QuisLex gains awards and nominations for its legal services delivery

QuisLexQuisLex provides outsourced legal services across a range of activities, not least the eDiscovery aspects of litigation and investigations.

There is very much more to this than simply sitting teams of people down at computers to tick boxes. You get some idea of the technological and managerial sophistication involved from my article QuisLex awarded US patent for quality management processes in document review published in March of this year.

QuisLex’s deep skill in this area has been recognised in various places recently. QuisLex was ranked as a Band 1 LPO by Chambers and Partners for the sixth consecutive year, one of only three companies to achieve this recognition in every year that Chambers has ranked LPO providers.

QuisLex was also selected by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) for the 2016 Global Outsourcing 100 List.

QuisLex was also a finalist for an award called The Future of Legal Services Innovation, part of the Legal Week Innovations Award 2016. Other finalists in the shortlist included seven prominent law firms including Ashurst, DLA Piper and the eventual winner Kennedys. QuisLex was the only alternative legal services provider among the finalists. Continue reading

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No surprises on either side as OpenText acquires Recommind

RecommindIf I say that OpenText’s acquisition of Recommind, announced yesterday, is unsurprising, that does not make it uninteresting or unimportant. There have been rumours of an acquisition by the one and of the other for some time, although the names had not been paired in my hearing. As so often with these things, it seems an obvious fit once mentioned.

Recommind is a privately-held technology company specialising in eDiscovery and information analytics. Although best known in my neck of the woods for its predictive coding technology, predictive coding is only one part of the text analytics and broader eDiscovery review capabilities of Recommind’s Axcelerate, and Recommind also has well-respected tools for contract analytics (Perceptiv) and enterprise-wide information access (Decisiv). Continue reading

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The Sedona Conference: Practical in-house approaches for cross-border discovery and data protection

SedonaThe Sedona Conference has published Practical in-house approaches to cross-border discovery and data protection after several months of public comment on an earlier version.

This is a disorientating area to practice in, particularly at the moment:

We now have a date (25 May 2018) for the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation but, despite the years of argument and redrafting which went into it, it still raises questions.

Both the Article 29 Working Party and Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor, have effectively rejected the Privacy Shield which is intended to replace the now-invalidated Safe Harbour.

Max Schrems has, only last week, followed up his attack on Safe Harbour with one on Binding Corporate Rules.

We still await the appeal in Microsoft Dublin case.

Many ask if Brexit (the UK’s possible withdrawal from the EU) will make a difference to data transfers (Answer: it will almost certainly make it more difficult).

There is, therefore, no right time to publish anything purporting to be definitive guidance. Meanwhile, however, business life must go on and data transfers occur daily simply to keep the wheels turning. Continue reading

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David Wallack of NightOwl Discovery talks about portfolio management and harmonising discovery practices

NightOwlDiscovery_160In this interview I asked David Wallack, General Counsel and Director at NightOwl Discovery, what trends he saw and foresaw among NightOwl’s corporate clients.

Many clients, David Wallack says, are re-evaluating both their own software purchases and the manner in which their discovery services are delivered.

One growing trend, and something offered by NightOwl, is portfolio management. This puts the management of eDiscovery projects into the hands of a single provider so that eDiscovery practices are unified as between a company’s outside counsel. Continue reading

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Dean Gonsowski of kCura talks about the increasing role of clients in the management of eDiscovery

kCura - RelativityI have known Dean Gonsowski seemingly for ever as he combines business development with user and market education. He is now VP, Business Development at kCura, and I interviewed him at LegalTech New York about his role, and about changing market trends as seen by kCura.

Dean Gonsowski says that his particular focus on his new role is on corporations as they gradually take more and more control of the eDiscovery process. In some cases this is by taking the whole application and its functions in-house. In others, they may do just legal hold and collection, or perhaps early case assessment, before passing the rest of the job to lawyers and all external providers.

Relativity has an ecosystem of people around it who can help manage it, as well as an ecosystem of applications which sit around the central core to be called on as required. This gives companies and their lawyers opportunities to make Relativity do what they want it to do. Continue reading

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Interview: Jenny Le of UBIC on how to engage with senior executives on cyber security risks

UBICJenny Le is Vice President, Discovery Services, at UBIC. That role extends beyond pure discovery matters and into other aspects of managing corporate data, including cyber security risk.

In the interview below, I asked Jenny Le how one explains to senior executives about cyber security risk.

It is difficult, Jennie Le said, to engage the attention of executives who have other responsibilities and other goals to meet. For many of them, cyber security is not an express part of the job description.

It is also quite hard to understand the potential liability which flows from security breaches derived from the number and complexity of software tools, and, increasingly, from BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and the Internet of Things. Continue reading

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Full marks for Peter Hibbert’s Electronic Evidence and eDisclosure Handbook

Peter Hibbert’s new book, the Electronic Evidence and eDisclosure Handbook, published by Sweet Maxwell, was waiting for me when I came back from one of my foreign trips. It has gazed reproachfully at me from my bookshelf ever since, as the twin tides of data protection and predictive coding have washed around me thanks to the pending General Data Protection Regulation and the UK Pyrrho judgment. There are days when it feels an achievement to read all the tweets relevant to eDiscovery, let alone a book.

I can’t claim to have read it now – the nature of a legal textbook, if properly done, is that its table of contents and its index allow you to go straight to the sections you need. Peter Hibbert and Sweet & Maxwell have done very well in this regard, with a well structured book covering pretty well everything you need to know. Continue reading

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Nuix living up to its promises at the Insider Conference in London

NuixI was diverted from writing about the Nuix Insider Conference, held in London on 23 March, by the news of the Panama Papers which broke shortly afterwards. That was too topical to miss, and Nuix played a major part in it, as I described in my article Nuix provides the power behind the humans investigating the Panama Papers leaks.

The Nuix Insider Conference drew a very large audience from companies, service providers, forensic experts, law firms and law enforcement people. Some of the sessions were technical in nature, such as those about the optimisation of software and hardware or for the forensic subjects; others were to do with the conduct of investigations – dealing with archives, reducing data volumes and finding sensitive data for example.

EddieSheehyLondonIn opening, CEO Eddie Sheehy took as his theme “Have we lived up to our promises?”, answering with:

  • The software works
  • Support always replies
  • The information we give you back is worthy of your time
  • You have confidence to take on bigger, hairier jobs
  • To law enforcement – we help you put the bad guys away
  • To enterprise – we make you look good.

All of these things, Eddie Sheehy said, derived from the same process. Continue reading

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An accolade for FTI Ringtail data visualisation tools as lawyers ponder reading every document

FTI TechnologyI published an article earlier today called Read the documents and then decide their relevance. What – all of them? about a UK lawyer who had commented on an article about predictive coding, saying:

As lawyers we like to see the documents, read them and then decide their relevance.

I suggested it might be good to have a look at some modern eDiscovery tools so that one could, at the least, engage in the conversation when a client, the opposition, or the court raised the point. By chance, an opportunity arose shortly afterwards to emphasise this point about taking a look at modern eDiscovery tools when FTI Technology tweeted a link to an article about a review which recognised FTI’s Ringtail as the top data visualisation solution.

It may be that the expression “data visualisation” sounds overly techy for some people. We don’t deal in “data”, they say, but in applying our expensive training and well-honed legal minds to deciding whether a document is disclosable or not. Continue reading

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Read the documents and then decide their relevance. What – all of them?

An article in the Law Society Gazette is headed High Court backs predictive coding in first contested case. It is a report on the judgment which I mentioned briefly last week in which clients of BLP won the right to use predictive coding for the purposes of giving disclosure.

Unlike Pyrrho Investments v MWB Property (on which I have written and spoken exhaustively, indeed exhaustingly) this application was contested, with the other side presumably arguing either for manual page turning, or for the use of some different technology or, at least, against the use of predictive coding.

There is as yet not much to see in terms of the recent order, with neither the Law Society Gazette article nor BLP’s own article adding much to our knowledge.

I am more interested in the anonymous comment which appeared below the article:

As lawyers we like to see the documents, read them and then decide their relevance.

Before we start, let’s be clear about two things:

  • In urging the use of technology to aid disclosure, I am NOT suggesting that you disclose documents which you have not read. Opponents of technology affect to translate the suggestion as meaning that you chuck all the data into a “black box” and throw the output at the other side. That is emphatically NOT what is meant. I accept too that wide reading is desirable; its  fence is called proportionality.
  • Most litigation does not involve very large volumes of documents nor high enough values (whether measured in money or not) to warrant the use of technology like predictive coding; the commenter, however, chose to make the comment on an article about predictive coding, and it must be assumed that the comment applies to those cases for which this technology is at least arguably appropriate.

My tweeted observation was:

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 16.36.33

A rather one-sided Twitter debate followed – one-sided in that no one turned out to support the idea that every document could be read in a case of any size, however much this may appeal to a conscientious lawyer.

It is not necessarily right to preserve spur-of-the-moment tweets in the amber of a blog post, so I will summarise them:

It is easy to underestimate how many documents can be created in an apparently simple transaction, especially if it extends over several years. Many would be duplicates and if technology is used only to weed the duplicates and group the near-duplicates together, then that is a major saving.

The conscientious solicitor wanting to read everything (in a big case) has multiple tiers of questions: how many documents would be formally disclosable on the broadest interpretation of the lawyer’s duty and (a narrower question) how many of those will have any evidential value? All cases come down to very few issues and very few documents. More documents does not necessarily mean better justice and the English disclosure rules are driving parties to arbitration – “we need to get a grip” said one barrister.

I referred to the recent Court of Appeal case in which the court “could not even discern from the pleadings what the issues were”. A closer focus on the issues would lead to narrower pleadings which in turn leads to less disclosure and a quicker route to the handful of points and documents which matter. As it happens, that same point came up in the panel which I moderated last week on predictive coding. It was raised by US Magistrate Judge David Waxse as an issue in US proceedings; one way of reducing discovery, he said, was to be clear what issues it concerned.

[The Court of Appeal case was The Prudential Assurance Company Limited -v- Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. Gordon Exall has written about it here].

I digress. The tweets above can stand substitute for most of what I would say in answer to the comment on the assumption (I stress again) that the comment was intended to relate to the kind of cases to which the article referred.

