Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP

  • A global law firm with more than 1,500 legal professionals in 19 cities across Canada, the UK, Russia, the Middle East and Asia.
  • Provides clients with in-depth knowledge in key global sectors and offers a full suite of legal services at home and abroad.


“I find RBRO Solutions to be one of the foremost experts on DMS design and best practices. With its broad experience with a range of firms, RBRO likely has seen it all, which contributes to their excellent perspective on design.” 

Ginevra Saylor, Director, Innovation and Knowledge Programs




As one of Canada’s largest law firms, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP has roots dating back to 1887. Known for its deep experience in client advocacy before courts, tribunals, regulatory bodies, and governments in Canada, Gowling WLG also ranks among the busiest law firms in the world for Canadian M&A.

Gowling WLG has experienced significant growth, and its legacy, premise-based document management solution (DMS) could not scale to meet its productivity and performance needs. Looking to reap the benefits of a cloud-based DMS and align with the global corporate standard solution (iManage), the Gowling WLG team engaged RBRO Solutions, iManage’s leading end-to-end solutions provider.




The Gowling WLG team knew that migrating to a cloud-based DMS could lower capital costs and simplify their infrastructure requirements. Jason Mervyn, Gowling WLG’s national Director of Information Technology, explains: “Our document management system was the biggest piece of software in our operation. Moving it to the cloud promised to simplify our environment and give us a whole different way to approach the management and support of that environment.”

Migrating to iManage would align the Canada-Russia operation with the global Gowling WLG solution, another strategic imperative for Mervyn and his team. “That was a longer-term consideration,” he continued. “It allowed us to have a vision and a path to alignment we didn’t have previously.”

Gowling WLG’s existing DMS was also limited in its ability to provide effective matter management workspaces. “We wanted a solution that offered matter-centricity and a design better optimized for legal,” says Ginevra Saylor, Gowling WLG’s national Director, Innovation and Knowledge Programs.




When asked why Gowling WLG chose to collaborate with RBRO Solutions on this massive undertaking, Saylor points to the trust that had developed over a longstanding relationship with RBRO’s leadership team.

“We wanted to choose the right partner for this massive project. We had a long and very positive relationship with RBRO and were very confident that RBRO would do everything required for us to succeed.”

It was also essential for the firm to engage with an integrator that had extensive experience with large, complex iManage implementations.

RBRO began by migrating Gowling WLG’s Moscow office to iManage as a standalone project. Then, as they planned the migration of the Canadian offices, the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Working remotely, the RBRO team began synchronizing Gowling WLG’s millions of documents to the cloud—an exhaustive process that had to take place in advance of the actual cutover. “We didn’t have the tools or the knowledge to do the synchronization ourselves,” says Mervyn. “That was a big part of the value that RBRO brought to the table.”

To minimize the disruption to the business, Gowling WLG had to cut all the Canadian offices, with tens of millions of documents, over to iManage in a single weekend.

“It was an enormous lift of work to cut over in a single weekend,” says Mervyn. “The RBRO team was there throughout and really came through for us.”


“I was surprised and, of course, pleased with how smoothly the first several weeks went—a credit to the collaboration between Gowling WLG and RBRO Solutions.”

Ginevra Saylor, Director, Innovation and Knowledge Programs




While still in the early days of using the RBRO and iManage solution, the Gowling WLG IT team has already received positive feedback from its user community. “A number of our practitioners have commented on how much faster iManage is,” says Saylor. “We’ve also received very positive feedback about matter-centricity and iManage’s email management capabilities.”

Due to the strength and flexibility of iManage’s APIs, Gowling WLG was also able to integrate its legacy systems with iManage. “Users are accustomed to having those integrated legacy applications, and you can’t take them away when you introduce a new DMS,” explains Mervyn. It’s a significant amount of work, but with RBRO’s assistance, we’ve made great progress in a short timeframe.”

Mervyn is also confident that iManage’s cloud-based DMS will reduce capital costs and simplify Gowling WLG’s IT infrastructure over time. “Migrating to iManage has also helped speed our transition to becoming a more digital enterprise,” he says. “With RBRO’s help implementing and supporting iManage, we’re well-positioned to quickly react and adapt to new technology and changing market conditions.”




The Gowling WLG solution included a suite of iManage and RBRO products: iManage Work; Security Policy Manager; Email Management; RBRO Workspace Management; RBRO Import Management; RBRO Link2DMS. RBRO services used for the Gowling WLG project included: Consulting and Requirements; Design; Technical Training; Data and Ethical Walls Migration; Cutover Support.


“We didn’t have the tools or the knowledge to do the synchronization ourselves. That was a big part of the value that RBRO brought to the table.”

Jason Mervyn, Director of Information Technology


Download the PDF: Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP Cloud Migration Case Study