Steptoe & Johnson

Steptoe & Johnson Relies on LexisNexis® Hosted Litigation Solutions to Consolidate Litigation Data Storage in Single Data Center

Steptoe & Johnson’s attorneys are highly regarded for having the breadth of experience and insight needed to handle complex disputes and resolve difficult regulatory and business problems. Attorneys in practices ranging from tax, government contracts, international trade and intellectual property, to antitrust, insurance, transportation, telecommunications and employment law, know the business and regulatory landscapes exceedingly well and benefit from deep benches of practice-specific trial and appellate lawyers.

In more than 65 years of practice, Steptoe has gained a national and international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in guiding business transactions. The firm has offices in Beijing, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

Situation

In the 2000s, the amount of data—both firm data and litigation data for individual client matters—residing on Steptoe’s global IT network began to skyrocket. This data explosion was creating significant cost management problems for the firm and causing the IT department to express concerns about the potential risk management issues created by having so much data under management.

“Our chief information officer, Dean Olsen, took a look at the situation and recommended to the partners that we make a change in the way the firm managed data,” said John O’Rourke, director of litigation support at Steptoe. “He laid out a strategic vision to consolidate all of our firm and litigation applications and data to one data center, as opposed to managing multiple local data centers around the world. The strategy behind this was to get costs under control, while at the same time reducing the risk of business interruption via the implementation of a viable disaster recovery plan.”

The Steptoe partners understood the challenge and gave the green light to Olsen and his team to pursue the strategy.

“We began exploring the various options for how we might implement this Steptoe & Johnson Relies on LexisNexis® Hosted Litigation Solutions to Consolidate Litigation Data Storage in Single Data Center strategy and soon realized there were significant challenges associated with executing this global data consolidation on our own,” said O’Rourke. “It became clear to us that we needed to be open to other approaches for achieving our objective.”


… we were looking to bring certain electronic discovery applications in house so we could take advantage of the advanced feature sets and efficiencies of enterprise software. We knew this would require a vast hosting infrastructure and substantial hardware, so the idea of partnering with LexisNexis Hosted Litigation made this more feasible.

—John O’Rourke,     Director of Litigation Support Steptoe & Johnson LLP


Solution

Steptoe’s IT and litigation support departments already had a good relationship with LexisNexis. Steptoe was a longtime user of various LexisNexis® legal research and litigation software products, and the firm also had a “co-location” agreement with LexisNexis for data storage and disaster recovery of the firm’s data at a LexisNexis facility in Arizona. So when their LexisNexis representative broached the subject of the company’s robust data management capabilities for law firms, the Steptoe team was intrigued.

LexisNexis Hosted Litigation allows law firms to maintain control of and manage their litigation data by outsourcing the hosting of this data to LexisNexis, the leading legal industry provider of data management services, with more than 35 years of experience operating world-class, global data centers. The service is specifically designed for law firms to store their litigation data on a secure, dedicated and customizable platform.

With Hosted Litigation, LexisNexis manages a secure enterprise network while the law firm maintains and controls its own proprietary data. This enables law firms to significantly reduce costs, minimize risk and eliminate the need to hire additional staff with IT expertise in running data centers. Moreover, since the service is scalable to almost unlimited levels, Hosted Litigation allows law firms to respond rapidly to new cases of any size or unexpected demand for data storage.

In evaluating the service, there were several things that were attractive to the Steptoe team about outsourcing to LexisNexis, but two principal advantages that stood out the most

“First of all, the sheer volume of data we need to store at any given time was becoming a growing burden on our internal IT network, and consequently, we felt that it made sense to hand off this obligation to a legal services provider, rather than consolidating to a single data center we managed ourselves,” said O’Rourke. “Second, we were looking to bring certain electronic discovery … we were looking to bring certain electronic discovery applications in house so we could take advantage of the advanced feature sets and efficiencies of enterprise software. We knew this would require a vast hosting infrastructure and substantial hardware, so the idea of partnering with LexisNexis Hosted Litigation made this more feasible. —John O’Rourke Director of Litigation Support Steptoe & Johnson LLP applications in-house so we could take advantage of the advanced feature sets and efficiencies of enterprise software. We knew this would require a vast hosting infrastructure and substantial hardware, so the idea of partnering with LexisNexis Hosted Litigation made this more feasible.”