Reducing further observations to the barest minimum:

  • As I have said above, no one is suggesting that you disclose documents you have not read (though some may choose to do so). The primary value of predictive coding lies in weeding out the obvious dross and prioritising the rest. You can then read the ones which are presumed to be the most relevant in order of relevance, stopping when the ratio of time spent to value returned makes it disproportionate to continue.
  • If your starting point was a million documents, you may still have to read thousands, even tens of thousands of them. If you carry on reading patiently through irrelevant documents then, whether or not your client approves of your doing so, the court is unlikely to award you the costs of all that reading. Indeed, you are unlikely to be able to meet the court’s timetable for giving disclosure.
  • It is also unlikely that that you will miss the fabled “smoking gun”, or anything else of value, or anything significant which ought to be disclosed under a definition of “disclosable” which expressly requires proportionality and a “reasonable search” and which has case law authority against looking under every stone.
  • Predictive coding technology offers ample opportunity to check your work, by sampling both the documents which are presumed relevant and those provisionally deemed irrelevant.

I can quite understand those who sympathised with the Gazette comment as a statement of the ideal. I certainly don’t criticise the conscientiousness of lawyers who would like to read everything. We are forced into a practical, pragmatic approach which tempers the ideal with the brute reality that we cannot read it all. The technology is not a substitute for the exercise of a lawyer’s judgement, but an aid – an aid to the exercise of discrimination between the relevant and the irrelevant, and an aid to compliance with the rules, which requires the insertion of proportionality into the calculation of how much must be done.

I really do not care for their own sakes if the lawyers are working inefficiently, and it is not my business to suggest that some have practices which must inevitably lead to doom. I am, however, extremely interested in preserving disclosure as a source of evidence before the rule-makers decide to dispense with it and before the clients turn their backs on litigation. I am interested too in London’s role as a centre for dispute resolution, and not just for the very rich.

The rules, the cooperation required by the rules, and the discretion of the court, give ample opportunity to cut down disclosable information properly and thereby to reduce the time and cost of litigation. Technology helps that process. If we don’t use the rules and the technology for that purpose then litigation must inevitably decline, and at all levels.

I know nothing of the author of the comment. It may well be that he or she has a practice which allows the luxury of reading every document and making a viable business out of doing so. The part of the comment which I object to is its opening “As lawyers we like..”, purporting to tar the whole profession with this approach.

There are many who have appreciated that we cannot go on like this and have, at the least, taken the first step and seen some of this technology. If, having done so, you still reject it for your own use, then at least you will be able to engage in the conversation when your opponent suggests its use.

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Now we have a contested predictive coding application succeeding in the UK

Yesterday morning, I moderated a panel at the IICE Summit on the subject of Pyrrho and predictive coding. Even as we were talking, the court was delivering a judgment in another case in favour of a party seeking to use predictive coding for disclosure in the face of opposition.

We do not yet know much about it, but here is BLP’s article about it. We are all waiting with interest to see what the battleground was.

My panel comprised US Magistrate Judge David Waxse, Vince Neicho of Allen & Overy, Hal Marcus of Recommind (who sponsored the panel) and Ed Spencer of Taylor Wessing who steered the (agreed) predictive coding application through the court in Pyrrho.

IICEPanel

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Adi Elliott of Epiq talks about using the DMX eDiscovery Dashboards to gain business intelligence

Epiq_logo_200Adi Elliott is Vice President, Market Planning, Discovery, for Epiq. I caught up with him in Hong Kong shortly after Epiq’s announcement of enhancements to the DMX eDiscovery Dashboards, and I asked him about them.

The video interview is below.

Adi Elliott said that the DMX enhancements were aimed at giving business intelligence to clients, allowing them insights on which they could make business decisions.

At one level, this covers market automation, that is, the ability to decide whether one marketing campaign is working better than another.

The primary purpose, however, is to give the clients a deeper understanding of the work which is being done on their behalf. Adi Elliott gives an example of two different firms being employed in parallel on the same task. Using the DMX eDiscovery Dashboards, the clients could understand who did the better job and, perhaps, draw wider lessons for future use. Continue reading

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Guidance Software Data Risk and Privacy Survey results

guidance-softwareGuidance Software undertakes a survey each year on some aspect of data management or data risk. This year, and unsurprisingly, the survey is about data risk and privacy, with the subtitle How concerned are organisations with data risk?

The survey results, which you can find here, show that more than 580 respondents contributed to the survey. For 46% of them the protection of sensitive and private data is a top priority. As the survey points out, the protection of data involves a mixture of hard benefits (reducing risk, optimising storage by defensible deletion, heading off fines) and soft benefits (corporate responsibility, reputational integrity, customer confidence).

Perhaps most interesting question was the one about the reasons that prompt investment in a solution to manage sensitive or private data. The “winner”, at 37%, was regulatory and policy compliance. Data breach, which I would have pictured as more significant, came in at 17%.

This focus on mitigating risk meant that improving business intelligence ranked at only 8% in the reasons for investment. Continue reading

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Discussing online courts as we fight about the cost of paper bundles. An institutional shambles

Two recent documents will be of interest to those who are concerned (in the widest sense of the word) with the development of online courts in England and Wales. If you wonder why this is of relevance to my generally ediscovery-focused readers (concerned mainly with high-end litigation) the answer lies partly in the fact that every component of the cost of litigation is relevant to the willingness of parties to litigate, and to London’s position in that battle (I have an article coming up about Singapore on that subject). Those with big discovery / disclosure issues are interested also in an upward adjustment in the acceptance of technology generally, by both the Ministry of Justice and the judges. Before you get to the technology, there are wider issues to contend with.

One of the documents is the response sent by Professor Richard Susskind on behalf of the Online Dispute Resolution Advisory Group of the Civil Justice Council in answer to the interim report of Lord Justice Briggs’ Civil Courts Structure Review. The other is a paper written by David Harvey, recently retired as a judge in the District Court in Auckland, New Zealand, and perhaps the most informed and articulate judicial thinker about the future of dispute resolution. The hopes of all of them – Briggs, Susskind and Harvey – will, I fear, be undermined by funding issues and the supine indifference of the relevant staff at the Ministry of Justice. Continue reading

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Some eDiscovery industry appointments at kCura, Consilio and Xerox

The worldwide eDiscovery industry has few major corporate players and, relative to the size of the market it serves, a small pool of individuals at its top.

I do not aspire to keep up to date with all the promotions and moves between companies, but there have been enough in the last few weeks to warrant a summary, at least about the people known to me.

In the alphabetic order of their companies:

Mike Brown has been appointed Regional Director at Consilio. Mike Brown was one of the original small team who set up Epiq’s London office, coming from a background in law firm litigation support. His appointment presumably reflects the fact that, as Consilio expands its non-US focus, it needs more senior people to take charge of its regions.

Steve Couling has been appointed VP of International at kCura, stepping up from a post previously confined to EMEA. At the Relativity Spring Roadshow in London a few days ago he showed us a list of the senior appointments which kCura has made in, for example, Hong Kong and Australia, and Steve was the obvious choice to take overall control of kCura’s growing non-US empire.

Stephen Henn has been appointed Vice President at Xerox Legal Business Services, the eDiscovery and compliance solutions division of the Xerox Corporation. His role is to work with Xerox Legal Business Services clients to develop new approaches to governance, risk and compliance issues as well as discovery projects.

I have undoubtedly missed others. This is a booming industry at the moment, and not just in the US.

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FTI webcast on 25 May: what does the future hold for predictive coding?

FTI TechnologyI wrote recently about a webcast taking place on 25 May produced by FTI in conjunction with The Lawyer. We now have the details of the webcast which you can find here.

Its title is What does the future hold for predictive coding? The context is the recent UK decision in Pyrrho Investments v MWB Property in which Master Matthews gave approval to an agreement between the parties to use predictive coding to deal with a large document population.

The webcast will be hosted by Matt Byrne, Deputy Editor of The Lawyer. The speakers are Jonathan Fowler, senior director and predictive coding expert at FTI Consulting, Giulia Da Re, Litigation Lawyer for Lloyds Banking Group and Mark Chesher, Legal Director for Addleshaw Goddard.

The webinar will cover:

  • What makes Pyrrho Investments v MWB Property so important?
  • Why hasn’t predictive coding been used in the UK before?
  • To what extent has Pyrrho removed some of the nervousness that may have surrounded the use of predictive coding in the UK?
  • How will this affect private practice/in-house legal teams?

Continue reading

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Nuix webinar on 31 May: EU General Data Protection Regulation – Need to Knows

NuixOn 31 May, Nuix is presenting a webinar called EU General Data Protection Regulation – Need to Knows. The subject, and the panel, is a re-run of a session at the very successful Nuix Insider Conference in London on 23 March.

I was one of the panellists and the others were Mark Burgess of Vodafone, Mark McCluskie of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Julie Colgan of Nuix; the moderator was Paul Slater of Nuix.

Our GDPR panel was called What can you know in 72 hours? It embraced the forthcoming changes in the law, cyber security, technology and the allocation of responsibility for each of these components.

Two things emerged in particular. One was that the need to deal with privacy and data protection cuts across, and depends on, a very wide range of skills and technology components. If you go the the Nuix website and click on the Products and Services link, you see a very wide range of software tools by category and product together with a focus on industries and roles. Almost all of of the roles will be touched by the GDPR; almost all of the tools are relevant to dealing with some aspect of it.

The other message was that the implications of the GDPR will impose serious strain on all the players, and not just on businesses needing to comply with its requirements. Those responsible for regulation and for law enforcement face new duties. They have a little under two years to be ready to face them. Continue reading

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Epiq webinar on 18 May: Understanding why REAL managed services and eDiscovery makes a REAL difference

epiq-logoDaniel Gold of Epiq is presenting a webinar on 18 May called Understanding why REAL managed services and eDiscovery makes a REAL difference.

The capitalisation of the word REAL implies that some levels of service are less comprehensive than others. Daniel Gold will explain why a mixture of dedicated infrastructure, well-chosen applications and the right people are necessary to remove bottlenecks from the eDiscovery process.

There is more information and a registration form here.

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Easy data collections with iCONECT Xplorer

XERA_logoweb_225pI remember somebody describing to me, years ago, the difficulties which they faced in collecting data from organisations with far-flung offices, including some in the remoter parts of northern Canada.

In those days, someone would have to travel to each office lugging the kit, acquire the data according to the parameters set by the lawyers, and then carry it back to base.

