Lessons Learned and Best Practices for Doing Document Review in China

Lesson 3: Compliance Review Is Not Just About State Secrets

January 26, 2020

By Michael Vella, Managed Discovery

Managed Discovery understands the needs of lawyers because we have walked in your shoes, including down the unusual paths of the People’s Republic of China. Our team of legal specialists has more than a decade of experience handling litigation and investigations involving documents and witnesses residing in China. Through this experience, we have formed definite views about how PRC document review can be managed efficiently, qualitatively, and in compliance with local law.

In connection with the launch of our China Document Review Service , we are pleased to share the top four lessons we have learned about the China review environment in this series of emails. Here is our third lesson in the four part series. 

Lesson 3: Compliance Review In Not Just About State Secrets

Challenge: As in most jurisdictions, PRC law requires some form of compliance review to ensure there is no violation of local law requirements. But compliance with local law, such as the China State Secrets Law, should not compromise the quality of your substantive review. When staffed adequately and supervised properly, the review by local lawyers should seamlessly encompass both relevance review and compliance review in an efficient workflow that includes timely feedback. But too often, international law firms and their e-discovery providers lose control of the review process by deferring to a local law firm to conduct a first-pass compliance review before any relevance review is conducted. This is wasteful because it effectively involves two separate lawyer reviews of the same document. Even if the local firm reviews for both compliance and relevance, they often remain a separate team and fail to provide the type of prompt feedback that e-discovery vendors need to identify and re-batch the most relevant documents. Without prompt feedback, the review suffers both in terms of quality and efficiency. The point of this lesson is that compliance with local law does not require loss of control of the review process. Of course, lawyers and clients need to comply with local law. But with the right planning, compliance with local law can be achieved as part of an integrated review process focused on the merits of the case.

Solution: Because privacy-related risks arise in every case, Managed Discovery prefers to talk about the process of compliance review more generally, and not just about state secrets review. As part of the compliance review process, companies and law firms should not only ensure that the document review is sensitive to State Secrets concerns, but also must be careful to identify and protect private information. This may involve significant redaction of personally identifiable information (PII). In addition, the best-managed compliance teams take a proactive approach to privacy risks in China by obtaining employee consents to disclosure, copying, and export of their private information during the hiring process or at least prior to collection of employee data. The Chinese privacy laws allow considerable flexibility for the review process when such consents are in place. Accordingly, Managed Discovery recommends talking with your Chinese counsel about these matters in advance of any document review. Working with your counsel, we can then implement a compliance review process to reduce your company’s risk.

Just One More Thing
Managed Discovery takes document review to the next level of quality wherever we go. Our China Document Review Service is the result of more than a decade of experience that our China team leader gained while working at two international law firms in Shanghai. As a result, we believe our service offers a unique combination of quality, compliance, and cost.

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Watch for future emails to learn…
Lesson 4: Not All Local Lawyers Are Created Equal

We invite you to contact us for more information.
(949) 861-1711
info@manageddiscovery.com

To learn more visit our website

About the Author
MICHAEL VELLA Vice President of Business Development Having lived and worked in China for more than 10 years, I understand the full range of risks and opportunities of doing business here. In addition to handling IP risks, I have helped companies handle some of their most sensitive operational issues in China, including resolving matters involving theft, fraud and corruption. I have handled compliance investigations involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Chinese anticorruption laws, the UK Bribery Act, U.S. securities laws, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

About Managed Discovery
Managed Discovery is a team of legal and technology specialists, uniquely qualified to manage document review for high-stakes litigation, government investigations and foreign compliance matters. Our team includes former government and Big Law attorneys who understand client needs and legal requirements, ensuring that our services are both cost-efficient and legally defensible.

For more information contact:
Company: Managed Discovery
Website: www.manageddiscovery.com
Contact Name: Myron Jadwin at mjadwin@manageddiscovery.com
Contact Name: Michael Vella at mvella@manageddiscovery.com

Lessons Learned and Best Practices for Doing Document Review in China

Lesson 2: Don’t Let the Tail Wag the Dog

November 12, 2019

By Michael Vella, Managed Discovery

Managed Discovery understands the needs of lawyers because we have walked in your shoes, including down the unusual paths of the People’s Republic of China. Our team of legal specialists has more than a decade of experience handling litigation and investigations involving documents and witnesses residing in China. Through this experience, we have formed definite views about how PRC document review can be managed efficiently, qualitatively, and in compliance with local law.

