Automated translation process saves company thousands on legal case

Case Study 05 | Legal Translation


A global energy corporation was alarmed by the wasted time and inefficiency of its translation process. They needed a customized solution that would bring together a 100‑lawyer defense team in a key cross-border case, and the results were astounding.

This leading, global energy corporation with offices in 100 countries and 58,000 employees has stakeholders worldwide. In response to a cross-border litigation matter, the company assembled a five-firm defense counsel with a team of 100 lawyers. The scale of the litigation was resulting in an alarming amount of waste and inefficiency under the current translation process.

To align the massive legal team, they required an automated central workflow that would eliminate duplicate translations, provide a secure website and capture pertinent files in four languages.

Chapter 1


The client identified two key problems: their large litigation team, spread across multiple firms, was not collaborating with foreign language content. Each firm was independently translating documents pertinent to their part of the case, leading to multiple duplicate translations.

Whether it was a ruling, filing, discovery or press release, individual lawyers would identify what was relevant to them and send it to their own Language Service Provider (LSP). Often this expensive translation would get buried in that lawyer’s own portfolio, unbeknownst to others who would later have the same document translated.

To compound this problem, individual lawyers implemented translations on an ad-hoc basis. Every time an individual or team encountered a foreign language problem, the person involved would engage an LSP.

This led to a convoluted process that yielded an inconsistent work product with suspect quality and a large waste of billable administrative time.

Chapter 2


To meet the client’s challenges, ULG was able to provide a stable, secure solution that provided significant economies of scale.

ULG developed a unique workflow that tied together the different aspects of litigation with multiple translation service providers. This system allowed any lawyer to request a translation through a central online portal that captured all pertinent information relative to the files.

Once the information was captured, the request was sent to an approval group, which could approve or modify the request. Once approved, the relevant files were distributed with instructions to the appropriate LSP. The work product was organized and systematically reviewed by client verifiers for terminology and consistency and then returned to the Web repository.

In the repository, the translated document was linked to the original so all lawyers involved in the case had immediate access to it.

The ULG solution included an automated back-end system that continually:

  • Checked for duplicate submissions
  • Sent and received files to/from the appropriate LSP
  • Managed verification to improve consistency and quality
  • Returned completed translations to the central repository linked to the original files


Chapter 3


Eliminated wasteful translations: Approximately 11 per cent of translation requests were rejected as duplicates, thereby saving $342,000 in translation costs in the first two years.

Automated manual tasks: The consistent request generation and automated file management reduced administrative time by 50 per cent and saved $350,000 over two years

Improved accountability: The consistent nature of the request process held each lawyer accountable for the documents they submitted for translation.

Improved turnaround and response: The automated system provided real time information on translation requests and translated files independent of the time zone.

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