Latham & Watkins is the world’s largest law firm by revenue. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the firm employs more than 2,000 attorneys in offices all around the world. With so many attorneys representing clients on a variety of legal matters, the firm generates a lot of content: contracts, affidavits, deeds and much more. Traditionally, these documents were shared with clients using Latham’s Microsoft Exchange server. While this was a better option than email, it wasn’t the most secure, which was understandably a priority for a law firm.
Concerns regarding content security were further exacerbated by the rise of shadow IT, namely Latham staff using consumer cloud solutions to share and collaborate on sensitive legal documents. Latham had already restricted the use of these consumer file sharing applications and services but recognized the need to offer an alternative that was both effective and easy to use.
Interestingly, transparency was also a priority. Legal teams needed insight into which files they had sent had been opened or downloaded as these activities provided valuable insight into whether projects were progressing in a timely manner. Having granular visibility into who accessed, edited, sent and received documents, both inside and outside of the firm, also provided Latham’s IT department an audit trail – critical for the firm’s compliance requirements.
Accellion emerged as uniquely qualified to address Latham’s secure content collaboration needs. Josh Gerson, Senior Enterprise Application Analyst at Latham & Watkins, elaborates, “Our attorneys, partners and clients all work on the go and were asking for us to support collaboration from anywhere. This tool was the logical next step for us, as it would give our employees the power to share, edit and sync documents from any device of their choosing.”
Gerson reports the Accellion solution was quickly embraced. Users reported the solution was easy to use and in fact had begun to rely on Accellion for their daily communications.
As the firm strives to be more collaborative with its valued clients, Gerson sees Accellion enabling support of internal and external collaboration through workspaces, shared folders and mobile editing tools. For example, Latham is currently using Accellion as a virtual workspace or data room for its daily operations. A staff member requests a digital workspace in which s/he can securely create, edit, store, share and collaborate on documents with stakeholders of their choosing. Staff is able to work securely and efficiently and IT can easily enforce an expiration date of all files (currently 90 days) in the data room, in adherence to the firm’s strict file retention policies.
“Accellion has become an extremely valuable tool for our attorneys, with 3,500 workspaces participating and 28,000 files being processed at any given time. In addition, kiteworks is poised to meet our firm’s future mobility, security and collaboration needs.”
To Learn More
To learn more how Accellion helps Latham & Watkins share files and collaborate securely, download the case study.