We have seen considerable advances since then, both in terms of portable devices which could can be sent to remote offices pre-programmed to collect appropriate material and, as Internet connections improved, at least in North America, for collection over the web.

iCONECT, developers of the iCONECT-XERA eDiscovery document review platform, prides itself on being both intuitive and easy to use. The focus hitherto has been on its strongly visual user interface; that continues to develop, along with tools like the multimedia review technology which you can read about here. It has also beefed up the front end of its processing power by the partnership with Nuix which I wrote about here. Continue reading

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FTI publishes Forrester data privacy heat map

FTI TechnologyWe are, perhaps, gradually winning the battle to persuade US lawyers, courts and regulators that the privacy and data protection requirements of other jurisdictions are not to be lightly ignored. When I first started talking about privacy in the US, I would be met with almost incredulous surprise that there were countries which would not fall over backwards to comply with the order of an American court.

Developments are coming thick and fast now, and the next major battleground is to persuade US corporations that the EU General Data Protection Regulation, due to take effect in just under two years time, is likely to affect them. Meanwhile, there is an existing regime, and not just in the EU, which requires attention whenever data is to be collected abroad. That changes as new jurisdictions, particularly in Asia, pass new laws regulating the control of data; it has already changed significantly in Europe with the invalidation of Safe Harbour by the Schrems decision.

What people need is a simple guide to the present data protection regimes by country, something which will give an instant answer at least at a high-level as to the sort of problems which might be faced. Continue reading

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The claimant who relied on photographs taken before the accident

I bang on a fair bit about the potentially discoverable evidence which we all create and carry around with us. It lies in diary entries, in our use of Google Maps, as social media posts, and in a wide range of other things which betray our location, what we are doing, our state of mind, and all sorts of things which may be relevant to proceedings of one kind or another.

Here is a report by a firm of solicitors who successfully defended an action brought against a local authority by someone who claimed to have been injured as a result of tripping up. A photograph of the site of the fall (or “a digital image of the locus” as lawyers apparently say) was produced by the claimant. Expert evidence showed that the photograph had in fact been taken nine days before the accident. Continue reading

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Navigant cyber crime expert warns law firms about cyber risk

Navigant_200An out-of-town meeting meant that I missed the cyber security seminar given by Navigant in London on 10 May. The speaker, as I wrote here, was Bob Anderson who heads Navigant’s growing Global Information Security Practice.

Legal IT Insider carries a short article called It’s just a matter of time”: Navigant ex-FBI director warns UK law firms to act on cybercrime” with a message from Bob Anderson addressed specifically to law firms.

US law firms have already been attacked, and if we have not yet heard much about it happening in the UK, that will not be true for long. What is obvious, as Bob Anderson says, is that “The bad guys go where the data is and law firms have an immense amount of data and traditionally have had no idea how to protect it”. Continue reading

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Pyrrho, GDPR, banking compliance and US-UK differences at the Relativity Spring Roadshow

kCura - RelativityI have written about the Relativity Spring Roadshow and linked to the products announced at it. I turn now to the four sessions which preceded CEO Andrew Sieja’s keynote.

I will not try and summarise each of the panels, not least because the multitasking David Horrigan kept up a stream of live tweets and collected them together. David Horrigan has also published his own report of the sessions while mine was in draft (he was a journalist among other things, and therefore skilled at producing good copy quickly). I will content myself with picking perhaps two points from each of the discussions.

I have to be careful here, because I was responsible for half of the programme, at least in the sense that I moderated two of its four panels. That was a largely notional responsibility, akin perhaps to being the person sitting in the front seat of an autonomous car. The “driver” in fact does no more than indicate where he or she wants to go, leaving some very clever technology to do the rest; similarly, my role in these panels was limited to saying where I wanted to go, leaving it to some very clever people to take us there. Continue reading

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ZyLAB webinar with ACEDS today: optimising your public disclosure and FOIA response process

ZyLABZyLAB is presenting a webinar today at 1:00pm EST in conjunction with ACEDS with the title Practical online workshop: optimising your public disclosure and FOIA response process.

The emphasis in the webinar is on practical suggestions as to how cities, counties and agencies can prepare for and answer FOIA and Public Records Act requests.

The presenters are Johannes Scholtes and Paul Gettman of ZyLAB.

There is more information about this webinar here.

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Panel sessions supplement the product announcements at the Relativity Spring Roadshow in London

kCura - RelativityWe marvelled last year that kCura assembled an audience of 490 for its London Spring Roadshow. This year, more than 600 people assembled for what is kCura’s biggest event apart from Relativity Fest.

Part of that increase reflects growing take-up of Relativity, shown in raw statistics of licenses, cases under management and documents processed; part of it was the addition of an afternoon of relevant legal content to supplement the technical demonstrations and training which has always been part of this show.

This presumably reflects the appointment last year of David Horrigan as discovery counsel and legal content director at kCura. The addition of these sessions moved the Spring Roadshow to a different level, a kind of mini-conference rather than just a product show and party.

Product releases remained a centrepiece of the event. CEO Andrew Sieja gave his usual polished performance at which he introduced Relativity 9.4, Relativity ECA and Investigation, and a forthcoming SaaS solution, Relativity One. Continue reading

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Information management, investigations, compliance and eDiscovery in London on 18 to 19 May

IICEThe conference brand previously known as Information Governance and eDiscovery or, more colloquially, just “IQPC”, is this year called IICE – Information Management. Investigations. Compliance. EDiscovery.

It takes place in London on 18 and 19 May and, as its predecessors have always done, it covers a very wide range of topics which fall under the related headings in its title.

The speakers come from a wide range of businesses – corporations facing problems providers offering solutions, lawyers both internal and external, and Independent experts.

It is not just panels and podiums. There are round tables, discussions and other ways of bringing people together with a common interest in the subjects. Providers of software and services will be on hand to talk about their solutions; they include Relativity, UBIC, Epiq, NightOwl Discovery, and Recommind.

I am opening the show with a panel called Comparing and contrasting eDiscovery in the UK and US in the light of Pyrrho with a panel drawn from both sides of the Atlantic: US Magistrate Judge David Waxse, well known for his strong views on cooperation and lawyer competence, will represent the US alongside Hal Marcus of Recommind; for the UK we have the veteran Vince Neicho of Allen & Overy, with the young thrusters represented by Ed Spencer of Taylor Wessing, one of the lawyers involved in Pyrrho. Continue reading

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Katie Jensen of Navigant talks about how to encourage UK lawyers to use predictive coding

Navigant_200Katie Jensen is Director, Legal Technology Solutions at Navigant. She is from the US, and therefore brings a perspective to the use of technology by UK lawyers which is slightly different from those used to our ways. I interviewed her recently and asked her what we should say to UK lawyers about the use of predictive coding. After all, I said, the UK rules are less onerous in many ways than the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Katie Jensen suggested that the right message is to use predictive coding on “just about every project”. While it is necessary for lawyers to have some understanding of the process for which they are responsible, the best approach is to hire experts who do understand every aspect of its use, leaving the lawyers to focus on tactics, strategy and the issues. Continue reading

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Consilio: 11.5 million reasons for law firms to take data security seriously

Huron ConsilioEven before its acquisition of Huron Legal, Consilio was extending its range from international eDiscovery services into consultancy and pre-emptive advice to organisations about the management and control of information.

Huron Legal’s range of services included a strong specialisation in advice to law firms on their own management, on matters ranging from procurement to security to internal efficiencies and beyond.

The strands come together as the Panama Papers story shows a law firm badly hit by a data security failure which is having repercussions both deep and wide for the clients as well as for the firm. Data breaches of all kinds, never mind those on this scale, have a long tail. In addition to the practical matters involved in identifying the source of the leak or hack, limiting the scope for it to happen again, and dealing with angry customers or clients, the victim company faces regulatory investigations, possible criminal investigations and litigation from clients. Continue reading

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Interview: Jim Vint of Navigant talks about the Navigant Reference Model

Navigant_200Jim Vint is a Managing Director in Navigant’s Global Legal Technology Solutions team which offers global eDiscovery and data analytics services to enable effective digital risk management. Navigant has launched what it calls the Navigant Reference Model, and I asked Jim Vint to explain it to me.

Jim Vint said that Navigant has been following how corporate clients interact with third-party providers and with external counsel. These days, he says, the focus is less on data volumes and more on solving a business problem, and Navigant has redesigned its processes to meet those needs.

The result is a quadrant which takes account of the various platforms which Navigant uses, and the data formats and data types, both traditional and emerging, which are appearing in the market.

The analysis, Jim Vint says, results in new efficiencies and in enhancements in workflow, cost and speed, including getting better feedback from analytics tools.

Not the least of the benefits emerging from this is the development of new pricing models to take account of what the clients want.

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Conversations on privacy and Pyrrho at the Relativity Spring Roadshow

kCura - RelativitykCura’s Relativity Spring Roadshow takes place on Tuesday 3 May at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel London. I have already written about it, but thought it worth observing that the Industry Sessions programme is now published in its full form and can be found here.

Both my sessions, one on privacy and one on the Pyrrho predictive coding decision, are billed as “conversations” which is what I usually aim for when moderating sessions like this.

The privacy one is called What the age of privacy regulation means for eDisclosure and compliance at which I am joined by Gayle McFarlane of Cordery Compliance, and Ari Senders and Mark Cordy of KPMG. Continue reading

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Daniel Pelc of NightOwl Discovery talks about mobile technology discovery

NightOwlDaniel Pelc is Senior Consultant, eDiscovery Management, at NightOwl Discovery.

His responsibilities include helping NightOwl’s clients with the management of mobile devices and data in anticipation of, or in reaction to, discovery demands for it.

In this video interview, Daniel Pelc said that mobile is now the primary means of communication for business, bringing great benefits to organisations. With those benefits, however, come serious potential difficulties, especially when it comes to discovery.

This is partly a human problem – as with email, people tend to say the first thing which comes into their heads, and the combination of thoughtlessness and rapid communication causes real difficulties. Continue reading

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FTI webinar on 25 May: How predictive coding is changing the legal landscape

FTI TechnologyFTI Consulting is producing a webinar on 25 May in conjunction with The Lawyer on the changes we can expect from the use of predictive coding in litigation, investigations and related areas of compliance, and the resolution (and avoidance) of disputes.

