eDiscovery Leaders Live: Arjuna Guruge of Herbert Smith Freehills

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Arjuna Guruge of Herbert Smith Freehills


Arjuna Guruge (AJ), Associate Director, eDiscovery and Legal Technology, Australia & Asia, at Herbert Smith Freehills, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive.

AJ Arjuna leads Herbert Smith Freehills’s Alternative Legal Services (ALT) eDiscovery and Legal Technology practice for Australia and Asia, where he is responsible for the strategic direction of HSF’s eDiscovery and Legal Technology services and manages a team of technology specialists supporting HSF’s global clients across Australia and Asia. Arjuna has over 17 years’ experience in managing end to end eDiscovery and legal technology backed projects, experience that spans across key aspects of evidence management including scoping, preservation, collection, forensic analysis, and applying sophisticated technology applications to deliver efficient evidence interrogation services.

AJ discussed the new offerings they are focusing on, what his team is bringing to the market, and how they differentiate themselves.

Key Highlights

    • [1:33] Introducing AJ.
    • [1:44] How AJ got into eDiscovery and what he does today.
    • [3:14] AJ’s group AJ and what they do.
    • [4:29] A higher degree of self-sufficiency.
    • [6:18] Offerings services directly to clients, not only as part of an underlying matter.
    • [7:59] Delivering a new law function in a large firm.
    • [8:44] Constantly looking out for new tech to give clients an edge.
    • [9:25] Full support from the law firm in this initiative.
    • [10:44] Broadening the range of the firm’s data-driven offerings.
    • [12:39] Moving left of the EDRM into data governance.
    • [13:41] Focusing on those data-driven issues.
    • [14:03] What they look for in products.
    • [14:27] Differentiators they bring to the market: ties in to traditional legal services and a global footprint.
    • [16:16] Differentiators they bring to the market: their own platform.
    • [18:13] What next for them.
    • [19:13] Thoughts on ChatGPT and how potentially to use it as a differentiator.
    • [20:53] Final thoughts.

Key Quotes 

  • “With all the top-tier law firms [in Australia] that have big, established teams to manage their discovery in-house…. We’ve actually built the team to manage that matter from start to end rather that simply being an intermediary in that firm and passing that communication line back out to a third-party eDiscovery service provider.”
  • “We are really focused on direct-to-client services…. With the whole team having the complete suite of capabilities with data, tech, and the legal side, we’re actually offering our services directly to our clients. It might be a small-scale review, small-scale investigation. In some of the clients we’re actually managing the entire data management as a managed service….”
  • “We are seen as this new law function where we move quite agile with new tech and new workflows and that’s what clients are asking for. In their transformation journey, they are trying to find partners who can move at their speed but also for something that is more accessible at a reasonable price point.”
  • “Some of the main product we are trying to focus on now is all driven on data rather than legal advice as such.”

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