For many years the terms eDiscovery and eDisclosure have been used interchangeably. The general rule was that eDiscovery was a US term while eDisclosure was more commonly used in the UK. Recently, however, the terms have taken on more precise meanings. Both eDiscovery and eDisclosure relate to the processing and production of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) data, usually for legal proceedings.
Nowadays evidence is not limited to written correspondence. It can take the form of emails, texts, voicemail messages, word-processed documents and databases and documents stored on portable devices such as memory sticks and mobile phones.
Added together these can amount to hundreds of thousands of documents relating to multiple sources; not all of which has any relevance to the legal matter in hand. So they need to be sorted in a legally recognised way, in their original state and in a way that maintains the integrity of the data.
eDisclosure describes the ‘what’ element of the process. In short, it describes the provision of ESI in a format that can be shared by lawyers for production in court. It is a specific term used in the Civil Procedure Rules of England and Wales but is also widely used by those involved in the processing of ESI for legal purposes. The reduction of the volume of data needs to be processed so that all potentially relevant files are available in one place to the opposing counsels and the court.
eDiscovery describes the ‘how’ element of the process. Not all eDiscovery cases lead to legal proceedings. eDiscovery is the process of utilising tools to discover relevant data required to secure interrogation, efficient expert analysis and surety of deliverables which face the ultimate test of court acceptance. It involves the sifting of data for relevance, the redaction of files and the reduction of the sheer volume of data. In a recent eDiscovery project conducted by SRM’s specialist team 1.2TB of data was reduced to 160GB.
eDiscovery and eDisclosure projects require extremely high levels of skill, technical expertise and diligence. At SRM we work on behalf of the client but in conjunction with the legal team to advise and execute the eDiscovery requirement. We define each stage and advise on the ongoing process and progress giving a full breakdown of costs for each stage. Our service is at the cutting edge of legal technology, saving our clients time and money while achieving best results. We also work effectively and strategically to ensure that disruption to the client’s business is minimal.
When such large volumes of data are made available to a third party, trust is crucial. Our eDiscovery and eDiscovery team includes individuals who have worked with the police, MOD and FTSE100 companies. We are the leading PCI Forensic Investigation company in the UK and cyber security supplier to HM Government.