TR Buys Serengeti Law, Launches GRC unit
More evidence that compliance is moving front-and-center in the legal technology world: Thomson Reuters
More evidence that compliance is moving front-and-center in the legal technology world: Thomson Reutershas acquired Serengeti Law, and has launched a new governance, risk, and compliance business unit.
The new GRC unit is housed within the Thomson Reuters Legal division, and led by David Craig, who assumes the title of president. (He previously served as TR's chief strategy officer.) GRC brings together several existing brands, including Complinet, Paisley, Westlaw Business, West's Capitol Watch, Oden, and Westlaw Compliance Advisor. GRC services address global regulatory and securities intelligence; business law research; contract and deal-drafting tools; internal policy management; e-learning, anti-money laundering; and audit, filing, board of director, and disclosure.
Serengeti Law's flagship software, Serengeti Tracker, provides data and analytic tools to help law departments track, control, manage, analyze, and report on worldwide legal activities. Serengeti is now aligned with TRL's corporate, government, and academic business unit, under the direction of president Mike Suchsland. Tom Melling, former vice president of product management at Serengeti, has been promoted to president. Serengeti will keep its name and brand identity now that it's under the TRL umbrella. Its 50 employees will join TR, and remain based in Seattle and Chicago. Founder Don Murray "will continue in his current sales capacity to set us up for success as we transition," says Suchsland.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. More: EDD Update.
In Law Technology News' September cover story, "Safe Sky," Patrick Oot, general counsel of the Electronic Discovery Institute, details how corporate law departments can be at odds with the business side of their organizations over cloud computing.
As online repositories become dirt cheap, they are more tempting to companies, especially for e-mail and messaging. (Hosted Exchange e-mail services now go for about $2.50 per month per person.)
But the move to the cloud increases risks that must be managed, from privacy to security to potential waivers of attorney-client privilege. And for companies that operate overseas, the problems become even more complicated, as organizations must comply with regulations that can vary from country to country.
Oot dives into some of the risks created and argues that the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act is already out-of-date and needs a revamp, quickly.
I've been suggesting for a while now that compliance issues will overshadow electronic discovery, sooner rather than later. After all, both successful compliance and EDD management have at their core strong document management systems, including document retention policies.
Nixon Peabody just announced that it has expanded the role of litigation partner Jonathan Sablone, who founded the firm's e-discovery group in 2004. Sablone now also leads the firm's information law group.
Sablone succeeds Jonathan Redgrave, who has formed a self-named boutique to continue practicing in the area of information law, the firm says. The two firms will continue to collaborate and serve mutual clients, says Nixon Peabody. The firm also has a litigation technology group that provides consulting and technology services to client, including data collection, processing, forensics, and project management.
"Through Mr. Sablone's efforts, the firm has developed an integated approach that standardizes the electronic discovery process across all of the firm's offices and litigation practice groups," notes Fred Kelly, chair of NP's litigation department. "Mr. Sablone works closely with the client's in-house counsel and IT professionals, providing guidance in litigation preparedness, evidence preservation and electronic data collection, review, and production," he notes.
All these areas of expertise will become increasingly important for firms and their clients as e-discovery matures and stabilizes, and as compliance demands gather steam — especially in the wake of increased focus on regulations affecting the financial, health, insurance, and automotive industries. Don't be surprised if you see more "information law" practice areas emerging in firms over the next year.
(Link to the NP press release will be up shortly).