Paperless systems could benefit the legal system, say experts

The idea of going paperless is very much the topic du jour for many businesses looking to upgrade their operations – both administrative and otherwise. Now, a group of legal professionals have suggested that doing so could present numerous benefits for those working in the legal system.

Joanna Bromhead, partner at Bond Dickinson, has highlighted the advantages of being able to more easily make tweaks to electronic documents and share them with all necessary parties in any given proceedings.

“The ability [...] to annotate transcripts and documents as the trial progressed was helpful in the preparation of closing submissions,” she said, as reported by the Lawyer. “The judge in particular seemed very keen on its use and did not take any handwritten notes during the six-week trial.

“Our clients and experts found the trial much easier to follow than with traditional paper bundles,” the expert added.

What’s more – and as within any industry – going paperless facilitates mobility and flexibility for employees, who would otherwise need to travel around with a wealth of documents and files.

This benefit was touched upon by Andrew Moran QC, a barrister with Stone Chambers, who explained how he was able to carry one particular case in its entirety around on a laptop – a case for which the hard copies were said to have filled several rooms in the court building.

What’s more, electronic copies make it easier to search documents for particular passages or pieces of information.

John Reynolds, a partner at White & Case, explained how statements and court documents are getting much longer. He claimed that without paperless technology, it would be “impossible” to manage and present this information for trial effectively.

Ironically, it could be argued that it is this explosion of technology that has brought so much more data and information to the fore. However, it would appear that while it may have created a lot more collateral for professionals to deal with – be it in the legal sector or any other for that matter – it also presents the solution.

“Once you’ve used [a paperless system], you never want to do a trial without it,” confirmed Mr Reynolds.

Originally published to’s page.
David Wilkinson,Sales & Technical Director at SSL


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