Jon Fowler is Senior Director at FTI Consulting with responsibility for discovery technology including predictive coding. He has written an article called How predictive coding is changing the legal landscape which emphasises the need for lawyers to understand how to apply this technology and how to decide which type of case will benefit from its use.

One of the arguments run by those opposed to predictive coding is based on the assumption that humans will always be more accurate than a computer in decision-making. That has always seemed wrong-headed to me, partly because of the inevitable inconsistency over time and between reviewers, and partly because it gives no credit for the time-saving, and therefore the cost saving, which results from using an algorithm to make the initial calls as to relevance. Continue reading

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Recommind video: predictive coding and life after Pyrrho

RecommindEarlier this year, Recommind organised a panel session in the Crypt of St Paul’s to discuss the predictive coding judgment in Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd & Ors.

I was one of the participants, and I wrote at length about the event and its messages in an article called Recommind panel session: predictive coding and life after Pyrrho.

Recommind has now released a video of the event – two videos in fact, a short summary one here and and a full-length one here.

The latter gives you all the benefits of attending the session without leaving your desk. Continue reading

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EU in-depth analysis: the data protection regime in China

The European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Internal Policies, Policy Department C: Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs has produced an In-depth analysis of the data protection regime in China.

Those who consider that the present privacy regime in the EU is complex will find that this is nothing compared to that which obtains in China. As the introduction to this analysis says:

China has no comprehensive data collection act but several relevant sectorial laws that, under a combined reading together with basic criminal and civil law provisions, may add up to a data protection “cumulative effect”.

This has real practical implications for those who do business with China or who are required to collect data in China pursuant to criminal, civil or civil litigation or regulatory requirements in the EU, the US or elsewhere. Continue reading

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ZyLAB introduces eDiscovery as a service

ZyLABAs I noted in a recent article, ZyLAB has been producing search software, and applying it to eDiscovery requirements, for many years.

Most ZyLAB users own and manage their software in-house. ZyLAB now, however, delivers its eDiscovery solutions in a Software as a Service model in EMEA and Asia Pac via a managed service provider model.

This is an ideal proposition for organisations who either have sporadic eDiscovery needs or who do not have the internal resources to bring any discovery solution in-house. The SaaS model means that no hardware or software purchase is required. Companies can choose both the range of services they require and the level of support needed. Continue reading

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Relativity webinar on 27 April: From Ashley Madison to the eBay hack – cybersecurity best practices

kCura - RelativityRelativity is presenting a webinar on 27 April with the title From Ashley Madison to the eBay hack – cybersecurity best practices.

It is said that one third of in-house counsel have admitted that their companies have experienced a data breach. What is possible, indeed probable, that the remainder have suffered such a breach but do not know it.

Not the least of the problems within organisations is the allocation of responsibility for anticipating, preventing and dealing with cybersecurity breaches. This Relativity webinar will cover:

  • Why cybersecurity and information governance have taken centre stage
  • How in-house counsel are going beyond e-discovery to play an increasingly active role in cybersecurity strategy
  • Which trends are worth your attention and resources
  • What companies can do to mitigate the risk of a breach

Continue reading

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Consilio webinar with Exterro on 27 April: working with IT and Legal effectively

Huron ConsilioConsilio is producing a webinar in conjunction with Exterro for broadcast on 27 April with the title Working with IT / Legal effectively. It covers a long-standing issue within many organisations – communication between IT and legal departments.

Legal and IT and do not merely have different agendas and responsibilities, they also have different vocabularies. At worst, this results in communication failures at critical moments leading to a serious failure, perhaps in meeting eDiscovery obligations. At the least, communication failures result in missed opportunities to improve the business, whether one thinks in terms of avoiding risk or of positive identification of value.

The webinar will cover:

  • Best practices for overcoming common incidents of miscommunication
  • Insight into each’s role (Legal & IT), how to effectively work together, and how to avoid communication challenges
  • Practical strategies for establishing a Legal / IT partnership that addresses; Information Governance, Document Preservation and Collection concerns.

Continue reading

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View from Xerox in Hong Kong: why cyber security needs in-house counsel

XeroxWhen I first started writing about the management of electronic documents, the subject was a contained one, at least from my perspective. I was then concerned solely with compliance with the eDisclosure rules in England and Wales.

Over the years, that interest has spread in two dimensions. One is jurisdictionally, meaning that I am as interested in what happens in the US or Asia Pacific as I am in the UK. The other is in terms of the subject matter – you cannot now look at litigation disclosure on its own, but must inevitably sweep up privacy, data protection, cyber security and all the wider subjects included under the umbrella called information governance.

Of the ten or so sessions which I am involved in in May and June, only two concern disclosure in England and Wales. The others are about privacy or cyber risk, including a panel whose subject is responsibility of companies, and in particular corporate counsel, for cyber risk. That will inevitably have a US focus, but cyber risk knows no frontiers.

So it is that I now find myself reading an article about cyber security in Hong Kong. Dmitri Hubbard of Xerox Legal Business Services in Hong Kong similarly gets involved in much more than ediscovery, which is the context in which I met him many years ago. For example, he and I did a panel together at Legaltech Hong Kong in February on privacy and data protection, subjects as important to Xerox’s clients as eDiscovery. Now here he is writing in Hong Kong Lawyer about cyber risk in a region which he knows well. Continue reading

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Customers, products and people: Keith James, CEO of AccessData, talks about changes at the company

AccessDataFrom the outside, we are seeing a lot of changes at AccessData. We are seeing developments in product, we are seeing new initiatives with clients, we are seeing new people. I asked CEO Keith James to give me an overview of where AccessData is going.

2015 was a very exciting year for AccessData and 2016 is proving to be exciting as well. I would sum it up by saying that we are hyper-focused on what we do best, which is digital forensics and eDiscovery.

Keith JamesWhat I’d like to emphasise and dig into a bit today, are our three most important priorities that relate back to how we are successful, and how we are creating value for our clients. Those three areas are our customers, our products, and our people.

Customers

When we think about our customers, hopefully they have begun to see the benefits of a number of changes and strategic decisions that we made earlier on in 2015 to focus more on them. We have created new roles that never existed in the company before. These roles map to customer workflow, so when you call AccessData and you are working with someone, whether it’s a salesperson or support personnel or someone else in the company, they are trained and understand the client workflow.

Not only do we have expertise in workflow, but when it comes to the business side of things, we have launched a number of initiatives to make it easy to do business with AccessData. Continue reading

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Epiq commentary on the effect of the UK Pyrrho predictive coding case in Hong Kong

epiq-logoThe Law Society of Hong Kong has revamped its website, Hong Kong Lawyer, and to good effect. UK lawyers will find it all very familiar, with (as I write) recent articles about Calderbank offers and other things inherited or substantially copied from English law and procedure.

Among recent articles is one called Pyrrho Investments: English Predictive Coding Case Strikes New Balance in E-Discovery by Sebastian Ko and Michael Yuen of Epiq in Hong Kong.

English and Hong Kong civil procedure share many points of compatibility, and provide fertile legal environments to foster the use of predictive coding. This is partly because Hong Kong has substantially borrowed relevant parts of UK civil procedure as it affects discovery (not least Practice Direction 31B which turns up in modified form as Hong Kong practice direction SL 1.2), but also because of the emphasis on the requirement that discovery must be “proportionate, economical and relevant”. These points matter more than precedent in this context. Continue reading

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Relativity Spring Roadshow in London on 3 May

kCura - RelativityLast year’s London Relativity Spring Roadshow was probably the largest single gathering of eDiscovery providers and users seen in the UK. This year’s Roadshow, taking place on 3 May at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel, will probably be even larger.

Along with the technical sessions which are always a feature of the Relativity Spring Roadshows, there are four industry sessions. The reason I know this is that I am moderating two of them.

In the first, Applying the Pyrrho decision more widely, I will moderate a discussion involving Ed Spencer of Taylor Wessing and Dan Wyatt of RPC who were on opposite sides in the Pyrrho case (“are on opposite sides”, I should say, since the widely-publicised predictive coding judgment related only to the proposed conduct of the disclosure, and the case has a long way to go yet). Continue reading

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Nuix webinar on 21 April: Insider threats – protecting data during eDiscovery

NuixNewLogo1Nuix has a webinar on 21 April called Insider threats – protecting data during eDiscovery. I interviewed Michael Chance of Nuix on this subject in February. The webinar details are here, with the video interview below.

All businesses are vulnerable to the risk of having data lost or compromised in some way. Law firms are as vulnerable as any other business, and perhaps more so because the nature of their work often involves holding the data of their clients.

And not just any old data. That held by lawyers is often particularly valuable to hackers because it has often been pre-filtered down to consist largely of the most valuable data. Documents used or created for the purposes of an acquisition or other significant deal are particularly rich in valuable information; eDiscovery documents which have been culled down are another example of a data set which is inherently valuable;

A very high proportion of incidents derive from the actions of insiders, whether as a result of deliberate intent or through carelessness. Continue reading

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Interview: Nick Robertson of kCura talks about Relativity as a platform and about the Relativity Academic Program

kCura - RelativityNick Robertson is VP of Product Marketing at kCura. I saw him at Legaltech, and took the opportunity to ask him about two subjects which are important to kCura – the concept of Relativity as a platform, and kCura’s Academic Partner Program.

On the subject of Relativity as a platform, Nick Robertson emphasises that Relativity is not just a shrink-wrapped solution but something which third-party developers can extend. Service providers and law firms can supplement native functions with the things which work for them. This, he says, allows them to ask “How do we solve this problem?”, confident that the platform can be adapted to their needs. Continue reading

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In London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt in June with AccessData and Judge Peck

AccessDataAccessData has organised a short speaking tour in June when US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck and I will speak in London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt over the week beginning 20 June. In each city, we will be joined by a panel of local experts with relevant knowledge there.

The tour is called The cross-border quandary: when data transfer collides with data privacy. We will consider the overall effects of the General Data Protection Regulation, the Privacy Shield, and various related developments, in particular as they affect eDiscovery both locally and in relation to data exports to the US for litigation or regulatory purposes. Continue reading

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Xerox Legal Business Services brings data analytics to litigation and compliance

xeroxxls1It is perhaps unsurprising to find Xerox Legal Business Services enhancing the data analytics capabilities of its Viewpoint eDiscovery platform. Xerox has been a leader in data analytics of all kinds for many years, with hundreds of data scientists at Xerox’s Analytics Resource Centre, Xerox PARC, and Xerox Research Centre Grenoble. As corporations and the lawyers bring ever more urgency to ever larger volumes of data, Xerox is bringing all that analytical skill and resource to all the subjects which fall under the heading “eDiscovery”.

