The global legal tech company is celebrating its tenth anniversary in Canada
As it commemorates its tenth anniversary in the country, Epiq Canada’s managing director, Tiana Van Dyk, says the legal tech company is expanding its offerings beyond e-discovery and document review to include legal transformation services, strategic data management and analytics and consulting and implementation services around artificial intelligence technologies.
Like law firms, the company also plans to shift to an industry-focused approach.
“We're substantially focused this year on building out practice groups to provide additional support to markets like financial services, energy, and competition,” says Van Dyk. “Those markets have such a distinct need for services that it gives us the ability to listen to our clients and turn a product that they're looking for, and that is going to serve [their] business needs.”
Epiq has grown through organic development and strategic acquisitions, including Canada-based Fireman & Company in 2022, Simplex Services in 2021, and H&A e-discovery in 2019. Fireman & Company is a legal industry-focused management consulting firm, Simplex provides alternative legal services, and H&A was an e-discovery provider.
Before Van Dyk joined Epiq Canada, she managed e-discovery and litigation support at Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP in Calgary. She says most Canadian customers, including law firms and corporate legal departments, start working with Epiq through e-discovery. Still, the company’s recent acquisitions have allowed it to provide augmented legal support, legal placements, and information governance support.
“A lot of our relationships are built around our managed services practice, which really is a long-term relationship with us where we're hosting their software, we're helping them manage their program. There's some version of fully self-serve all the way to fully managed, where we're actually operating in a project management capacity.”
Van Dyk says e-discovery can be incredibly complex, where “one wrong decision about search terms” at the outset can have “tremendous cost consequences in the practice of litigation.”
As an example of how Epiq is helping firms outside of traditional e-discovery, Van Dyk cites support for large M&A deals when there are secondary information requests from the Competition Bureau.
Van Dyk says Epiq is also seeing in-house legal department clients become more mature. “As data grows, as compliance needs grow, they're looking for expertise from vendors in a number of different spaces. That has provided us an opportunity to really showcase the things that we can do and the services that we can offer them to augment their business.”
Artificial intelligence is another active area for Epiq. “Epiq is always going to be looking to be at the forefront of the development of generative AI options for our clients. That's something that we feel very strongly about. We want to develop tools and practices for our clients to be able to keep them on the edge of generative AI opportunities.”
Yet Van Dyk says, “People often think [AI] can maybe do a little bit more than it can.”
Epiq offers consulting and implementation services around AI technologies, such as generative AI and large language models, new “Metrics that Matter” dashboards and insights, and the private labelling of the Epiq Service Cloud, the delivery platform for Epiq’s services and solutions.
“Software has evolved a lot,” says Van Dyk. “What we're going to see in the next couple of years is a move from [on-premises] software. We are filtering out the last round of [on-premises software], doing the final push to [where] everything is now in the cloud. That is changing the landscape for a lot of our clients.”