.

A wonderful thank you to Victoria, Louise, Justin and the
Becasse team for the past few weeks. Hello to Tony and congrats on the new role. Another congratulations to Gilchrist for his 2009 awards. Thanks to Oz for pointing us to Google Goggles.

The Dolittle in us also says hello to the penguins on Phillip Island, "Colours" the noisy parrot from Neutral Bay, and our six new stuffed friends.

Credit to Bevan for finding the BBQ on eBay which is listed as "
Real Man's BBQ - Not For Metrosexuals or Latte Drinkers".

No credit to Tetsuya's for serving us half a peach as one of their degustation dishes. Tutt tutt....very disappointed Mr Wakuda. Bravo to
New Yorkers.

Hello to the team at
Liberated Small Mountains, and thanks for the new engagement. Hello to Pedro at Sparke Less Heaven and thanks for brekkie, and finally hello to this little kid and his ukulele.

That's it for now. We're off to Melbourne for the weekend, back to Sydney next week, and then finally back to London at the end of January...enjoy your weekends, stop pretending to work, throw the flip flops away, and shout yourself some Jimmys and some Boags (rather than a UDL).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

BANG! You need to pay attention to Legal Hold & Corporate Records Management

Craig Ball is...well...on the ball.

In what promises to get the global eDiscovery and Records Management tech vendors and their marketing teams all worked up and excited, news has surfaced today that US Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin (famous for the Zubulake decisions) has again pounced on corporate records management, discovery and legal hold practices.

As Craig says in his
post (and as we should all be saying to our General Counsel first and RM/LH teams second) "while Judge Scheindlin isn't the first to state that the failure to issue a written legal hold notice is "gross negligence," she seems to afford no quarter to effectuating a defensible hold any other way. It appears a face-to-face meeting, phone call, voice mail or course of dealing won't suffice to deflect a determination of gross negligence. Too, that written hold notice had better be a strong, unambiguous directive to find, preserve and collect, coupled with close supervision of the effort."

The full 87 page opinion and order from Judge Scheindlin can be found

Read it and weep...

For those not fully aware of the original Zubulake decisions and Judge Scheindlin's five historical and ground breaking opinion, the team at Kroll have a summary here. Farella Braun + Martel LLP also have a useful and simple summary here.

Happy New Year

Just a quick note to say 'Happy New Year' to all the Janders Dean clients, contacts, friends and family. We had a cracking 2009, and we thank all our new and existing clients for their continued support and trust in our experience and our expertise.

For those looking for predictions on how 2010 will treat us all, you can always try the informative Adam Smith Esq's views on international law firm economics. Bruce gives his predictions for the new year
here. Other predictions and 2010 themes on law firm management have been sourced from The American Lawyer (here) and from the UK's The Lawyer magazine (here). The latter of these two articles is an excellent summary of the top ten litigation cases to watch.

For predictions specific to law firm and in-house legal knowledge management, risk management and/or technology...well, you'll just have to wait until we're ready to share won't you!

Of course, as with every new year, our biggest prediction is that Janders Dean will continue to work with innovative and engaging clients on innovative and engaging projects.