In connection with the launch of our China Document Review Service , we are pleased to share the top four lessons we have learned about the China review environment in this series of emails.

Here is our second lesson in the four part series (lesson one is included below).

Lesson 2: Don’t Let the Tail Wag the Dog

Challenge: As in most jurisdictions, PRC law requires some form of compliance review to ensure there is no violation of local law requirements. But compliance with local law, such as the China State Secrets Law, should not compromise the quality of your substantive review. When staffed adequately and supervised properly, the review by local lawyers should seamlessly encompass both relevance review and compliance review in an efficient workflow that includes timely feedback. But too often, international law firms and their e-discovery providers lose control of the review process by deferring to a local law firm to conduct a first-pass compliance review before any relevance review is conducted. This is wasteful because it effectively involves two separate lawyer reviews of the same document. Even if the local firm reviews for both compliance and relevance, they often remain a separate team and fail to provide the type of prompt feedback that e-discovery vendors need to identify and re-batch the most relevant documents. Without prompt feedback, the review suffers both in terms of quality and efficiency. The point of this lesson is that compliance with local law does not require loss of control of the review process. Of course, lawyers and clients need to comply with local law. But with the right planning, compliance with local law can be achieved as part of an integrated review process focused on the merits of the case.

Solution: Managed Discovery believes the best solution is to place locally licensed contract attorneys under the direct supervision of the legal-merits team, ideally in the same location. This can be in the conference room of an international law firm, in a secure document-review room that we arrange, or even in the client’s own offices. The important thing is that there is a direct and prompt line of communication between the review team and the lawyers in charge of the merits of the case. This makes it easier for the merits team to exercise quality control over the review team’s work, and facilitates prompt feedback to your e-discovery vendors. But none of this is possible if you lose control of your data by adopting a workflow that prioritizes compliance concerns over substantive results. If you have questions about how Managed Discovery is able to strike this balance for our clients, please contact us for a detailed presentation.

Managed Discovery takes document review to the next level of quality wherever we go. Our China Document Review Service is the result of more than a decade of experience that our China team leader gained while working at two international law firms in Shanghai. As a result, we believe our service offers a unique combination of quality, compliance, and cost.

Download PDF

Watch for future emails to learn…
Lesson 3: Compliance Review Is Not Just About State Secrets
Lesson 4: Not All Local Lawyers Are Created Equal


We invite you to contact us for more information.
(949) 861-1711
info@manageddiscovery.com

To learn more visit our website

About Managed Discovery
Managed Discovery is a team of legal and technology specialists, uniquely qualified to manage document review for high-stakes litigation, government investigations and foreign compliance matters. Our team includes former government and Big Law attorneys who understand client needs and legal requirements, ensuring that our services are both cost-efficient and legally defensible.

For more information contact:
Company: Managed Discovery
Website: www.manageddiscovery.com
Contact Name: Myron Jadwin at mjadwin@manageddiscovery.com
Contact Name: Michael Vella at mvella@manageddiscovery.com

Lessons Learned and Best Practices for Doing Document Review in China

Lesson 1: Costs Can Be Controlled

October 27, 2019

By Michael Vella, Managed Discovery

Managed Discovery understands the needs of lawyers because we have walked in your shoes, including down the unusual paths of the People’s Republic of China. Our team of legal specialists has more than a decade of experience handling litigation and investigations involving documents and witnesses residing in China. Through this experience, we have formed definite views about how PRC document review can be managed efficiently, qualitatively, and in compliance with local law.

In connection with the launch of our China Document Review Service , we are pleased to share the top four lessons we have learned about the China review environment in this series of emails.

Lesson 1: Costs Can Be Controlled

Challenge: Unlike the United States, China does not have a large reserve of competent contract attorneys available for discrete document-review projects. And if you hire an attorney as an employee to assist in a review, the Chinese labor law makes it difficult to release them when their services are no longer needed. For this reason, clients may assume their only options are to hire either an international law firm or a large Chinese law firm to conduct the review. But neither option is ideal given the prohibition against foreign firms practicing Chinese law and the expensive rates charged by such large law firms, including large Chinese firms. Fortunately, there are other options.