I put it like that because the problem goes far wider than just eDiscovery for litigation purposes. The demands of regulatory investigations and internal investigations are often larger, more complex and more time-critical even than those for litigation, and the focus is as much on compliance across a wide range of industries and subjects as it is on litigation. Continue reading

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Interview: Shamir Colloff of UBIC on business intelligence in eDiscovery

UBICShamir Colloff is Chief Technology Officer at Evolve Discovery, a UBIC company. In this interview, I asked him what UBIC means when it refers to “business intelligence” in the context of eDiscovery projects.

Shamir Colloff explained that UBIC enables users to measure the consumption and usage of data hosted by UBIC – how many users are working on a project, when they last used the database and so on – across the board and in respect of specific projects.

Clients can also measure usage by counsel – how many documents have they looked at, on what day and even at what time of day if that is relevant. Continue reading

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FTI webinar on 20 April: Finding “quick wins” in information governance

FTI TechnologyFTI Consulting is presenting a webinar on Wednesday 20 April called Advice from Counsel: finding quick wins in information governance. Presenters will include Jake Frazier, head of FTI’s Information Governance and Compliance Practice and Ari Kaplan of Ari Kaplan Advisors.

Information governance was the subject of the most recent FTI Advice from Counsel survey which was called The State of Information Governance in Corporations. That was based on interviews by Ari Kaplan Advisors of 25 in-house lawyers with responsibilities including some aspects of eDiscovery and information governance. You can find a summary of the resulting paper here, together with a link from which you can download the paper itself. Continue reading

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Navigant seminar in London on 10 May: Is your cyber security under threat?

Navigant_200If cyber threat was not already on corporate agendas, the Panama Papers debacle will help put it there. Navigant is running a seminar on in London on 10 May at 6pm called Is your cyber security under threat? The speaker will be Bob Anderson who, as I wrote in March (see Navigant boosts its Information Security practice with FBI hire), recently joined Navigant to lead their Global Information Security practice.

Prior to this, Bob Anderson was with the FBI for 20 years where he served as Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch and Chief of the Counter espionage Section overseeing all FBI criminal and cyber investigations worldwide.

Bob Anderson will discuss the state of cyber security and the risks posed to firms from organised crime and hacktivists, with an emphasis on economic espionage. He will also share his insight into many of the high profile cases he has led.

The venue is The Lloyd’s Building, One Lime Street, London. The event runs from 6pm to 9pm (presentation followed by networking drinks)

To reserve a place, contact rebecca.ellison@navigant.com

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Consilio survey: inadvertent disclosure of sensitive data of cloud-based applications

logo_huronlegalplusconsilioConsilio has long been known as a global expert in eDiscovery and document review services. Increasingly, and not least since its acquisition of Huron Legal last year, it is extending its reach into the wider field of law firm and corporate information management with a particular eye on the risks inherent in holding data.

Although there is no evidence yet as to the cause of the Panama papers leak (or hack), that has focused attention on these risks, which makes it a good time for Consilio to publish the results of a survey which it undertook earlier this year.

The findings are set out helpfully in a graphic headed Cloud-based data security risks thrive in the workplace and are summarised also in a parallel press release called Inadvertent disclosure of sensitive data is greatest risk of cloud-based applications, Consilio survey findsContinue reading

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Nuix provides the power behind the humans investigating the Panama Papers leaks

Nuix

The Panama Papers story gives us a very big and high-profile example of how the processing and analytical power of software like Nuix can uncover facts and links which would it otherwise take large teams of humans years to find, if they found them at all. The principles are exactly the same for much more mundane data management tasks which organisations have to do. 

To some extent, the human brain has evolved to meet the ever-increasing volume of information which comes our way. Where I used to sit down and read The Times from cover to cover, I now scan my Twitter timeline quickly, subconsciously looking for a subliminal list of keywords which reflect my interests, or for a word or picture to trigger a new interest. Some takes me off down avenues which had not entered my head. Some, perhaps, gets missed in the process, either missed entirely or misunderstood. So it was that I flicked past the words “Panama” and “leaks” and mentally pictured large ships on their sides in a long dry cutting; the two words near each other caused me to assume that the Panama Canal had run dry.

The nature of Twitter is that other stories, or copies of the original story, come by pretty fast and I was soon clear that this story was about a different kind of leak. I made another kind of mental leap, and mentally assumed that Nuix would be involved in the story somewhere, this story having stirred memories of an earlier one. Others, meanwhile, were making their own sideways jumps as more detail emerged, and in no time at all the Prime Minister of Iceland had resigned and our own PM was being forced to tell us about his personal financial affairs. There will be more to come. Continue reading

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What makes for a good eDiscovery conference from a speaker’s point of view?

For the avoidance of doubt, the last few events which I have done have been models of efficient planning, with the bare minimum of input needed to achieve the result and venue arrangements which could not be faulted.

kCura has been inviting its Twitter followers to tell them about their preferred industry conferences or events. The question is, I think, aimed at delegates, but it set me thinking about what makes a “good” event from the point of view of a speaker.

It seems to be assumed that I spend all my time at events, attending dozens of them in a year. That is not in fact correct, but I can see how the perception arises – I write about most of the events I attend but do not, on the whole, record that I am sitting at my desk in Oxford reading and writing (as I do most of the time), so a slightly distorted perception arises. Nevertheless, I spend quite a lot of my life preparing for events of one kind or another, travelling to and from them and participating in them. On the whole, I enjoy them all, much as I may sigh when the alarm goes off at 5:00am or I start packing my bag for a foreign trip.

To twist kCura’s question slightly – what is likable or dislikable about some of the conferences I go to? I will take for granted for these purposes that panel members and content are good and the food at least acceptable. I will avoid identifying any of them and stick to the concepts (though I should make it clear, since kCura was my starting point, that kCura’s own events are NOT the subject of any of the adverse comments below). Continue reading

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Interview: Erika Namnath of H5 talks about the advantages of using Nuix for fast and accurate search

NuixNewLogoErika Namnath is Associate Director, eDiscovery Technical Services, at H5. Nuix invited me to interview her at Legaltech about the contribution which Nuix makes to H5’s long-standing reputation in eDiscovery search.

Erika Namnath said that the special feature of H5’s service is expertise in searching quickly through huge amounts of data. H5 applies linguists, data scientists and statisticians to the task, using an iterative sampling process to test the results before getting them back to clients very quickly. Continue reading

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Navigant expands its Global Legal Technology Solutions offering to Asia

Navigant_180As I have noted elsewhere, Navigant has grouped a comprehensive range of functions relating to information management into its Global Legal Technology Solutions practice to address the data management challenges of its worldwide clients. Increasingly (and rightly) large corporations are managing information both across disciplines and across jurisdictions, and Navigant’s Global Legal Technology Solutions team is a proper response to that.

There is a press release about this here.

Navigant’s Global Legal Technology Solutions offer eDiscovery and data analytics services, with specialist skills in forensic accounting and global investigations and compliance, addressing a wide range of legal technology issues including eDiscovery with a mixture of standard tools and custom solution development. The aim is to enable digital risk management, to increase efficiency, to reduce risk, and to control costs. Continue reading

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ZyLAB: delivering eDiscovery technologies since before eDiscovery was invented

ZyLABWhen I wrote about the UK Pyrrho predictive coding judgment on 23 February, I referred to the first information retrieval application I ever used, saying this:

If the Master did indeed see “primitive versions of this kind of process” in the mid-80s, then he was somewhat ahead of the rest of us. I was learning how to do command-line Boolean searches in the then new ZyIndex in the mid-80s and that seemed terribly sophisticated (as indeed it was by the standards of the time).

ZyIndex was the first product of computer technology company ZyLAB which was founded in the Netherlands in 1983, making it truly a veteran in its field. 33 years later, and with a strong presence in the US and the UK as well as in the Netherlands, it is still very much a leader, with applications and consultancy covering the full range of corporate data management, from information governance through to eDiscovery. Its software is used by in-house counsel, law firms, information and IT professionals, HR compliance teams, and records management; it is used by government and in investigations including, famously, the O.J. Simpson and Uni-Bomber investigations, as well as the United Nations War Crimes Tribunals. Continue reading

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Sedona Conference Programme on Cross-Border Discovery and Data Protection in Berlin 7 to 8 June

SedonaThe 8th Annual Sedona Conference International Programme on Cross-Border Discovery and Data Protection Laws will take place in Berlin on 7 to 8 June 2016. Applications are now being accepted for attendance at this event which has even more relevance in 2016 than it has had in previous years.

Last year, the Sedona Conference Working Group 6 (WG6) met in Hong Kong, on the entirely correct basis that the widening of data protection laws in the several jurisdictions which make up the Asia-Pacific region was of increasing importance to those with commercial and legal interests in the region.

This year, the attention rightly comes back to the EU, with new legislation, the Schrems decision invalidating Safe Harbour, Safe Harbour’s proposed successor the EU-US Privacy Shield, the Microsoft Dublin case and other developments bringing this subject to the top of every agenda.

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Relativity webinar on 4 April: The law of mobile, social and emerging technologies

kCura - RelativitykCura, developers of the Relativity eDiscovery software, are presenting a webinar on 4 April with the title The law of mobile, social and emerging technologies.

The relevant law which is discussed will be primarily that of the United States, but the subject matter goes beyond statute and case law and extends to technological advances and business trends, including bring your own device policies, social media and the mobile workplace.

The speakers are David Horrigan, eDiscovery Consel and Legal Content Director at kCura, Ari Kaplan of Ari Kaplan Advisors and Ed McAndrew of Ballard Spahr.

There is more information and a registration form here.

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Interview: Hal Marcus of Recommind talks about Axcelerate Cloud

RecommindShortly before LegalTech 2016, Recommind announced Axcelerate Cloud, the latest version of its subscription-based SaaS eDiscovery product using its Axcelerate platform.

The press release describes the benefits to clients of this including security, visibility, scalability and predictability.

I took the opportunity to interview Hal Marcus, Director of Product Marketing at Recommind shortly after the release. The interview appears below. Hal Marcus says that Recommind polled a number of large users to find out what mattered to them and uncovered, for example, that many of them were concerned about security but rarely audited its management.

