eDisclosure project assistant

Macfarlanes’ litigation practice is recruiting an eDisclosure project assistant to work in the case management unit (“CMU”), which was established in early 2015 to provide specialist eDiscovery, disclosure and general litigation support for the firm.

The successful candidate will work closely alongside the CMU lead (a senior solicitor) and two consultant eDisclosure project managers.

The role is to support the work of the CMU generally, with particular focus on two key areas:

  • assisting eDisclosure project managers in providing technical and user support for data collection, processing and review exercises and for electronic trial bundle software; and 
  • providing administrative support, such as maintaining project, disclosure and external device logs and dealing with invoices from eDisclosure vendors. 

The role offers the opportunity to become an integral part of the busy litigation team at a leading London firm.  For the right candidate the role also offers career development and in particular the opportunity over time to become an eDisclosure project manager, with support from our team and training (including formal eDisclosure qualifications/certifications).

The role

The successful candidate will have a grounding in eDisclosure and knowledge and understanding of litigation processes.  Either a law degree or a technology based background would be an advantage.

eDisclosure

Much of the successful candidate’s time is likely to be spent assisting with the management of document review exercises from collection through to production, and in particular working with the eDisclosure project managers on the following tasks:

  • providing user training and support to clients and lawyers in the use of the Macfarlanes eDisclosure platform;
  • providing on-going technical support and basic troubleshooting of the platform, and liaising with the provider of the platform in relation to more complex issues;
  • carrying out quality-control measures and privilege checks to ensure integrity of disclosure;
  • assisting on data mapping with clients and their IT consultants, liaising with external forensic IT consultants in more complex exercises;
  • assisting with forensic data copying, using RoboCopy and encryption/decryption technologies;
  • assisting with the processing and searching of forensically collected data using Nuix software;
  • creating and working on csv files and loadfiles for edisclosure platforms, requiring an ability to work with delimiters and to convert data between various file formats; and
  • advising colleagues of data archiving and deletion options at the end of a matter, and undertaking archiving and deletion.

Administrative support

In addition, the project assistant will have primary responsibility for a number of administrative tasks, including creating and maintaining:

  • detailed disclosure logs, recording the actions taken at each phase of a disclosure project (including sources from which data collected, keyword, date and other filters applied, predictive coding methodology applied and QC processes) and in particular ensuring Disclosure Pilot-compliant records are kept for appropriate cases;
  • a CMU ‘projects tracker’ spreadsheet containing a summary of all active and inactive CMU cases, including project names, matter numbers, and billing information;
  • an encrypted log of external hard drives and USBs of source data (which the project assistant will be responsible for labelling and securely storing); and
  • a log of feature requests and technical issues which have been submitted to the provider of the firm’s eDisclosure platform.

Further administrative tasks will include:

  • being responsible for dealing with invoices received from external suppliers (checking that they are accurate, forwarding them on to fee earners, liaising with suppliers and fee earners in relation to overdue invoices);
  • completing project documentation, such as purchase orders for external suppliers, including completing basic GDPR/Privacy Impact Assessment information;
  • obtaining updates from fee earners on the status of particular cases, and reporting these to the CMU in a weekly team meeting or  call;
  • recording, diarising and actioning any tasks arising out of the CMU weekly meeting; and
  • maintaining project diaries and task lists for the project managers.

Other responsibilities

The project assistant will also be involved in:

  • assisting with the creation of electronic trial bundles (using products such as Opus2 Magnum and XBundle), by preparing documents to ensure they are in the correct format/folder structure and liaising with the external provider;
  • developing and continuing our relationships with external litigation support service providers (eg. eDisclosure platform providers, managed review companies);
  • keeping abreast of technological developments in the marketplace, both in terms of eDisclosure and electronic trial bundles and also other litigation-related software (eg costs budgeting/monitoring software); and
  • keeping up-to-date with developments in case law concerning privilege and the deployment of data management and forensic services in adversarial proceedings.

This job description encompasses the main duties of the role and is by no means exhaustive.  It is anticipated that duties may vary from time to time accordingly in line with the needs of the practice area.

The candidate

The ideal candidate will have a background in the technical aspects of eDisclosure and in particular good experience of the administrative aspects and workings of an eDisclosure review platform, and a grounding in legal and litigation processes.

They will be expected to have excellent knowledge of: the full Microsoft Office Suite of software and in particular Excel with the use of formulas, macros, pivot tables and VBA script; Adobe Acrobat Pro; Notepad++; directory listers and renamer tools.

It would be a bonus (but is not essential) if the individual concerned:

  • was able to understand network topologies and typical corporate IT systems, and ask pertinent questions to ensure that all relevant material has been identified in relevant systems; and
  • has familiarity with the Civil Procedure Rules on disclosure (including the new Disclosure Pilot), and on the GDPR and Privacy Impact Assessments in the context of eDisclosure.

The successful candidate will be technically very astute, have an intuitive ability to understand and utilise new software.  They will also have strong academic qualifications at GCSE and A level, with a minimum 2:1 degree (if applicable).

The successful candidate will be required to undertake training and certification programmes for the firm’s eDisclosure platform, and will be provided with further on-the-job training by the CMU lead and eDisclosure project managers.  As such, they will be expected to demonstrate an ongoing willingness to learn and to develop into the role.

The successful candidate will also demonstrate:

  • a very high level organisational abilities displaying a consistently diligent, thorough and conscientious approach to record-keeping which is an essential part of the role;
  • an ability to work in a fast-paced environment and to prioritise their work; in particular: excellent time management skills and an ability to track and manage multiple, simultaneous tasks;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • a proactive approach to their work, ensuring they ‘take ownership’ of tasks which have been delegated to them, anticipating next steps that may need to be taken and identifying and discussing with more senior team members other ways in which they may assist the work of the CMU;
  • analytical and problem solving skills;
  • a willingness to ask questions about their work in order to ensure both that they fully understand tasks which have been assigned to them and also to increase their knowledge and understanding of eDisclosure and the litigation process;
  • a willingness to be a team player, and to be flexible in terms of the support they will be asked to provide both the CMU and the wider litigation practice; and
  • commercial awareness, both in relation to the businesses of our clients, and in relation to the work of the litigation team.

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