Please enjoy this blog post co-authored by Ian Hunter, Regional Content & Research Manager (EMEA) Global Knowledge & Research, Shearman & Sterling LLP and Eleanor White, Legal Technology Advisor, Shearman & Sterling LLP.
Shearman & Sterling launched the Global COVID-19 Legislation Tool in July 2020. The project involved collaboration across the Legal Technology and Knowledge & Research teams (and across the Atlantic) and makes use of various data sources and, crucially, Neota Logic's Studio platform to present the data. In this blog, the authors will discuss the journey from concept to publication.
In March 2020, following the announcement of the global pandemic, the team began producing a digest of new legislation changes in PDF format that was edited and circulated within the organization daily by email. The digest tracked COVID-19 related US legislation, state by state, and fiscal and regulatory measures from other key jurisdictions around the world.
In response to client demand this became a publication, distributed to clients and uploaded to the Shearman website each day.
Through this emerged a need for a more automated, graphical and interactive view of the data. The answer was to design a public facing web app in conjunction with Neota Logic that provides daily legislative updates globally. The app has been running for 9 months now and user metrics showed 2160 external hits on the site between July 2020 – January 30 2021, with a total of 133 downloads.
The Neota interface connects two Excel data sources, one for US legislation via LexisNexis State Net, and one Global Legislation Tracker, to a simple user interface and enables the user to download a tailored PDF of legislative changes.
i. US: Shearman & Sterling's US research teams run a daily search on LexisNexis State Net for state bills relating to the pandemic (see screenshot 1). The teams add summaries of these bills, with their status, to a master spreadsheet named Pending US COVID Legislation.
Screenshot 1: LexisNexis State Net
ii. Non-US: Shearman & Sterling's European research teams check the websites of governments, regulators (e.g. the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the International Capital Markets Association, the European Commission) and other trackers such as Yale Financial Stability Programme's COVID-19 Financial Response Tracker daily. These teams curate this content and summarise relevant new measures in a master spreadsheet named the Global Financial Tracker.
2) Uploading to Neota: members of the Knowledge Management team upload the two master spreadsheets to Neota's Studio platform (see screenshot 2)
Screenshot 2: Neota Logic Studio
The user is presented with a graphic of a world map (see screenshot 3) and can click a US state, non-US region then country.
Screenshot 3: Welcome map
For US states the user is then presented with a list of legislative bills (see screenshot 4) and for non-US jurisdictions the user is presented with a list of measures showing the jurisdiction impacted, the issuing body (e.g. government, regulator), the type of measure and a summary (see screenshot 5).
Screenshot 4: US bills (state of Nevada)
Screenshot 5: non-US measures (Australia)
The team also monitors actions and guidance on return to work and flexible working changes around the world, again currently held in spreadsheets, so may expand the app to include this.