Deloitte moves further into legal outsourcing with ATD acquisition

Deloitte is expanding its reach into the legal services space with its announcement that it purchased ATD Legal Services Professional Corporation. ATD provides legal support, or what is often termed “on-shore legal process outsourcing,” including managed document review services, in Canada. ATD was profiled, along with other similar legal outsourcing companies, in a Lexpert feature in 2012.

As part of Deloitte’s Financial Advisory practice, Deloitte stated in a press release, “the enhanced team will deliver a complete range of discovery services, including the identification, preservation, processing, hosting, review and production of electronic documents.”

The founder ATD Legal Services, lawyer Shelby Austin, also spoke with Lexpert in 2012 when she was a Lexpert Rising Star:

 

We caught up with Austin to find out about this exciting new phase in her entrepreneurial career. She says this acquisition was all about giving her customers, which are mostly law firms involved in litigation, regulatory response work and corporate transactions, an “end-to-end” solution when they outsource their work to providers like ATD and Deloitte.

Separately, Deloitte has much of the technological expertise and ATD has the legal talent, so they have worked on projects together for some time. But, as Austin put it:

We are entering into a phase where technology is becoming a more important component of this type of work and it was really important for us to develop an entirely Canadian end-to-end solution. This was not an acquisition that was about cost savings. It is quite simply an acquisition that is about growth and about client demand.

Lexpert also spoke with Peter Dent, leader of the Deloitte Forensic practice in Canada, about what this brings to Deloitte’s suite of services in burgeoning area of legal outsourcing:

What Shelby brings to the table, and what that team [at ATD legal] brings to the table, is that they provide that other element that we were not providing. Which is basically the first level of review on large volumes of data. We were seeing that being outsourced to service providers because the cost of having law firm provide those services at their rates was extremely expensive. ..We saw [this acquisition] as an opportunity to vertically integrate that part of the business and offer our clients more of a “cradle to grave service” offering.

Deloitte does employ lawyers presently but Dent says this will increase the in-house legal expertise at Deloitte substantially:

Peter Dent

Peter Dent

There are very few [lawyers at Deloitte] in terms of the size of our overall practice. Now we have a much larger legal mindset component to our practice which makes us unique in the marketplace.

Both Austin and Dent spoke about how this would create a “Canadian solution” to firms and companies looking to outsource some of their legal work. As Dent puts it:

We are a Canadian solution for e-discover technology. Which means if you hire us at Deloitte, your data will stay in Canada. Your data will also stay at Deloitte. We do not subcontract our data warehouses like many of our competitors do or have to do when they get larger files. We have made that investment in the infrastructure. We will manage your data in Deloitte in Canada, so your data will not reside in the US, it will not reside in India, or any other country. It will always stay in Canada. From a privacy standpoint, that gives most of our clients a great deal of comfort.

 

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  1. Deloittes Enter the Legal Arena - LawFuel - June 9, 2014

    […] Deloitte moves further into legal outsourcing with ATD acquisition […]

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