Reed Smith

2 October 2015 11:04am

Reed Smith works with LexisNexis for global technology services to achieve greater attorney collaboration, more agile worldwide IT support and total compliance with data security standards.

Case Study 

Founded in 1877, Reed Smith represents leading international businesses in complex litigation and other high-stakes disputes, cross-border and other strategic transactions, and crucial regulatory matters.

With more than 1,600 lawyers throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Reed Smith is known for its experience across a broad array of industry sectors. The firm counsels 13 of the world’s 15 largest commercial and savings banks, eight of the world’s 15 largest oil and gas companies, and the world’s three largest pharmaceutical distribution and wholesale companies. Reed Smith’s shipping practice has been designated among the most preeminent in the world and its advertising law practice is regarded as among the finest in the legal profession.

Reed Smith has grown in large part because of its uncommon commitment to delivering high-quality service and developing long-term client relationships. The lawyers’ approach to service begins by understanding clients’ business goals, then applying the resources necessary to help achieve them.

Situation 

A longtime fixture of the American legal services industry, over the course of the past decade Reed Smith has emerged as one of the world’s largest law firms, with clients that have varied business interests all over the globe. This growth brought with it a variety of infrastructure challenges, particularly as related to information technology.

“It was clear to the partners that they needed a world-class data network to support the world-class work the firm was doing, but a major obstacle to this goal was the fact that data and applications were stored in each individual office,” explained Gary Becker, Chief Information Officer. “When I joined the firm in 2005, I was assigned this challenge and asked to implement a strategic plan that would allow the firm to provide the IT infrastructure necessary to support our aggressive global expansion.”

After studying the options available, the IT group recommended to the partners that it would be important to consolidate its data centers and migrate to a scalable computer network that would reside on a platform hosted by a third party.

Solution

After interviewing several companies that might be able to help the firm implement its strategic vision of moving to a hosted network environment, Reed Smith selected LexisNexis to be its provider.

The firm engaged the Lexis Managed Technology Solutions team to design and execute a major data consolidation project that would achieve enhanced attorney collaboration, more reliable network access and more agile setup capabilities when the firm entered a new global market.


In spite of the significant increase in worldwide technology needs over the past five years, the hosted model has enabled Reed Smith to maintain a very flat IT budget over that period of time. 

There are a number of factors that have influenced this flat cost structure, but quite simply moving to a hosted model with LexisNexis has provided us with tremendous cost efficiencies.

—Gary Becker, Chief Information Officer.

Lexis Managed Technology Solutions is a customizable service offering from LexisNexis that provides law firms with a strategy for decreasing data management costs and reducing risk through data management automation. The service offers customers access to the best practices in data and policy management with the only global hosting solution developed and tailored for law firms, backed by a track record of more than 35 years in legal data management.

Services include:

  • Replication—real-time or near-real-time moving of data to a location outside the primary storage system or to another facility to allow for quick restoration in the event of physical damage to systems and buildings 
  • Security—applying best practices and security technology to the storage system to augment server and network security measures 
  • Systems and application management—exceptional service delivery with 100 percent satisfaction rates for management of law firm systems and applications 
  • Network services—network design and consulting, validation and testing, implementation, management and monitoring

To support these services, LexisNexis operates a number of top-tier, high-availability data centers in Ohio, Illinois and Arizona, as well as additional data centers in London and Hong Kong. These data centers serve as the primary or secondary hosting sites for law-firm data and systems and protect firms against business interruptions.

“We phased in our migration to the hosted LexisNexis platform one continent at a time,” said Becker. “In 2006 – 2007, we migrated all of our U.S. offices. Over the next two years, we moved each of our European and Middle Eastern offices. More recently, in 2010 – 2011, we migrated our Asian offices over to the new consolidated environment.”

