DoJ approval of predictive coding in Anheuser-Busch InBev merger to be discussed at Relativity Fest

kCura’s annual event, Relativity Fest, is due to take place in Chicago between 6 and 8 October. Reports from previous events suggest that Relativity Fest has something for everyone, and not just those who are existing or potential Relativity customers. The full agenda has yet to be published, but one item on it will be of particular interest to those who are considering the use of predictive coding. Whilst this technology is most often talked of in the context of conducting electronic discovery for civil litigation, it has many other functions both ancillary to the litigation process (such as quality assessment or for analysing incoming productions) and for any other activities which require rapid and efficient analysis of large volumes of data.

One such example is the response to a regulator’s investigation in the context of a proposed merger. This came up when Anheuser-Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo planned a merger which would combine two of the largest suppliers in the world. That, and the surrounding proposed deals, attracted the attention of the US Department of Justice, which was concerned to know whether the merger would give too much market share to a single entity. The parties to the merger had a very short period in which to find and produce relevant information.

McDermott Will and Emery, lawyers for one of the parties, decided to use Relativity Assisted Review for this task, and satisfied the DoJ both as to the technology and the proposed workflow. The story is taken up in this case study produced by Relativity.

Warren Rosborough, a partner at McDermott Will and Emery, who worked on the matter, is one of the speakers at a predictive coding panel at Relativity Fest. Another is information retrieval expert Dr David Grossman. This should make an interesting – and rather different – discussion about the merits and the economics of using predictive coding.

The Relativity Fest website is here. Apart from a good use of video and photographs, I like the button at the top right corner called Justify your Trip which explains the value and benefits of attending Relativity Fest and even provides an email template for those seeking permission to attend.

This is a considerable improvement on a conference website I once saw whose focus was on golf and other “benefits” which, whilst doubtless ancillary to the primary legal technology purpose, were not necessarily calculated to persuade a budget holder to give approval. Most conference brochures idly recycle a stock section headed “Why should you attend”, whose wording seems to have copied from event to event without much thought as to what it is for. The Relativity Fest approach is a much more useful way of arming potential delegates with genuine arguments as to the benefits.

Registration for Relativity Fest is here.

About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
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