With apologies to Winston Churchill, never in the field of litigation has so much been owed to so few.
I have been away from the world of blogging and most other forms of social media for some months. It has been a liberating experience which has allowed me to think about the world I used to inhabit when at Eversheds, PwC and Millnet and to ask myself where I should go next.
It soon became apparent from the comments made to me over that time by lawyers and others engaged in the business of litigation, arbitration, mediation in the commercial field or in the regulatory, investigatory or competition arena, that the need for quality objective advice has never been greater.
What do I mean by that?
Litigation is a fact of life, unpleasant for some but something almost every business will face at some stage. There is no sign that the obligation to find the evidence on which a party seeks to rely, to collect it, marshall it and in some instances to disclose at least some of it, is going away. And nor should it! I am not a fan of a system which allows the parties only to produce what they think will help their argument and to ignore the evidence which is inconveniently unhelpful.
The plain fact is, however, that as the technology improves, so the amount of documentation increases. The courts struggle to control cases and we have seen in the recent past innovations such as questionnaires and budgets and costs management. Not all of these have escaped from the early teething problems which new ways of doing things often face; indeed some would say that they have made matters worse (more time consuming and unnecessarily expensive for example).
Whichever view is right, and whichever view you espouse, there can be no doubt that the need for impartial, knowledgeable and experienced advice is essential.
I propose to write further in this vein over the coming weeks and months as I set out on my new roles as a Mediator with Consensum, about which I am very excited, and as someone who has experience of both the world of litigation and the world of litigation support including electronic discovery and who offers litigation triage services.