Benefits 

“Reed Smith has achieved significant workflow benefits, efficiency benefits and data security benefits by moving to a hosted computing environment model,” said Becker. He cited five primary specific benefits:

  1. Enhanced collaboration among Reed Smith attorneys worldwide
    Reed Smith professionals in different geographic areas can easily access the same data files and efficiently work on projects together in real time. Just as important, they can collaborate while working on virtually any device, ranging from a desktop in an office or a laptop at home to a mobile device in a hotel. This is all made possible by the consolidation of data centers into one global network hosted by LexisNexis.
  2. More agile worldwide IT support of the firm’s international expansion
    In Chicago, the firm was able to switch more than 230 users from their legacy data network at a previous law firm—which merged with Reed Smith —to the new Reed Smith data center in just a single weekend. And the firm is now preparing to open a permanent office in Shanghai, which will be accomplished literally overnight by relying on the Asian data center that is managed by LexisNexis. “Neither of those quick start-ups would have been possible in those time frames without the hosting relationship we have with LexisNexis,” said Becker.
  3. Reliable network access from any location and any authorized device
    “By having our data centers centralized on a hosted platform maintained and managed by LexisNexis, our lawyers can access documents from anywhere in the world, at any time, and on any authorized device,” said Becker. “The best part is that this all takes place in a totally seamless manner and the attorney doesn’t even have to give it a second thought.”
  4. Firm is fully compliant with ISO standards for disaster recovery and data security
    According to Becker, an unexpected—and tremendously welcome— surprise benefit of collaborating with Lexis Managed Technology Solutions has been the firm’s compliance with international standards for data recovery. “We represent a number of major financial institutions, which are notorious for their strict demands on data security and business continuity,” said Becker. “We recently underwent an audit conducted by one of the leading banks in the U.S. and were told that our data security plans were the best out of the last 100 firms they had audited. This certification is an important stamp of approval for us when working with major international clients.”
  5. Hosted environment has delivered significant cost efficiencies to IT budget
    “In spite of the significant increase in worldwide technology needs over the past five years, the hosted model has enabled Reed Smith to maintain a very flat IT budget over that period of time,” said Becker. “There are a number of factors that have influenced this flat cost structure, but quite simply moving to a hosted model with LexisNexis has provided us with tremendous cost efficiencies.”

Our expectations have been surpassed by Lexis Managed Technology Solutions due to the costeffectiveness of their hosted platform, the agility of their network services to keep up with our firm’s international growth, and the ability of their disaster recovery model to meet clients’ expectations for data security.

—Gary Becker, Chief Information Officer.

Conclusion 

“Our expectations have been surpassed by Lexis Managed Technology Solutions due to the cost-effectiveness of their hosted platform, the agility of their network services to keep up with our firm’s international growth and the ability of their hosted platform to meet clients’ expectations for data security,” said Becker. “By each of these crucial measures, our partnership with LexisNexis has been a tremendous success for Reed Smith.”


The opinions expressed within this case study represent customer opinions. LexisNexis believes this case study experience generally represents the experience found with other similar customer situations. However, each customer will have its own subjective goals and requirements and will subscribe to different combinations of LexisNexis services to suit those specific goals and requirements. This case study may not be deemed to create any warranty or representation that any other customer’s experience will be the same as the experience identified herein. LexisNexis uses the customer’s trademarks herein with the customer’s permission.

Firm: Reed Smith 

Locations: 23 offices in U.S., Europe, Middle East and Asia 

Industry: Legal services 

Customer Profile: Reed Smith represents many of the world’s leading companies in complex litigation and other high-stakes disputes, cross-border and other strategic transactions, and crucial regulatory matters. With lawyers from coast-to-coast in the United States, as well as in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Reed Smith is known for its experience across a broad array of industry sectors. 

Business Situation: Over the course of the past decade, Reed Smith has emerged as one of the world’s largest law firms, with clients that have varied business interests all over the globe. As the firm experienced this rapid expansion, the IT managers recommended to the partners that it would be important to consolidate its data centers and migrate to a scalable computer network that would reside on a platform hosted by a third party. 

Solution: After interviewing a number of potential technology providers to help them implement the vision of moving to a hosted network environment, Reed Smith selected LexisNexis. The firm engaged the Lexis® Managed Technology Solutions team to design and execute a major data consolidation project that would achieve enhanced attorney collaboration, reliable 24/7 network access and more agile setup capabilities when the firm entered a new global market.

Benefits: 

  • Enhanced collaboration among Reed Smith attorneys worldwide 
  • More agile worldwide IT support of the firm’s international expansion 
  • Reliable network access from any location and any authorized device 
  • Firm is fully compliant with ISO® standards for data security
  • Hosted model with LexisNexis has delivered significant cost efficiencies 

Product Summary: 

Litigation Solutions

  • Lexis® Managed Technology Solutions
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