eDisclosure: some real life examples of the benefits of a Managed Service
eDisclosure (sometimes known as eDiscovery) is a complex process. With automated tools available some opt to manage these in-house but, unless highly skilled and experienced personnel are involved in the process, there is no guarantee that these tools will be used to their maximum effect or that mistakes will not be made. Given that the ultimate goal is court acceptance, many firms opt to work in partnership with an expert eDisclosure Managed Service provider.
SRM’s forensic team, established in 2002, is drawn from law enforcement, government agencies and military with over 60 years’ combined experience. The team has delivered thousands of cases supporting law firms, government agencies and commercial organisations in the accurate production of case papers and reports to be tendered in court. The following case studies show, in brief, the added value we bring to real-life eDisclosure cases.
FTSE 250 Company vs Local Authority
This case, involving a FTSE 250 company and a local authority related to the forensic collection of over 150GB of data. This data included the email accounts of 15 custodians and their shared work space folders on the server.
- The forensic collection was carried out by trained, experienced forensic investigators which ensured the data was collected in its original state and the integrity of the data maintained.
- Once collected, the data was processed using the Relativity eDiscovery platform which allows the analysis and review of the data by secure access.
- When processed on the platform the data is automatically searched for duplicate documents and these are highlighted and removed from the data set. In this case we were left with over 460,000 documents for review.
- Further reduction of the data set was achieved firstly by email threading which removes emails which are part of a thread and only highlights emails which are unique. Secondly agreed keyword searches were run across the data and only documents which contained a keyword hit remained in the data set.
- The final number of documents for review was just under 260,000, nearly a 50% reduction which saved the reviewing lawyers considerable time when it came to the review of the documents.
Two large companies in the service industries
A litigation between 2 large companies in the service industries involved the collection of data which was in excess of 1.2TB. What made this eDiscovery task more complex was the format of the data. The usual email server was captured as well as 8 laptop computers and 2 mobile phones.
- The total volume of data captured could have been processed directly onto the Relativity platform at great expense to the client due to the volume. To reduce the volume SRM used forensic software to identify irrelevant documents such as system files and other known files commonly found on digital devices. Files such as documents, spread sheets, pdfs and emails were identified and extracted.
- The ability of SRM to use forensic tools to reduce the data volume prior to processing onto the platform is a method which saves the client money and time when it comes to processing and reviewing the data.
- The reduction in the data went from 2 TB to 160 GB which was then uploaded to the Relativity platform. This was then de duplicated, threaded and keyword searches were run across the data to further reduce the volume.
Secretary of State vs PLC
A litigation between a Secretary of State and a large PLC involved the forensic collection of over 30 GB of data. This data included email accounts and shared work space folders on the server. Prior to the forensic collection of the data, forensic investigators at SRM were named in the court order as being the only persons who could handle the data. This was based on the experience, background and vetting of the individuals.
- Once collected, the data was processed using the Relativity eDiscovery platform which allows the analysis and review of the data by secure access. When processed on the platform the data is automatically searched for duplicate documents and these are highlighted and removed from the data set.
- Further reduction of the data set was achieved firstly by email threading, which removes emails which are part of a thread and only highlights emails which are unique. Secondly, agreed keyword searches were run across the data and only documents which contained a keyword hit remained in the data set.
- The method of usage of the Relativity platform in this case proved innovative because it was used by both parties in the litigation as well as an independent party appointed by the court. This involved setting up of 3 separate review platforms each one restrictive to the other parties.
- In addition to being used for review, the separate platforms were used as a repository for shared documents along with comments which were placed on the documents by other parties.
- The forensic investigators under instruction was also responsible for the redaction of documents which contained privileged or irrelevant material.
- By using the named individuals in SRM considerable time and expense was saved by the client when it came to the review. In total the 6 million documents were reduced to 17,000 for review.
The head of SRM’s eDisclosure team Colin Gray hosted a live (free) webinar on the benefits of a Managed eDiscovery service on Wedneday 18th April at 3pm. A recorded version is now available. To view, click here.
To find out more about SRM’s Managed eDisclosure service, contact Mark Nordstrom on firstname.lastname@example.org or 03450 21 21 51.
To find out about the specific benefits, visit our website.
Or see our blog.
Gibson & Co launches eDiscovery service
(left to right: Mark Nordstrom (SRM), Jane Gibson, James Hopper (SRM), Toby Gibson, Tom Fairfax (SRM), Alan Batey (SRM)
(Press release 11/01/18)
Leading North East litigation practice Gibson & Co. has invested in a world class eDiscovery service to support client litigation cases. By partnering with Gosforth-based Security Risk Management (SRM) Ltd, Gibson & Co. obtains access to its own Relativity platform, the market leading eDiscovery solution, coupled with the technical and forensic expertise and experience of a highly regarded and established eDiscovery provider.
A vital tool in the management of electronically stored data (ESI) as evidence in litigation, eDiscovery is the process of sifting, sorting, reducing and redacting data for legal expert review in a way that meets the ultimate test of court acceptance.
Tom Fairfax, Managing Director of SRM, says: ‘Gibsons wanted to go further than simply buying into an eDiscovery platform; they wanted to be able to provide their clients with an exceptional service experience from the outset. By working in partnership with SRM they are able to provide a cost-effective and fully managed process which optimises the best available technology while also using the forensic skills of an expert team. In this way, the initial stages which usually take several weeks are completed in just a few hours.’