Recommind has partnered with Amazon and with a growing number of partners to broaden the appeal of its existing SaaS model. This, as Hal Marcus says, makes it easy for clients to increase or decrease the volumes under review and to to use Recommind’s analytical tools without additional license fees. They can choose between self-service, full service with Recommind or one of its partners, or a hybrid of the two. Continue reading

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Interview: Margaret Shaw Lilani of UBIC on the challenges of Asian document review

UBICMargaret Shaw Lilani is Senior Vice President, Global Review Services, at UBIC. I interviewed her in New York and asked her about the particular issues which arise when undertaking document review in Asia-Pacific countries.

The primary issue, she says, is that you are dealing with multiple locations, multiple languages and multiple cultures, and must find a way to transcend these borders. In addition, law firms “speak their own language”, that is, have their own ways of dealing with document review. Continue reading

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Getting ready for Guidance Software’s Enfuse conference in Las Vegas

guidance-softwareGuidance Software’s Enfuse conference (formerly CEIC) takes place in Las Vegas from 23 to 26 May. Apart from a few diehard forensics types, I must be one of the longest-standing speakers at this event, watching it grow over the years both in the range of topics covered in its many sessions and in the number of people attending.

Enfuse

Like last year, I am taking part in three panels: Continue reading

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The case of the missing week

Looking at this week’s output, you wouldn’t know I spent almost the whole of last weekend drafting stuff for publication. The biggest of the resulting articles (because it has a long-term purpose) was my account of Recommind’s panel session Predictive Coding and life after Pyrrho. Most of the rest relate to videos for which I need approval (videos are about the only things for which I seek approval both from the subject and sometimes from marketing, which is one reason why they can take a while to appear; if I waited for approvals for everything, nothing would ever get published).

I was in London for most of the week. The main event was the one-day Nuix Insider Conference – excellent as always and something I will write about separately. Prepping for my panel there, on the GDPR, was what consumed the rest of the weekend. Continue reading

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Interview: Eddie Sheehy of Nuix and and Ian Campbell of iCONECT on the partnership between the two companies

NuixAndiCONECTAt Legaltech I interviewed Eddie Sheehy of Nuix and Ian Campbell of iCONECT shortly after the announcement of a new level of partnership between their respective companies.

iCONECT-XERA is an eDiscovery review platform. Ian Campbell said that clients wanted a single click to bring in data and make it reviewable instantly. iCONECT has risen to that challenge by providing a Nuix tile on its dashboard from which the user can click “Browse” and (in Ian’s words) “magic happens” and they have immediate access to reviewable data.

Eddie Sheehy said that Nuix and iCONECT were best of breed applications in their respective fields of expertise. A lot of clients wanted everything under one UI, and the partnership between Nuix and iCONECT gives them just that. iCONECT’s clients are Nuix clients as well, Eddie Sheehy said and “our bread is buttered by making our customers successful”.

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Recommind panel session: predictive coding and life after Pyrrho

The judgment in Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd & Ors was delivered on 16 February, and Recommind was quick off the mark to get a discussion panel organised for 15 March. The crypt of St Paul’s was packed and people had been turned away, something which is good news for those of us who have an interest in encouraging the use of predictive coding and other technology solutions for dealing with eDisclosure / eDiscovery.

Simon Price, Managing Director of Recommind in the UK, was the affable and able moderator. The panel comprised consisted of Tim Brown from RPC, James Levy of Ashurst, Celina McGregor of Herbert Smith Freehills, Damian Murphy of UBS, James Peters of Ofgem and me.

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Rather than gamely trying to report what each panel member said across 90 minutes, it is more helpful to focus on the main points which emerged (plus a few which did not but which reflect the fact that this discussions is about far more than the use of any particular class or make of technology). Continue reading

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The Masters Conference comes to London on 5 April

mastersconference_200The Masters Conference has long been a source of timely and relevant information for those interested in any aspect of eDiscovery / eDisclosure. It takes place in various locations, mainly in the US, and on 5 April it comes to London.

The agenda includes information governance, eDiscovery trends around the globe, cyber security, social media and predictive analytics.

I am taking part in the predictive analytics panel, moderated by Simon Price of Recommind.

This is a neatly packaged agenda, covering all the topics of current significance. There is more information and a registration page here.

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Interview:  Adam Rubinger of NightOwl Discovery talks about discovery management

NightOwlAdam Rubinger is Head of eDiscovery Management at NightOwl Discovery. In this interview, I asked him to explain what NightOwl means by “eDiscovery management” and what it means for the client.

Until recently, Adam Rubinger says, clients’ management of eDiscovery was “sporadic”, meaning both that companies instructed a range of lawyers for different cases and that they had no consistent processes or practices covering eDiscovery; that meant, for example, that data might sit in multiple places, having been collected over and over again for different cases by different people.

NightOwl saw an opportunity to bringing more efficiencies, and reduced risk and cost, to eDiscovery by offering a cost-effective and cost-predictable subscription model. As with Spotify or Dropbox, clients have a defined capacity for volumes and review time for a given period and therefore know exactly what they will be spending. Adam Rubinger points out that, in most companies, the same custodians recur in case after case, and there are obvious efficiencies to be made from this fact alone. Continue reading

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Cicayda integrates its eDiscovery software Reprise with Citrix ShareFile

CicaydaDotsCicayda’s Reprise is a cloud-based discovery review software platform which offers fast and powerful eDiscovery review, including text analytics, to law firms and their clients.

Cicayda has announced that it is integrating Reprise with file-sharing and sync service Citrix ShareFile. According to Cicayda CEO Billy Hyatt, this integration will “give law firms a smart, easy, secure, and compatible way to move their data in ShareFile into our Reprise platform for instant eDiscovery”.

Cicayda prides itself on a number of things, not least its continuous development schedule to meet client wishes, but perhaps the two most important features are its fast search facility and a user interface designed to make eDiscovery straightforward. Continue reading

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kCura buys Content Analyst to enhance Relativity Analytics

kCura - RelativitykCura’s has acquired Content Analyst, developers of the CAAT® analytics engine which kCura has long used to drive the analytics in Relativity. If this tells us something about kCura’s ambitions, it also emphasises the growing importance of analytics in eDiscovery.

kCura’s own press release is here. It emphasises that use of Relativity Analytics has grown by nearly 1,500% since 2011, with more than 70% of current kCura customers having Analytics licenses. It also, interestingly, draws attention to the England and Wales decision in Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd & Ors as a potential catalyst for yet wider use of analytical tools. Continue reading

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Legaltech interviews by Doug Austin

If there is anything better than conducting interviews oneself, it is the opportunity to pass on first-rate interviews conducted by somebody else.

Doug Austin, Professional Services Manager for CloudNine Discovery and the editor of eDiscovery Daily, made use of LegalTech to interview a number of people as part of his thought leader interview series.

Apart from being kind enough to include me in this list, his subjects so far published include Pete Feinberg of Consilio, Craig Ball, Tom O’Connor of Advanced Discovery (the new owners of UK-based Millnet) Jason Baron of Drinker Biddle & Reath, George Socha of Socha Consulting LLC and Ralph Losey of Jackson Lewis, as well as CloudNine’s own Brad Jenkins. Continue reading

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iCONECT expands into healthcare while adding to XERA functionality

iCONECTAmong my video interviews from Legaltech, is one with Ian Campbell, CEO of iCONECT (see Ian Campbell talks about forthcoming developments at iCONECT) in which he hinted at a wide range of pending developments for iCONECT, both at the corporate level and in iCONECT’s XERA review platform.

Perhaps the most eye-catching development is the movement into healthcare with a partnership with Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solutions.

As with everything else, healthcare is an area in which information grows at an enormous rate imposing both cost and risk burdens. The healthcare industry has long adopted electronic medical record systems which have, inevitably, come from different sources and at different stages in technology development. Continue reading

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Another success for ILTA and ALM at Legaltech Asia Hong Kong 2016

Legaltech AsiaILTA, the International Legal Technology Association, and ALM, the owners of the Legaltech conference brand, have for some years run a one-day event in Hong Kong called Legaltech Asia. I was there this year, as I have been since the series began

So far as ILTA is concerned, the Hong Kong event is part of a move to bring the benefits of ILTA – and not just its conferences – to an audience beyond North America. ILTA organises a London event every November, called ILTA Insight, and its particular skill is to bring to each jurisdiction a localised version of the very strong educational messages which it has developed over many years in the US. Continue reading

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Xerox Legal Services interview me about the UK Pyrrho predictive coding judgment

XeroxUnsurprisingly, there has been a great deal of interest in the judgment in Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd & Ors, an interest which is not limited to England and Wales.

Xerox Legal Services are, of course, as concerned with developments in the UK as they are in the US and Asia-Pacific, given their presence in all these locations. Rachel Teisch of Xerox interviewed me about the effect of the Pyrrho judgment and the resulting Q&A is here.

The main points I wanted to convey are, firstly, that however important Pyrrho itself is as a public-facing statement, a judgment of this kind could have been made at any point, at least since 2009. The express references to proportionality in the rules, the terms of CPR Rule 31.5 from 2010, and the Goodale judgment of 2009 are all stages which paved the way for Pyrrho. Continue reading

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Interview: Katie Fitzgerald of Lighthouse in the UK on using Nuix for case strategy and information governance

NuixIn my recent interview with him, Eddie Sheehy, CEO of Nuix, stressed the mission of Nuix to help tell stories from data. Nuix, Eddie said, brings two principal elements to investigations, whether for litigation or anything else: fast processing is one; the other is the analytical tools designed to help lawyers identify quickly what data exists and to extract from it the information needed to tell stories and to devise strategy.

I am taking opportunities when they arise to talk not just to software providers but to those who use their applications. One of these was Katie Fitzgerald, Strategic Consultant at Lighthouse eDiscovery, which has recently set up in the UK. Continue reading

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Navigant boosts its Information Security practice with FBI hire

Navigant_200Navigant has appointed Bob Anderson as a Managing Director leading its Information Security sub-practice. Information Security is now part of Navigant’s global Legal Technology Solution which embraces a very broad range of disputes, forensics, investigations, compliance and legal technology solutions.

Bob Anderson joins Navigant from the FBI where he was Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. This position gave him responsibility for all FBI criminal and cyber investigations worldwide, including critical incident response and victim assistance.

