Alex Dunstan-Lee of Navigant Consulting talks about the use of technology-assisted review in the UK

Alex Dunstan-Lee, Managing Director at Navigant Consulting, talks about the use of technology-assisted review in conducting electronic disclosure in the UK.

Alex Dunstan-Lee talks about the number of “really bad reasons for not using it”. Why would you not want technology to attempt to replicate decision-making or to check the work of the review team? We need, he says, to think of it as “just another form of search”. Keywords and technology-assisted review are not mutually-exclusive concepts and can be used as part of an overall strategy.

He goes through some of the reasons given by lawyers for not using TAR. He identifies alleged lack of transparency and the absence of judicial precedent (“the weakest argument of them all” he says), as reasons which lawyers give, and he knocks these arguments down briskly. What is needed, he says, is “robustness of argument showing how effective the search is”.

There is a little more merit, Alex says, in the suggestion that it costs money to get data into the system, adding that “as an industry we need to offer cost-effective way to give lawyers the chance to test it”. The impression I have is that vendors are already coming up with more attractive pricing models.

This is an eloquent and effective bid to persuade lawyers to at least try technology-assisted review. Those lawyers who simply recite the standard arguments will find those arguments challenged by what Alex Dunstan-Lee says. My own anecdotally-based impression is that rather too many of them are happy to repeat assertions which they have heard someone else say. As Alex Dunstan-Lee says more than once – why would one not even try using it?

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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