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Law firm eases e-mail mountain

Daniel Thomas
Global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is planning to roll out an e-mail management system to help its lawyers better manage the estimated 50,000 e-mails it receives every day.

The company, which has 2,400 lawyers in 28 offices around the world, will begin trials of the Worksite suite, from supplier iManage, when it starts shipping next month.

The system, which captures all e-mails and classifies them in a repository alongside documents, spreadsheets, presentations and other relevant business content, will improve collaboration and efficiency, said David Hamilton, IT director at Freshfields.

"We deal with vast quantities of e-mails every day - up to 50,000 - and we need to get them all into a single environment," he said. "The issue is not storage but improving the ability to share information. This is key because we have often have international teams working on the same deals."

Freshfields' current e-mail management system is written with a proprietary Microsoft Outlook interface, so sharing information can be difficult, Hamilton said.

"The web-based capability of iManage is much more usable," he said. "There are fewer steps a lawyer needs to take to share information. They can include the repository as an addressee on the e-mail, meaning it is stored automatically."

The new system will also cut down administration for the IT department, Hamilton said.

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