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 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

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

Footer Logo

© 2019 MANAGED DISCOVERY  |  Manage Your Discovery – Empower Your Review