Litigation Management covers all aspects of the Litigation lifecycle:
Disputes are an unavoidable occurrence when running an organisation, every company will face it at some point. There are however a number of activities and steps that can be taken to try and avoid litigation. These activities include for example: training (to ensure the sales force comply with rules and regulations for example), clear communication rules (what should be put in e-mails and what should not), to effective monitoring of contracts obligations. It is often said that litigation avoidance are a key aspect of the role of the in-house legal function as well as compliance: ensuring the company has the right processes, behaviours and controls to avoid litigation and risks.
Linked to litigation avoidance is the concept of litigation readiness. This assumes that litigation is inevitable and litigation readiness activities aim at preparing the company as much as possible to deal with a dispute in such a way that impact to the business are minimized.
This includes aspects such as clear a communication plan (how is the dispute handled internally, vis a vis customers and public in general?), a crisis and reputation management plan (training your senior leaders on how to respond to dawn raids for example), coherence Records & Documents Management policy (and as part of day to day activities determining what type of document should be kept or culled) and understanding and mapping of custodians (who has access to what information) to name just a few.
E-discovery tools and processes which are often only viewed as "reactive" tools are increasingly used by Legal Departments for due-diligence and house-keeping. It is indeed better to know what documents your various systems hold and decide what to do them (keep vs cull) in a "business as usual" context than when a dispute takes place.
Litigation response is where the traditional E-discovery aspect is most prevalent. The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) covers the whole spectrum, from identification of documents, preservation, collection, processing, review, analysis, production and presentation.
Legal departments are increasingly playing an active role in managing or controlling the process instead of relying on their outside counsel and other providers to carry out all these activities.
A critical aspect of litigation response is "Legal Project Management". Increasingly Legal departments view large litigation cases as "Legal projects" and have specialists team to handle these disputes: these project teams are typically lead by a litigation lawyer who will drive the legal strategy and response, supported by a Project manager who will coordinate all non-legal aspects: internal/external communication, liaising with the Technology team for the e-discovery process, liaising with Outside counsel and other providers.