Freehills courts Cloud prior to merger

Australian law firm uses hosted services for e-discovery app ahead of October 1 re-branding, merger

Forecast savings and the ability to scale up storage requirements as required has led Australian law firm, Freehills, to host its e-discovery application at one of Fujitsu’s New South Wales-based data centres.

E-discovery is the legal process of obtaining evidence for a court case from an opposing party through electronic information. The law firm previously managed its e-discovery app on-site.

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“We worked out that we could achieve some significant cost savings and we also have the ability to scale up [the application] when required,” Freehills enterprise technology manager, Gary Adler, said.

“Cases [which require the use of e-discovery] arise but once they have gone to court, it’s passed through and we can scale down.”

Adler added that it would consider hosting other services and applications at Fujitsu's data centre in the future.

However, next on the IT agenda is the merger with global law firm, Herbert Smith, on October 1 this year to create Herbert Smith Freehills. According to Adler, the merger will make it the world’s eighth largest law firm based on total lawyer numbers, with 2800 lawyers, 460 partners and 20 offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the UK.

“We go live in two months so we’ve got some high priority projects that we need to take care of such as email routing and making sure everyone’s email address works,” he said.

In addition, the law firm’s Sydney office is moving to a new location in the central business district during mid-2013.

“From an IT perspective, this is a great opportunity to refresh a lot of the IT equipment and add some new initiatives such as video conferencing,” Adler said.

Freehills has an existing three year co-location data centre agreement with Fujitsu.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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