Toby Gibson, partner at Gibson & Co. says: ‘We face two important and related challenges to our litigation practice. The first is costs pressure from clients. The second is how to make best use of the available technology. Our cases often involve the management of a large volume of data and we need to store, review and use that data as efficiently as possible. In SRM we have found a partner that has been able to provide a bespoke product to meet that technology challenge. We are convinced that we have an excellent collaboration tool in Relativity which will be of potential benefit to all of our clients. This partnership will make us more efficient via the inherent collaboration benefits while keeping costs down. We are delighted to have teamed up with SRM.’
The SRM eDiscovery team is made up of forensic professionals drawn from law enforcement, government agencies and the military with over 60 years’ combined eDiscovery experience. SRM has conducted thousands of successful eDiscovery projects since the company established in 2002. Gibson & Co. is ranked highly by the Legal500 as an ‘incredibly well-regarded’ litigation team. In 2018, Chambers & Partners awarded both Toby and Jane Gibson ‘Top Ranked’ lawyer status for the seventh year running.
The global growth of the eDiscovery market
The global eDiscovery market is forecast to rise from $6,000 million in 2016 to $13,000 million by 2023. Law firms across the world are therefore increasingly looking to develop their eDiscovery services to retain their competitive edge in this market and provide a valuable service to win and retain clients.
The ‘Global eDiscovery Market Analysis and Forecast to 2023’ by Research and Markets attributes this growth to several factors. Firstly to the rise of electronically stored information (ESI) and the increase in the number of litigation cases. Secondly, the researchers cite the continuous drive to bring down the functional costs of legal departments, the necessity to comply with rules and regulations and the increased usage of mobile devices.
Although North America accounts for 65 per cent of the global eDiscovery revenue in 2016, other geographical areas are predicted to experience increased growth in coming years. In the UK, eDiscovery is comparatively well-developed compared to other parts of the world, with many now working with established eDiscovery providers to deliver a seamless, professional and cost-effective service to their clients.
This trend is due largely to the significant cost of purchasing an eDiscovery platform and the vast technological and forensic resource required to deliver the service in-house. A managed eDiscovery service combines the technical skills and experience of a specialist team working in partnership with the legal team. In addition to providing the tools required to discover relevant ESI, a full eDiscovery Managed Service provides the expertise to manage all elements of the process, including case management, all pre-processing, searching and filtering data for relevance, the redaction of files and the reduction of the sheer volume of data which meets the ultimate test of court acceptance.
SRM first began developing its eDiscovery service in 2002 and its team includes experts drawn from law enforcement, government agencies and military with over 60 years’ combined experience. The team has delivered thousands of cases supporting law firms, government agencies and commercial organisations in the accurate production of case papers and reports to be tendered in court. Through SRM’s managed service, law firms benefit from working with this reputable team while also having affordable access to Relativity, the market leading eDiscovery review and collaboration platform.
For a free demonstration and introduction to the SRM eDiscovery Managed Service please contact Mark Nordstrom at SRM: email@example.com or telephone 03450 21 21 51.
See our website: eDiscovery
Or visit our blog:
eDiscovery: the issues facing law firms and solicitors
eDiscovery and eDisclosure: why, what, how and who?
eDiscovery: the issues facing law firms and solicitors
by Alan Batey
Information Security Consultant and Forensic Investigator
In today’s world, evidence in legal cases is sourced from the vast quantities of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) that exists across a range of platforms and devices. Acting on behalf of clients, large law firms may have access to eDiscovery platforms to sift, sort, redact and reduce the amount of data that is made available, keeping only those files with relevance to the case in a legally recognised format which preserves the integrity of the data and stands the ultimate test of court acceptance. Smaller firms may not have operated an eDiscovery platform, considering it too expensive or shying away from the complex technology. This is not altogether surprising.
ESI comes from a number of sources; from emails, texts, voicemails messages, word-processed documents and databases, including documents stored on portable devices such as memory sticks and mobile phones. In totality it includes an unfeasibly large and complex volume of files. SRM was recently involved in an eDiscovery case where the original ESI involved 1.2TB of data which, in this particular instance, was reduced to 160GB. Although hundreds of gigabytes is more usual, this is still more data than can effectively be processed in a legally acceptable manner without the use of sophisticated management and tools.
Yet many who engage with eDiscovery Platforms find the process is unsatisfactory. They may require assistance with the forensic discovery of electronic documents or need more support in managing the information security risks surrounding the placing of confidential information on a Cloud or server based platform. They may feel their technology partner is unsupportive or that the cost of the exercise lacks transparency. Ultimately, some are worried about the security issues of releasing sensitive information to a third party.
eDiscovery projects require extremely high levels of skill, technical expertise and diligence. At SRM we work in conjunction with the legal team to advise and execute the eDiscovery requirement for their client. 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 eDiscovery technology, saving the 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 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.
SRM provides a range of highly professional cost-effective solutions, suitable for all sizes of law firms. From the provision of a low cost ‘E-Discovery Lite’ package to the involvement of Expert Witness Forensic Consultants or the use of a Virtual Chief Information Security Officer VCISOtm.
eDiscovery and eDisclosure: why, what, how and who?
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.