Monthly Archives: August 2010

Lion City

Situated at the foot of the Malay peninsula with a population of 5 million people from many different countries, Singapore (known as Lion City, although it is thought to be unlikely that lions ever lived there and the beast which gave the city its name was in all probability a tiger!) is an intriguing place, credited with being the fourth richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita and despite its small size is in the top 10 of countries with the highest reserves.

The country of Thomas Raffles and site of what Winston Churchill described as “the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history” (the surrender to the Japanese in 1942) has undergone a remarkable resurgence since independence from Britain in the 1960s. Even more impressive is the current growth rate of the economy of the island/city state which reached an incredible 17.9% in the first half of 2010. What would Messrs Obama, Cameron and Merkel give for a growth rate a fraction of that?

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LPO survey feedback

Thanks to all those who responded to my recent “Legal Process Outsourcing” survey – we had a respectable response rate of around 20% and some individual feedback for which we are most grateful. Here are some preliminary conclusions –

  • Of those responding, a clear majority of about 70% had not outsourced and had no experience of the process. Of the 30% who had some experience, over 80% had experienced mixed or negative aspects of the process – only one respondent said they had had an entirely positive experience.
  • Of those who were thinking of outsourcing, the results were again mixed with 46% agreeing they would consider outsourcing of large disclosure exercises but 54% saying they remained to be convinced of the benefits or who had come to the conclusion that the work should not be outsourced in any circumstances.
  • In response to the question about which aspects of their work they would consider outsourcing, 77% thought that they would consider outsourcing initial document review, the collection and processing of ESI and document review or aspects of their middle or back office functions.

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Back to work

If someone could come up with a solution to the problem of how to deal with everything which has piled up during an absence from the office on holiday, I suspect they would be very popular. Indeed if they could bottle it and sell it they would undoubtedly make a fortune!  In the ever moving world of technology, it is hard enough to keep up with developments when at work but catching up on what has happened after coming back to the office presents a serious problem.

This month is no exception.

Some of the developments are characterised by exotic names and some are rather more prosaic!

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The glorious twelfth

Ask people what they know about the Glorious Twelfth and you may not get a consistent answer.

The Glorious Twelfth, otherwise known as Orangemen’s Day is July 12th and is a Protestant celebration of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and ultimately the victory of the Protestant King Billy (King William III) over the Catholic James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. It is one of the main days of the Ulster marching season to this day. Whoever said that history is written by the victors had a point!

But that is not necessarily the answer most people will give and, as today is August 12th, they could be forgiven for thinking I was referring to that date and not July 12th. They would be right! Today is most often associated with the start of the grouse shooting season (lagopus lagopus scoticus) and the ptarmigan season (lagopus muta) as a result of legislation framed almost 180 years ago.

August 12th is the anniversary of the birthdays of Pete Sampras, tennis player, George IV, Cecil B de Mille and actress Dominique Swaine, famous for her role as the title character in the film of Nabokov’s Lolita.

It is also the anniversary of the death of Ian Fleming and Henry Fonda.

What may be less well known is that August 12th is also the anniversary of:

  • The first sound recording made by Thomas Edison in 1887.
  • The launch of Echo, the world’s first communications satellite in 1969.
  • IBM’s introduction of its first Personal Computer in 1981.
  • Susan Hutchison’s discovery in 1990 in a cliff face in South Dakota of three huge bones later identified as the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found. The skeleton proved to be over 90% complete and has been dated to 65 million years old. Not entirely surprisingly it was nicknamed Sue!
  • Norwich piloting a scheme in 2006, the first in the country, to provide free WiFi access; see my recent post about Civilisation starting in Norfolk!
    [Life but not as we know it – 15th July , 2010]

The best is often kept to last!

Exactly one year ago today, on 12th August 2009, Millnet posted its first piece on the Smart e-Discovery blogFrom the supreme to the ridiculous. I said at the outset that it was intended to be a partly serious and partly light hearted look at the world of e-Discovery and I hope you will agree that it has been true to its word!

We have all enjoyed writing it and hope you have enjoyed reading it.
Happy Birthday to us and here’s to the next 12 months.

Justice of the Beach

Holidays are a wonderful institution!!

Apart from enjoying unbroken sunshine, temperatures in the high 80s to low 90s, warm seas and gentle Mediterranean breezes, I found myself, between meals, while slowly roasting on a flat rock off the north coast of Menorca, thinking about Justice.

Nothing abstract here, but it is a quality which means different things to different people and I just happened to stumble across a few thoughts while experiencing the relaxation for which an empty beach is the perfect accompaniment.

Being in Menorca, it was, I suppose, inevitable that I would be reminded of Admiral John Byng (1704-1757). He famously failed to recapture Menorca from the French in 1756 at the start of the Seven Years’ War and paid for his failure with his life, not heroically like Nelson half a century later but by firing squad.

Despite his protestations that he did not have enough time to prepare, his ships were unseaworthy and he had insufficient men, he was despatched from Gibraltar by an over eager Admiralty in London and after some preliminary skirmishes his ships were beaten at the Battle of Menorca.

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