16 Nov 2018

Rajah & Tann Technologies and SAL Ventures launch first e-discovery certification in Asia

Rajah & Tann Technologies (R&T Technologies) and SAL Ventures, a subsidiary of the Singapore Academy of Law, have agreed to launch a certification programme for e-discovery management for lawyers and non-lawyers, the first of its kind in Asia.

The Certified E-Discovery Management Specialist (CEMS) programme is a part-time continuing education course for those who wish to be trained to use legaltech tools to conduct discovery, an essential pre-trial procedure in a lawsuit in which each party, following the law of civil procedure, can obtain evidence from the other party by requesting answers to interrogatories, release of documents or taking of depositors.

Traditionally a labour-intensive process involving many lawyers and man-hours, discovery can now be done electronically by machines trained to identify and extract mountains of relevant information in a matter of hours rather than months.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed at a cocktail tomorrow to launch R&T Technologies, the latter will develop and deliver the course, which will comprise four modules including the fundamentals of e-discovery processes, e-discovery readiness, project management, and hands-on training on legal analytics and artificial intelligence. It will involve classroom theory sessions, self-study e-learning lessons, and practical workshops on navigating various legaltech tools.

This practical skills-based programme will give participants the knowledge and expertise to work across boundaries and position Singapore as a regional hub for e-discovery projects.

R&T Technologies Director Rajesh Sreenivasan said: “E-discovery increases speed and efficiency and reduces costs. There is little choice for lawyers serving clients in a digital economy except to turn to legal tech tools like e-discovery to get the job done.

“But even as technology disrupts the way legal services is delivered, programmes like CEMS will help create a new career path for lawyers threatened by technology as well as those who have left the profession.”

SAL Chief Operating Officer and SAL Ventures Executive Director Paul Neo said: “Sharpening our human capital through continuing professional development is key to helping our legal professionals stay ahead of the game and increase their value-add to clients. In this regard, SAL has launched the LIFTED competency framework and Specialist Accreditation Scheme to help lawyers build domain expertise for the future. This partnership with R&T Technologies to launch Asia’s first certified e-discovery management programme builds on these efforts and is also aligned with SAL Ventures’ focus on supporting the development of “future law” enterprises.”

R&T Technologies Director Steve Tan said: “With the need to be ever more time and cost efficient, e-discovery will eventually become de rigueur in the discovery process. It would be unthinkable when that happens to proceed by way of traditional discovery methods just like it is unthinkable now to utilise a typewriter as your default tool, as opposed to a word processing software on one’s computer.”

The e-discovery market in Asia is poised for strong growth. According to a 2017 report by US research firm Global Industry Analysts, the worldwide e-discovery market is expected to be worth $11.6 billion by 2020, with much of the growth coming from Asia Pacific. Between 2015 and 2020, the region is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 22.5%, making it the fastest in the world.

The partnership with SAL Ventures is the second initiative for R&T Technologies after its acquisition of LegalComet, an AI driven e-discovery solutions and legaltech start-up providing advisory services including e-discovery, forensic technology and data governance.

The CEMS training programme, expected to commence in the second quarter of 2019, will tap on LegalComet Founder and R&T Technologies Chief Operating Officer Michael Lew’s in-depth expertise in e-discovery consultancy and his credentials as a co-author of the book – A Practical Guide to E-Discovery in Asia.

LegalComet Founder and R&T Technologies Chief Operating Officer Michael Lew said: “E-discovery multi-lingual managed review is possibly one of the fastest growing areas in legal gig economy that offers unprecedented flexibility and rewarding income while working from virtually anywhere at any time.”

The CEMS programme will be offered under SAL’s Legal Industry Framework for Training & Education (LIFTED), which aims to make continuing education relevant and accessible.
R&T Technologies offers multidisciplinary solutions including data breach readiness and response, cybersecurity, a virtual law academy, as well as other legaltech services and solutions.

SAL Ventures was founded as a subsidiary of the Singapore Academy of Law in 2017. It runs the Future Law Innovation Programme, a strategic initiative to create a legaltech ecosystem in Singapore and to help the legal community innovate new ways of delivering legal services in the future economy.

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About Rajah & Tann Asia – www.rajahtannasia.com

Rajah & Tann Asia brings together leading law firms and lawyers in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam, with each offering the highest standards of service to locally-based clients while collectively having the capacity to handle the most complex regional and cross-border transactions and to provide excellent legal counsel seamlessly across the region. With around 700 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage.