Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner's successful merger supported by innovative integration and collaboration
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
With 1,600 lawyers in 32 offices across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is a fully integrated global law firm that provides clients with connected legal advice, wherever and whenever they need it. The firm is known for its relationship-driven, collaborative culture, diverse legal experience, and industry-shaping innovation and offers clients one of the most active M&A, real estate, financial services, litigation, and corporate risk practices in the world.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP (BCLP) was officially launched April 1, 2018; an integration of two highly innovative firms: Bryan Cave LLP (BC) and Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP (BLP). Both firms bring to the table numerous accolades proving their commitment to staying on the cutting edge of technology and services by promoting a culture of collaboration.
A significant hurdle for BCLP after the merger was how to quickly bring together the two cultures in order to leverage their collective expertise and remain productive. Decisions needed to be made related to how the groups could efficiently and securely work together on projects, such as mirror matters, that needed immediate attention. As each firm owned a different DMS with their own HighQ instance, the groups needed an integrated collaboration solution.
Information Services (IS) was looking to enable the newly merged firm’s internal teams to work together productively, in a controlled and secure manner that was in line with their Information Governance (IG) initiatives. This proved to be a challenge, as legacy BC attorneys work within eDOCS DM, whereas legacy BLP attorneys work within their iManage Work.
Other IS considerations included audit requirements, such as being able to locate and pull any documents or data from their content systems. And due to client security requirements, the eDOCS DM repository of record on the legacy BC side must remain on premise.
Prior to the BCLP merger, both BC and BLP had independently worked towards providing a collaboration solution for their attorneys. Each firm needed a platform that could provide secure extranet sites for collaboration and sharing sensitive information, along with administrative control over access and permissions for their external partners.
- Needed an effective way for attorneys to collaborate on mirror matters with dissimilar matter numbers while working within their respective DMS
- Required a solution capable of securely syncing documents, metadata, and security back to each DMS to meet Information Governance initiatives, maintain ethical walls, and ensure accurate audit reporting
- Preferred a versatile product to support future growth
- Due to client security requirements, legacy BC cannot store data in a cloud environment
As a longtime customer of SeeUnity, BC took SeeUnity’s recommendation to install HighQ Collaborate to meet their needs. Other solutions, such as Box, were considered, but did not meet specific administrative control requirements to maintain ethical walls.
Unrelated, BLP had purchased HighQ Collaborate and SeeUnity was engaged to integrate the platform with BLP’s iManage Work. HighQ Collaborate was chosen in both cases for its advanced document management, file sharing, and project management capabilities.
When BCLP was formed, the firms needed a way to connect and collaborate with as little disruption to current processes as possible. SeeUnity’s Echo Content Synchronization (Echo) product provided the innovative solution needed to merge the two firms’ systems and create an efficient, secure workflow. BCLP has named the solution ‘DMS bridge’. Users from each firm are able to collaborate on mirror matters while working in the systems they’re used to. Effectively, Echo connects legacy BC’s eDOCS DM with their instance of HighQ and with legacy BLP’s iManage Work.
Legacy BC users share their instance of HighQ with legacy BLP as external users. Document management and synchronization rules are in place to handle versioning, permissions, and to ensure IG initiatives are upheld. Audit reporting is conducted from eDOCS, iManage, and via customized HighQ reports.
To address legacy BC’s client policies regarding not sharing or hosting any client content in a multi-tenant cloud environment, HighQ provided a securely managed application that is hosted by HighQ, but dedicated to BC and now BCLP.
By leveraging HighQ’s collaboration sites paired with SeeUnity’s Echo Content Synchronization bi-directional sync, attorneys from each legacy firm are able to efficiently work together on mirror matters, while maintaining IG. This solution helps unify the two legacy firms and supports BCLP’s common strategies.
“The HighQ and SeeUnity partnership enables us to address this complicated task to efficiently and securely bridge the two firm’s document management systems. In the future we’ll be able to extend our collaboration efforts with these products in place.” – Connie Hoffman, Chief Information Officer, BCLP