Solution: Although large Chinese law firms are now charging rates that are quickly approaching their international counterparts’ prices, there are other options in the market for retaining Chinese document-review attorneys at reasonable prices. These include smaller law firms, local accounting firms with legal departments, and various local service providers with Chinese attorneys on staff. Managed Discovery works with such companies as a source of review talent, and we charge a very modest (and completely transparent) markup of their fees. This solution provides the closest alternative to contract attorneys for document review. Their rates are reasonable and they are happy to work under the supervision of your international counsel without any competitive jealousies. And as discussed in Lesson 3, we ensure that these reviewers are trained and supervised on Chinese law issues by a respected senior leader of the Beijing Bar who has a deep understanding of the PRC legal and regulatory environment. In this way, Managed Discovery’s solution is both cost effective and compliant.


Just One More Thing


Managed Discovery takes document review to the next level of quality wherever we go. Our China Document Review Service is the result of more than a decade of experience that our China team leader gained while working at two international law firms in Shanghai. As a result, we believe our service offers a unique combination of quality, compliance, and cost.

Download PDF

Watch for future emails to learn…
Lesson 2: Don’t Let the Tail Wag the Dog
Lesson 3: Compliance Review Is Not Just About State Secrets
Lesson 4: Not All Local Lawyers Are Created Equal


We invite you to contact us for more information.
(949) 861-1711
info@manageddiscovery.com

To learn more visit our website

About Managed Discovery
Managed Discovery is a team of legal and technology specialists, uniquely qualified to manage document review for high-stakes litigation, government investigations and foreign compliance matters. Our team includes former government and Big Law attorneys who understand client needs and legal requirements, ensuring that our services are both cost-efficient and legally defensible.

For more information contact:
Company: Managed Discovery
Website: www.manageddiscovery.com
Contact Name: Myron Jadwin at mjadwin@manageddiscovery.com
Contact Name: Michael Vella at mvella@manageddiscovery.com

Managed Discovery Launches Document Review Services in China​

October 9, 2019

Legal services provider supplies companies and international law firms in China with expert managed document review.

Managed Discovery – the document review and legal services company Managed by Lawyers for Lawyers℠ – is pleased to announce the launch of its China Document Review Service (the “China Service”). The China Service provides a new, efficient and compliant choice for companies and international law firms requiring review of large data sets residing on servers and computers in China.

Managed Discovery’s China Service reviews documents for relevance, privilege and compliance with Chinese laws, such as the PRC privacy and state secrets laws. Our reviewers are PRC-qualified lawyers who are employed at local law and accounting firms with which we cooperate. To improve both quality and security, our reviewers can conduct the reviews under the substantive supervision of our client’s legal department or the client’s international counsel, and can be based in secure locations such as our client’s office, the office of their international counsel or in a specially-purposed document review room. This improved control of the review process also results in quicker feedback to e-discovery service providers who can use the initial review results to re-batch documents for a more efficient review workflow. The PRC law compliance aspect of the China Service is supervised by a highly respected, senior leader of the Beijing Bar who will train the review team on PRC law compliance issues and will make the final decision on whether, and under what circumstances, documents may be exported.

 

Managed Discovery’s China Service arises from the experience of our VP of Business Development, Michael Vella, who handled internal investigations and litigations in China for over a decade as a partner with the Shanghai offices of international law firms. As Vella, explains: “I noticed that other document review options in China either cost too much, failed to adequately address PRC law compliance concerns, or gave up too much control over the review process. We designed Managed Discovery’s China Service so clients’ no longer need to compromise on the goals of cost, compliance or control.”

“Vella’s experience, and the professional relationships he formed in China, allows Managed Discovery to offer a unique combination of efficiency, quality and compliance in our China document reviews.” Myron Jadwin, CEO, said. “International expansion of our attorney review services, to include PRC law compliance, compliments our well-established GDPR request processing. Combined with our discovery services, Managed Discovery is one of a select group of Alternative Legal Service Providers (ALSP’s) capable of managing cross-border discovery needs. We invite our clients to inquire for further details.”

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About Managed Discovery

Managed Discovery is a team of legal and technology specialists, uniquely qualified to manage document review for high-stakes litigation, government investigations and foreign compliance matters. Our team includes former government and Big Law attorneys who understand client needs and legal requirements, ensuring that our services are both cost-efficient and legally defensible.

For more information contact:

Company: Managed Discovery
Website: www.manageddiscovery.com

Contact Name: Myron Jadwin at mjadwin@manageddiscovery.com

Contact Name: Michael Vella at mvella@manageddiscovery.com

If you have any questions regarding information in these press releases please contact the company listed in the press release. Our complete disclaimer appears here.

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