After comparing the costs of proceeding on their own—both in terms of time and money—with the benefits of partnering with an established legal services provider, Steptoe selected LexisNexis Hosted Litigation.


By consolidating to a single data center managed by LexisNexis Hosted Litigation, we now have the capacity to deploy even the most robust enterprise software applications throughout the firm.

—John O’Rourke,     Director of Litigation Support Steptoe & Johnson LLP


Benefits

  • Application Hosting
    “By consolidating to a single data center managed by LexisNexis Hosted Litigation, we now have the capacity to deploy even the most robust enterprise software applications throughout the firm,” said O’Rourke. “For example, we recently acquired kCura® Relativity®, an enterprisescale litigation document management platform that runs on a host of specialized virtual and physical servers. The LexisNexis team worked seamlessly with the kCura deployment team to install and configure the software and it has run flawlessly on our Hosted Litigation platform.”
  • Risk Management
    Hosted Litigation employs leading network security, firewall and intrusion detection systems, ultra-high-speed Internet connections, co-location facilities, and the most sophisticated data mirroring and failover technology available. “In the event that we ever had a disaster at our primary LexisNexis data storage facility, we would experience a seamless transfer to another LexisNexis location and no one would even notice anything had happened,” said O’Rourke. “That’s tremendous risk management and business interruption protection, and we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel to obtain it; rather, we opted to leverage the proven track record of LexisNexis Hosted Litigation.”
  • Scalable Storage Capacity
    “We’re often asked to host large new litigation matters on short notice,” said O’Rourke. “In the case of a new matter requiring a terabyte or more of storage capacity, this would more often than not require us to obtain sufficient additional storage capacity before we could even begin loading the data. Given that the provision of the additional storage capacity could take as long as two weeks, we were sometimes forced to outsource data and application hosting on a “one-off” basis to a third-party application service provider. With Hosted Litigation, we can scale up for a multi-terabyte case in just 24 hours.

Hosted Litigation has increased the litigation capacity of our firm without us making large investments in our IT systems or staffing. With the high availability, redundancy and security offered by the LexisNexis Hosted environment, we have raised the quality of litigation support services we provide to our practitioners and their clients, lessened the burden on our internal IT staff, and reduced our risks relative to the management and security of our clients’ litigation data.

—John O’Rourke,     Director of Litigation Support Steptoe & Johnson LLP


“Hosted Litigation has increased the litigation capacity of our firm without us making large investments in our IT systems or staffing,” said O’Rourke. “With the high availability, redundancy and security offered by the LexisNexis Hosted Litigation environment, we have raised the quality of litigation support services we provide to our practitioners and their clients, lessened the burden on our internal IT staff, and reduced our risks relative to the management and security of our clients’ litigation data.”


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.

Location: Washington, D.C. (eight additional offices in U.S., Europe and Asia)

Industry: Legal services

Customer Profile: In more than 65 years of practice, Steptoe has gained a reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in guiding business transactions.

Business Situation: As a way to contain costs and improve risk management, in 2010 Steptoe’s chief information officer laid out a strategic vision to consolidate all of the firm’s litigation data to a single data center. The firm sought out the most reliable and cost-effective way to achieve this objective.

Solution: Steptoe’s IT and litigation support departments already had a good relationship with LexisNexis for software and data storage services, so they were intrigued when they learned about LexisNexis® Hosted Litigation. After comparing the costs of proceeding on their own—both in terms of time and money—with the benefits of allying with an established legal services provider, Steptoe selected LexisNexis Hosted Litigation.

Benefits: 

  • High availability and redundancy with respect to litigation support applications and data 
  • Large enterprise software applications are able to be hosted 
  • Better risk management of litigation data 
  • Scalable storage capacity means that even the largest new matters can be accommodated quickly 
  • Reliable infrastructure management services 
  • Robust security to protect data

Product Summary:

Litigation Services 

  • Hosted Litigation
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