Faskens and PwC Canada join forces on e-discovery

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP has partnered with professional services firm PwC Canada for the provision of e-discovery services, the firm announced today.

“What this has allowed us to do is to really put together a package and a suite of services that we know includes everything our clients could possibly need,” says Vera Toppings, partner in Faskens’ litigation and dispute resolution group.

Prior to the arrangement with PwC Canada, Faskens dealt with e-discovery on a “case-by-case” basis, which was often more costly and less efficient for clients.

“We would go to the market and solicit quotes from different providers, analyze them, then go back and forth with the providers, and then go back and forth to the client,” Toppings says.

“We were dealing every time with different people in the marketplace — sometimes you don’t have responses from everyone right away, or they aren’t able to provide all the same types of services you may want to be able to offer to the client,” says Toppings.

She notes the pairing is more of a contractual arrangement than a formal partnership.

The e-discovery services will be scalable to any level of client demand and will offer improved predictability of costs. Faskens clients will have access to PwC Canada’s specialists who can share e-discovery industry best practices.

This move follows McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s acquisition of Wortzmans earlier this month, and Toppings says if there seems to be a trend that’s fueling these moves, there’s a good reason for it.

“I think it’s an issue that’s front-of-mind for a lot of law firms,” she says, noting it’s becoming more necessary to be in “the best position possible” to provide these services to clients.

“The expectations on clients, and of course their counsel in guiding them through the process, are very high. I think for that reason lots of firms are thinking about what’s the best way that we can provide this service to our clients and ensure we are advising them and offering them the best options possible for navigating what has become a more complex, involved and risky proposition because the courts have really set high expectations for how these processes will be managed and for the consequences that can flow from doing it improperly.”

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