The Lawyer

Paper bundles in litigation ​— it doesn’t have to be this way

For many of us, paper documents are a thing of the past. Sure, we might keep a copy of our birth cer­tificate, marriage certificate or perhaps our driver’s licence, but that’s about it. From bank statements to utility bills, from share certificates to medical records, technology is rendering paper documents obsolete.

Despite the overwhelming trend towards e-documents, certain industries continue to drag their feet. Anyone that has ever been involved in a litigation case will know that the legal industry is one of the laggards. We estimate that for the average 20-day litigation trial around eight printed copies of up to 80 lever-arch files, each with up to 400 pages, will be required. That’s more than 200,000 printed pages.

Surely there is a more efficient way? With this ques­tion in mind, The Lawyer Research Service conducted a survey of more than 200 legal practitioners including trainees, paralegals, barristers and QCs to identify exactly how much time and money is currently being spent on paper trial bundles. We also wanted to gauge their support for technological solutions that reduce the emphasis on paper. In parallel, we interviewed a series of individuals to add context to our survey data…

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