Importance of Early Consultation with Language Solutions Partner in Litigation Process

ThinkstockPhotos-100597872A global litigation case can be a costly and lengthy procedure for all parties, involving huge volumes of discovery data. According to the 2015 Litigation Trends Annual Survey commissioned by Norton Rose Fulbright, 25% of respondents say that cross-border regulatory inquiries and investigations have increased over the past three years and 48% say cross-border regulation is on the upswing. Companies with annual revenue of $5 billion or more (54%) are more likely to have conducted cross-border discovery in the past 12 months.

During international litigation, data is commonly in multiple languages. Gaining a clear understanding of the content within that data is crucial for the success of each case. Specialized legal translators are usually brought in at the end of a long process when time is short and a court date looming. To develop a timely and cost-efficient strategy for managing foreign language e-discovery documentation, consulting with a legal language solutions partner at the case planning stage can save time, money and produce higher quality translations, ultimately helping the overall case.

Traditionally, when legal teams start working on a litigation matter, they are presented with a massive amount of documents and information, which can contain multiple languages. The English language documents are usually processed and managed first, with the team reviewing which data is important and whether it is relevant to the case. With foreign language data, the team must get the data into some form of understandable and usable format and then decide whether it is relevant to the case. Many teams will higher foreign language contract attorneys or reviewers, at a high cost, to carry out a first-pass review. They then produce a subset and present to the case team to determine its relevancy.

Having foreign language reviewers or contract attorneys conduct the first-pass linear review can be extremely expensive. Further, relevant documents identified during that review still have to be translated professionally.  Combined, this can add up to a costly strategy. Most case teams avoid a full human translation of all foreign language data for first pass review, as it can be very expensive as well, and the majority of the documents translated are not relevant to the case anyway.

Documents that are, in fact, critical to the case and require human translation are often held until the very last minute. At this point a high quality or certified translation is required within a short timeframe, shorter than the ideal time to create the high quality translation that the courts require. This can put the entire case at risk.

Enlisting a legal language solutions consultant to strategize with the case team as early as possible will afford the case team the ability to leverage the expertise and experience of the language solutions partner. Collaboratively, they will identify and execute the management and translation of foreign language case data in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

Use of technology-assisted translation (TAT) can provide review teams with better, more relevant translation output, allowing first pass review to be conducted with English-speaking reviewers, as opposed to their more expensive foreign language counterparts. In addition to this process being less expensive, the quality of output can be equivalent. TAT solutions have improved greatly over recent years and enable global litigation teams to work through very large foreign language datasets at lower costs and with greater effectiveness.

Maintaining regular and early communications with the case team to develop a foreign language strategy allows specialized translation resources to be aligned before they are needed. Additionally, early engagement of the translators leads to greater case familiarity, as well as glossary creation. This will lead to a higher quality translation even within expedited timelines.

Park IP Translations has a great deal of experience handling global litigation matters and the expertise to know how best to handle the related language solutions. We draw on our expertise, provide advice, and propose different solutions to fit just about any case schedule and budget.  As an extension of their case teams, we have helped countless clients overcome the challenges associated with foreign languages in global litigation. We work together to find the most cost-effective and efficient strategies, achieving proven results.


For additional information about Park IP Translations Litigation Language Services, contact Jeff at

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