Any foreign company which wants to do business with the US must understand the implications of the US eDiscovery process. Both civil litigation and the requirements of US regulators require very full disclosure of documents and data relating to the subject matter of the dispute or investigation. For US companies, this is part of doing business and both the required transparency and the expense of providing discovery are factored into the business plan.
This poses difficulties for non-US companies, and at multiple levels. The required degree of transparency maybe unacceptable as a cultural matter; there are practical difficulties of language and, in some cases, of character set, which raise technical issues; not least, the laws of many countries prevent disclosure of certain types of information of the kind and to the extent required by the US.
All these factors are present specifically in Japan, many of whose largest companies find their biggest markets in the US.
Masahiro Morimoto, Chairman and CEO of eDiscovery software and consulting company UBIC, has written a book intended to inform Japanese corporate and legal officers about the implications of US eDiscovery. The book is called eDiscovery Japan – a pathway for US attorneys to do business with Asian corporations, emphasising that the need for information goes both ways – US lawyers need to understand the Japanese point of view as much as Japanese companies need to understand the US.
Mr Morimoto founded UBIC in 2003, providing eDiscovery services first within Japan and then in the US and in other Asia-Pacific countries such as South Korea and Taiwan. It is an extremely useful guide which can be obtained through any of the offices listed on UBIC’s website.