The Navigant Legal Technology Solutions team has a broad remit to help clients with data management challenges, working to reduce risk, increase efficiency and control costs. Cybersecurity has not only increased its own significance in the last 18 months, but become a driver for other aspects of data management, investigations and eDiscovery. At one end, potential cybersecurity incidents can be minimised by a prudent focus on information governance; at the other end, an incident gives rise to investigations aimed at minimising future risk and to compliance implications; it often also gives rise to litigation. Continue reading

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Recommind breakfast seminar in London on 15 March: Predictive Coding and life after Pyrrho

RecommindMaster Matthews’ predictive coding judgment in Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd & Ors has, quite rightly, caused enormous interest, and not just in the UK. I wrote about it here.

While the judgment is an important encouragement for litigation lawyers to consider the use of predictive coding technology in the courts of England and Wales, it is not as simple as simply asserting that the judgment is carte blanche for the use of this or any other technology in any case – Master Matthews himself took pains to emphasise this in the closing paragraph of his judgment. It is necessary to consider a range of factors and to be able to weigh and discuss them with clients, opponents and, ultimately and where necessary, the court. Continue reading

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Huron Legal + Consilio publish Law Department Benchmarking Report

logo_huronlegalplusconsilioAmong the good things which Consilio took on when it acquired Huron Legal was the annual Law Department Benchmarking Report which is now in its sixth year.

Data was taken from 119 companies about how they run their internal operations, what increasing or changing challenges they face and what they are spending.

The areas of particular interest to me include information governance and data privacy / security initiatives. 34% of respondents have enterprise-wide information governance programs in place and 38% are planning one. Cybersecurity and data privacy are driving these initiatives. Continue reading

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Interview: Eddie Sheehy, CEO of Nuix, on using data to tell stories

NuixI caught up with Eddie Sheehy, CEO of Nuix, at Legaltech and asked him what was going to be important for Nuix and its clients in 2016.

Nuix began as a forensics company and moved from there into eDiscovery. Both these subjects, Eddie Sheehy says, are “all about data, the ones and zeros” and how they can be used to tell a story and give it context.

Nuix was sponsor of the IG track at Legaltech and I asked Eddie Sheehy about the development of information governance understanding.

Nuix was one of the first to appreciate the importance of information governance, he said. To begin with, IG attracted little financial sponsorship because clients could not easily see a return on the investment in IT tools and skills. The very rapid increase in cybercrime, and in particular the theft of information from companies, has changed that IG focus. Continue reading

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Ian Campbell talks about forthcoming developments at iCONECT

iCONECTIan Campbell is CEO and President of iCONECT, makers of the iCONECT-XERA eDiscovery review software. I interviewed him at Legaltech. We got through a lot of topics in five minutes – the video interview is below.

Continue reading

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QuisLex awarded US patent for quality management processes in document review

QuisLexQuisLex is a legal services provider which deals with complex document review, contract management and compliance projects for corporations and law firms. Its eDiscovery projects cover litigation, investigations both internal and for regulatory purposes, and compliance.

QuisLex employs more than 1,000 lawyers, mainly at its large and modern facility in Hyderabad, India but also in the US. Their work is backed by a wide range of technology tools. The skill which has led to QuisLex’s recent expansion lies in the project management which ties together many different technologies with the human teams.

QuisLex has recently been awarded a US Patent for “System and Method to Determine Quality of a Document Screening Process” issued in the names of Sirisha Gummaregula, COO, and Sreekanth Dharmakari, VP, Business Process. Continue reading

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Jonathan Marshall of Navigant talks about cross-border discovery after the end of Safe Harbour

Navigant_200Last year, I interviewed Navigant Managing Director Jonathan Marshall about how Navigant dealt with the problems encountered when dealing with cross-border discovery on behalf of clients.

The Schrems decision and the invalidation of Safe Harbour, the pending Data Protection Regulation, the Microsoft Dublin case, and other developments, have had a profound effect on the way companies deal with data transfers in the ordinary course of business. I asked Jonathan Marshall if these developments made any difference to the manner in which cross-border eDiscovery should be managed.  Continue reading

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Reacting to the reactions to the Pyrrho predictive coding judgment

My reaction to the judgment in Pyrrho?

About bloody time too.

There, that’s that done.

Oh. You want more than that. Um..

Because, as you know, I spent my whole life looking at Twitter, I saw Taylor Wessing’s story about the predictive coding judgment in Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd & Ors [2016] EWHC 256 (Ch) (16 February 2016) as soon it came out. I am not generally much bothered about being the bearer of “Breaking News!!”, but it seemed right to drop everything and push out a quick post passing on the story. I had written it before Edward Spencer at Taylor Wessing (who emerges as the hero of this story, if heroes are what you want) kindly sent me a copy of the judgment and, although I attached it to my post, my article was written without the benefit of reading it properly – there is only so much time you can give, even to a new judgment, when you are sandwiched between two big foreign trips, and I knew anyway that the judgment would launch a deluge of articles from others.

I decided instead to stand back, watch the other reactions rush past, and take a considered view. Continue reading

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Off to Hong Kong for Legaltech Asia in Hong Kong

Legaltech AsiaI did not bother to put my suitcase away after getting back from Legaltech New York because I am heading off this weekend for Legaltech Asia in Hong Kong.

This one-day event has become a welcome fixture in the calendar. ILTA is ALM’s educational partner and, as always, has put together a programme which covers a range of interests. The agenda is here.

Among other sessions, we have Daniel Martin Katz giving a keynote speech with the title Law’s Future from Finance’s Past while Adi Elliott and Sebastian Ko of Epiq with Conor Crowley of UBS are talking about the constructs of technology, data and the regulatory landscape.

I am going to moderate a discussion with Dmitri Hubbard of Xerox Legal Services and Gabriela Kennedy of Mayer Brown JSM on data protection and privacy as it looks (and is developing post-Schrems) in Asia Pac. Continue reading

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Planning ahead for Legaltech – next year

You won’t find here a list of all the software demos I saw at LegalTech, or accounts of all the sessions I went to (though I mention my own), or deep discussion of trends. I have done a bit of that in my post called the The intangible benefits of going to Legaltech, but the flood of articles about Legaltech are like Legaltech itself – an awful lot crammed into a very short period. This post is more travelogue than deep analysis, and you may want to skip it in favour of something more learned.

If this year’s LegalTech was less enjoyable for me than others, that is not ALM’s fault. I set myself up for running from place to place, even on the Monday and Friday, which are usually reserved for R&R. I thought longingly of the time when I would go there with no commitments and spend the days going to sessions and bumping into people to talk to. Then came a period when I would mark the sessions I wanted to go to and cross them off to make room for meetings. Now I don’t bother to eye up any sessions but my own.

The journey 

I kicked off with encounters with WH Smith and G4S before I had even boarded the plane – these are described in a post called Two of the UK’s most hated companies in quick succession at Heathrow. If this has any relevance to eDiscovery, that lies in the end of my other LTNY post where I ask if you like your eDiscovery provider and its employees. If not, why not seek out one you do like? Continue reading

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Judicial approval for the use of predictive coding in UK eDisclosure

A press release from Taylor Wessing reports that Master Matthews has given judicial approval for the use of predictive coding for disclosure in the English High Court.

The press release reports that the parties had agreed the use of predictive coding but thought they ought to obtain judicial approval. This is consistent with the provisions of Rule 31.5 which provides (effectively) that the court is the final arbiter of decisions about scope, method and cost of disclosure.

The press release emphasises that the concern of both court and parties was “to reduce the associated costs whilst still complying with the disclosure obligations”.

The Master “noted that predictive coding is in use in other jurisdictions and evidence suggests that it is no less accurate than a traditional manual review process”. I think it likely that US Magistrate Judge Peck’s opinions in Da Silva Moore and Rio Tinto will have been referred to. I think it likely to say that the judgment will have referred to the Irish case of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd V Quinn – I wrote about Rio Tinto and Quinn in my article here.

The first (and I think hitherto the only) reference to technology of this kind, albeit not by name, came in former Senior Master Whitaker’s judgment in Goodale v The Ministry of Justice. That judgment includes the sentence:

“Indeed, when it comes to review, I am aware of software that will effectively score each document as to its likely relevance and which will enable the prioritisation of categories within the entire document set”.

Why, one wonders, has it taken so long for this to come before the court in the direct way of the present judgment?

Having dictated this much, I now have a copy of the judgment which, on a quick glance, bears out my assumptions above. I will write more about it shortly. I am obliged to Ed Spencer, the Associate at Taylor Wessing who is referred to with particular thanks in the judgment, for letting me see it.

The case is Pyrrho Investments Ltd & Anor v MWB Property Ltd & Ors and a copy of the judgment is attached.

2016.02.16 – Predictive Coding Jugdment (handed down)

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FTI Technology White Paper: Metrics that Matter in eDiscovery

FTI TechnologyHow much do lawyers need to understand about metrics and statistics in order to conduct a proper search? This is a question which is fundamental to the take-up of modern technology, and one which is hard to address.

I saw a tweet last week in which a mathematically-minded hard-liner said that numeracy is as important to the modern lawyer as literacy. To admit that you were poor at maths, the tweeter said, is as bad as admitting to an inability to read.

If I am less of a hard-liner on this subject, it is probably because I am a mathematical dunce. It is also unhelpful to make such assertions when there are many fine litigation lawyers out there who do not take readily to science – that is probably why they followed an arts route at university. We must rise to the marketing issue which arises, not abuse those who find it hard.

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FTI Technology knows a lot about the statistics of eDiscovery having long been a leader in eDiscovery tools which harness the power of statistics as an aid to discovery. FTI has now come up with a White Paper called Metrics that Matter which is the best example I have seen of an attempt to make the metrics of eDiscovery comprehensible to all. Continue reading

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CYFOR signs up for military obstacle run to raise funds for children’s hospice

CYFORA team from CYFOR’s Manchester office has signed up to participate in the Royal British Legion Major North series to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice.

The event takes place on Sunday 20 March and apparently involves 10km of military obstacles, muddy bogs, thick woods and river crossings.

CYFOR’s web page about this is here.

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Angela Bunting of Nuix on the benefits of being on top of the data

NuixNewLogo1Angela Bunting is Director of eDiscovery Products and Solutions at Nuix.

