RPC17 February 2016
Early in 2015, global law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP (RPC) identified a need to share large volumes of sensitive legal information without exposing the organisation to compliance risk or data loss. Its solution was to deploy Intralinks® to all of its employees.
RPC is a modern, progressive and commercially focused City law firm, with offices in London, Bristol, Hong Kong and Singapore. Its market leading lawyers provide top quality legal services to global businesses across a wide range of industries, sectors and practices.
For a couple of years, the IT team at RPC had been aware of a need from all areas of the business for a secure and practical means of sharing large amounts of digital information.
First and foremost, communications with clients regularly involved sharing hundreds of confidential documents via online channels. But, there were other sharing use cases within RPC which also required a more secure alternative. The marketing team, for example, shared large files with a number of different types of external agencies, and the firm’s huge population of litigators were constantly moving around a large quantity of electronic data. Additionally, there was a need for the corporate/transactional side of the business to look at and share large volumes of documents when carrying out due diligence.
RPC already had FTP sites in place across the organisation, but they were complicated and, while they suited the firm’s business teams, they were not ideal for its lawyers.
According to Julie Berry, Director of IT and Infrastructure at RPC, “Employees were generally using email to transfer large amounts of sensitive information. By looking at email traffic activity, however, we could see that people were often sending hundreds of emails with a lot of documents attached. Given the size and volume of the files involved, this was simply not practical.”
Also, with a growing raft of laws around data protection and data privacy, it was important for RPC to have control over the information that was being shared beyond its firewall. This meant that consumer-grade file sharing systems could not be used as a means of securing confidential information.
“Lawyers need to be aware that these are not enterprise solutions, and that they shouldn’t be used for sharing sensitive confidential business information,” said Berry.
“While the iPad may belong to them, the information that’s being shared belongs to the organisation and needs to be shared in a secure and responsible manner.”
Whilst there were steps that RPC could have taken to prevent its employees from accidentally leaking sensitive corporate or client information, including blacklisting or even blocking the use of an employee’s preferred free file-sharing service, these would never be sufficient solutions to the problem.
Instead, RPC decided to provide an alternative to email and consumer-grade platforms, which combined an easy-to-use interface with enterprise-grade security features.
“Law firms are regulated,” said Berry, “and therefore require assurance of security around the treatment of their clients’ data.”
Based on a combined need for security and practicality around the sheer volume of data involved, the firm required a hosted solution that could be managed centrally, and that would be easy for its employees to access and use.
Intralinks® was able to meet RPC’s requirement for a solution that offered the ability to upload a large amount of data to a secure location from where it could be downloaded by the receiving party and closed down after a certain length of time.
RPC made its IT Service Desk and Reprographics team aware of the new technology and what it offered, communicating it more widely through its lawyers, IT forum and resourcing managers.
Intralinks is currently used by the firm as a means of transferring large quantities of documents.
The solution has addressed RPC’s need for security and the practicalities of handling large amounts of data.
“With the solution in place,” said Berry, “our lawyers can now tell their clients that, if needed, we can set up a space where they can upload documents, and from where we can now download them.”
“More than anything,” she continues, “it has solved an ongoing annoyance.”
“In terms of dealing with evolving business needs, it is as much of a no-brainer for our firm as our previous needs for a franking machine or DX subscription. This technology is the secure modern equivalent of sending documents via a courier van.”