Opening Doors to New Business with Arbitration

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With well-established rules and procedures, specialist courts, judicial impartiality, and a great track record for enforcement arbitral proceedings, it’s no wonder that England almost always tops the charts as one of the most popular seats of arbitration for international disputes. With this comes the need to stand out in a busy legal services market and attract new business from anywhere in the world — something technology can help with. 

Digitisation leads the way 

The digitisation of the arbitral process, largely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, set the stage for an almost immediate shift in arbitral behaviours. Hearings were suddenly being conducted on video, documents were being prepared and submitted electronically, and firms were looking to their tech estate to facilitate digital-first best practices to continue to meet the needs of their global client base.  

Two key technologies continue to help firms attract arbitral business: 

AI-powered, cloud-native edisclosure solutions

Edisclosure tools enable firms to collect, inspect, review, and disclose large quantities of digital documents — meeting and beating incredibly tight disclosure deadlines. But savvy firms have invested in technology that goes further — AI-powered, cloud-native solutions, like DISCO Ediscovery, that render the disclosure process even more efficient, cost effective, and scalable. 

At DISCO, we believe that the legal team should drive the review and the machine should sit in the passenger seat. Our AI is always on, allowing it to learn and improve constantly without interrupting the review process. The AI sits in the passenger seat and watches tagging behaviour — when it’s observed enough activity, it begins to provide tagging suggestions, on its own schedule — without the lawyer having to do anything other than turn on a switch. As the lawyer corrects or accepts these suggestions, its understanding of the review increases, helping the lawyer structure their workflows more efficiently.

In arbitration, like litigation, the use of AI-enabled workflows and solutions will help: 

  • enhance the consistency of document review with increased accuracy and speed 
  • reduce the need to have eyes-on every documents by surfacing the most relevant documents first
  • ensure the ability to meet strict disclosure deadlines by reducing document populations
  • empower lawyers to develop strategy even earlier with more time liberated from the review process.

The cloud-native element of edisclosure is less of a tool in itself, but more of a technological freedom. Cloud technologies versus their on-premises, or on-prem, infrastructure oriented sisters, are always accessible and up to date, come with far fewer support and configuration requirements, and are scalable to any business. In the age of digital-first, global proceedings, global proceedings, the Corporate Counsel Business Journal (CCBJ) says cloud solutions should be the first choice for firms that need flexibility, scalability, and speed to impact. 

Online case management systems (CMS)

CMSes are another IT solution that savvy law firms will continue to use to meet the expectations of a global client base. Having become so much more than electronic data repositories, enhanced CMSes amplify collaboration, facilitate outreach and communication, analyse data, manage and correlate pleadings, and minimise security concerns when compared to paper, or disjointed, multi-stack, legacy workflows.

When looking to invest in a cutting-edge CMS, firms should be on the lookout for a few must-haves that include: 

  1. A high degree of security that complies with industry standards
  2. Full and continued control over the data uploaded to the system 
  3. Regional data hosting as required by the rules governing the seat of arbitration 
  4. Ease-of-use that makes lawyers want to use it 
  5. Collaboration tools that enhance your firm’s ability to communicate  
  6. Always-on availability with round-the-clock support to ensure service levels are met

As technologies continue to develop, look to a CMS that does more than simply organise — it interfaces across systems and enhances workflows. 

Using tech to meet demand  

As more commercial parties turn to arbitration to solve international disputes, and unpredictable events lessen the appeal of newer jurisdictions, England’s reputation as a reliable, respected, and secure seat of arbitration will continue to grow.

Technology can enable firms to access this thriving market from anywhere in the world, as well as handle complex cases in the most efficient way possible. By harnessing-cutting edge legal tech tools, firms can access arbitral proceedings in London.

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Stephen Dearing

Stephen Dearing is General Manager on DISCO's EMEA team. He has extensive experience of building, developing and coaching high-performing businesses and has held several international senior leadership and advisory positions within the software, enterprise, financial technology and data industries.