When I interviewed her last September, she had just written a paper called Putting perspective back into eDiscovery whose theme was the benefit of getting on top of the data, and thence the facts, at the earliest possible stage in a case or an investigation.

Angela Bunting says that it is no good waiting until the discovery process is over before starting to acquire the facts. It is necessary to make decisions, both strategic and tactical, right at the start, and the lawyer who does have control of the facts is in a better position (obviously) than the one who does not. This involves the use of appropriate technology right at the beginning. Continue reading

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AccessData webinar series: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the FRCP Amendments

AccessDataAccessData is running an eDiscovery webinar series in conjunction with Adam Smith, Esq., with the title The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the FRCP Amendments.

There are three parts to the webinar, to be broadcast on 23 February, 8 March and 22 March from 12:00pm ET.

The three sessions cover the following topics:

  • Session I: Proportionality, Cooperation, and Early Case Assessment
  • Session II: How the amendments change the e-discovery process
  • Session III: The ethical implications of requiring lawyers to be conversant with technology

There is more information here including details of the speakers and a registration form.

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Interview: Bruce Markowitz of Evolver at Relativity Fest

kCura - RelativityBruce Markowitz is the VP for Legal Services at Evolver.

Evolver is a Relativity Premium Hosting Partner, and I had the opportunity to talk to Bruce Markowitz at Relativity Fest.

I asked him first why he goes to Relativity Fest; among other good reasons, he says that he goes to keep up with the “user consensus” on how partners can best use Relativity. His focus was in particular on Relativity’s analytical tools.

I asked Bruce Markowitz also how he uses Relativity for his clients and what feature he values most. In addition to the analytics, he says that the ease of designer workflows made Evolver’s life easier and offered greater flexibility for clients. He gives as a specific example Evolver’s own tool for de-duping Excel spreadsheets and allowing redaction of them.

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ZyLAB and ACEDS webinar on 10 March: Optimising your FOIA request process from start to finish

ZyLABCorporate decisions about introducing eDiscovery software tend to focus on the big events such as major litigation, regulatory investigations and internal investigations.

Like every other investment proposal, eDiscovery specification involves an analysis of cost and benefit, including an attempt to calculate a return on investment. Many initiatives come unstuck because, while it is generally easy to calculate what they would cost, it is rather harder to work out what will be saved by what can be a significant investment.

Something which is often overlooked, even by those trying to sell such applications, are the uses for eDiscovery software which go beyond those major requirements. In the EU, for example, many organisations face Subject Access Requests; in the US, Freedom of Information Act requests impose similar burdens. One of the difficulties here is that the burden in both time and budget tends to fall on departments other than legal and IT – perhaps the HR Department. The expense gets overlooked when calculations are made for return on investment purposes. Continue reading

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Nuix Insider Conference in London on 23 March

NuixThe Nuix Insider Conference will take place in London on 23 March. It is an educational event, aimed at anyone from advanced existing users to those who are new to Nuix.

Some of the sessions are technical ones to do with using the various tools which Nuix has developed. Others are to do with the context in which these tools are used – I took part in an information governance panel last year, for example.

This year I am involved in a panel on compliance, cyber and the law called What can you do in 72 hours? This will be led by Paul Slater, Executive Director EMEA at Nuix.

There is more information about the Nuix Insider Conference here.

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The intangible benefits of going to Legaltech

“What have you seen that’s new here at Legaltech?” is a stock phrase used to open conversations when you have nothing else to say. It is a formality, no more meaningful than that other stock Legaltech conversation about the weather, and it expects the answer “Nothing”. The only thing I found which was new to me this year was a rather good Orange Martini in the bar at the Warwick across the road. Everything else is steady, incremental change, which is how it should be.

This does not mean that these incremental developments can’t be interesting or important and I will cover some of them in future posts. This, and a succeeding post, are my accounts of LegalTech the show, not a portmanteau of regurgitated press releases. I like to add some value to my comments on what the PRs say, and you don’t do that well after a whistle-stop tour of Legaltech’s exhibit halls (nor, frankly, when you get back to a week’s unanswered emails).

If you want some quick points, the words “visualisation”, “cloud” and “getting lawyer eyes on key documents quickly” will summarise the more important (but incremental) developments. Each of these expressions has become debased through imprecise overuse but there is no sense in trying to invent a new vocabulary now. Continue reading

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Another year, another LegalTech

My New Year resolution, in business terms, was to take on things only if a) they had a business benefit for me or b) they benefited one or more of my sponsors and/or c) were interesting. I would cut down on the flying, and write only for me and for my sponsors, declining (nearly) all invitations to write for third parties. I would devote more time to devising means of producing eDisclosure / eDiscovery resources which did not involve the inconvenience and expense of having to travel to deliver them.

Here we are at the end of January. How is it going so far? Well, I have spent days prepping for video webinars for someone to whom I owe no obligations, and I am about to spend the first week of February in the US and the last week in Hong Kong, so the resolutions are not standing the test of time. The webinars, however, had collateral benefits, and the two trips meet all my criteria of benefit and interest.

CPD Videos

The time-consuming videos were for a reputable CPD company. I always said that the one thing I would not do was talk unaccompanied at a video camera for 60 minutes – although I am keen on video as a means of conveying information, that is when either when it comes in small bites or when it involves discussion with other people. To just look at a camera and talk to myself on a dense and fairly technical subject for 60 minutes is no fun at all. Continue reading

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Interview: David Horrigan, Legal Content Director at kCura

At the tail end of last summer, I had the opportunity to talk to David Horrigan, General Counsel and Legal Content Director at kCura.

I asked him first what his plans were for education in his new role. David Horrigan says that he wanted to make eDiscovery accessible, fun even, for those involved in it, including the clients who pay for it. It is not just a necessary evil, but part of everyday life, and part of the purpose of the Relativity Blog is to make people more aware of this. Continue reading

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Bob Tennant of Recommind: it’s about finding the documents that matter

RecommindIt is of course a good thing that the eDiscovery software market offers competing solutions to clients. Competition means choice; it also means that software providers must strive to keep invention up and costs down.

It is equally true that choice can become paralysing. Most of us have stared at shelves full of near-identical consumer products and tried to evaluate their competing claims and price differentials; we have the same difficulty when choosing providers of services, as lawyers, insurance companies and the like try to persuade us, with a finite vocabulary, that their service is the one you should buy. For many of us (and it is certainly true of me) the mind closes down eventually and I end up buying none of them. Continue reading

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Eddie Sheehy of Nuix talks about the need for speed and context in investigations

NuixSpeed is important in eDiscovery whether that is for litigation or for investigations. This is partly because time is money, and anything which reduces time reduces also the cost of the investigation, but there are other reasons why the advantage lies with the party who can get most quickly to the data which matters and turn it into usable information.

It may dictate strategy, such as the decision to fight or not to fight a civil case; it may steer an approach to a regulator which may be a confident assertion that all is well or a timely admission that there are problems to be addressed; in an internal investigation, speedy analysis of the data may bring a swift end to wrongdoing. Continue reading

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Interview: US Magistrate Judge Peck on cross-border discovery after Schrems

JudgePeckShortly after the Schrems judgment was published, I moderated a panel on cross-border discovery at Lawtech Europe Congress in Brussels.

One of the panellists was US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck, and I took the opportunity to interview him about one particular aspect of US court requirements for discovery from the EU or from other jurisdictions which impose data protection and privacy restraints on discovery.

The point I picked on was the quality and timeliness of the information given by lawyers to the US Court about the conflicts caused by EU (and other) data protection and privacy restrictions, and I asked Judge Peck if we were seeing progress on this. The interview appears below. Continue reading

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Tom Palladino of NightOwl Discovery talks about the advantages of working directly for corporations

NightOwlNightOwl Discovery, based in Minneapolis, has been providing discovery services for corporations and law firms for many years.

I had the opportunity to interview its president, Tom Palladino, while at EDI in New Orleans and I asked him about to explain the benefits, both to NightOwl and to the corporations, of working directly for the end client rather than through law firms – it is not, as Tom Palladino makes clear, that NightOwl does not happily work for law firms, but the bulk of its business is directly with clients. Continue reading

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Information Governance webinars from Nuix

NuixNewLogoNuix has bundled together a set of video webinars designed to demystify information governance and, as Nuix puts it, to “move the discourse on IG from theory to action”.

The webinar titles are self-explanatory:

  • The real story of what information governance is and why you should be doing it
  • Breaking information governance down to enable action
  • Building the business case for information governance
  • Operationalising information governance

Each video stands on its own; the set of four is designed to give a rounded explanation of the whole subject. Continue reading

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Forthcoming webinars on the rules and practice directions and on identification and retrieval of documents

I am about to record two video webinars with MBL Seminars covering different aspects of eDisclosure in England and Wales.

One, to be broadcast on 25 February, is called eDisclosure – the Rules and Practice Directions. The regulation of disclosure is not to be found only in Part 31 and its practice directions. The overriding objective in Part 1 CPR and the court’s management powers in Part 3 CPR impose relevant requirements, and there are also provisions relating to costs which inevitably affect the sensible scope of disclosure. There is a crossover between costs and conduct whose ambit is wider than disclosure and which may catch you out if your sole focus is on Part 31.

The other, to be broadcast on 23 March, is called eDisclosure – Identification and Retrieval of Documents. It will have two broad themes. One is the range of sources which exist and which lawyers ought to consider (at least) when preparing to give disclosure. The definition of a “document” in the Rules is very wide, and this part of the webinar will help to ensure that none is overlooked. Continue reading

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Education and cross-border eDiscovery at kCura’s Relativity Fest

RelativityFestYes, I know it has been weeks since kCura’s Relativity Fest in Chicago, but that was the first of a series of events, each of which got in the way of reporting on the last. I gave a brief summary of the Autumn’s activities in my article Not much time at my desk as the Autumn season begins. Now I can go back over some of them to pull out whatever still seems important.

Relativity Fest has outgrown its previous home and moved this year to the larger Hilton Chicago. As always, its agenda included practical workshops for users, legal subjects from judges and practitioners, and sessions on eDiscovery practice; between them these cover the full range of people and skills involved in eDiscovery. As always with kCura, hard work was mixed with fun. Part of kCura’s success has been the way it combines the serious stuff with a feeling of “community” (I hate the word, but it is sometimes useful) in which all the participants have a share – lawyers, developers, partners, users and technical people. Continue reading

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