Five Big Trends In Ediscovery Across Europe In 2015

Kroll Ontrack, the leading global provider of ediscovery technologies and services to companies involved in litigation and investigations, today released its predictions for five big trends in ediscovery across Europe in 2015 based on the increasing risks in cyber security.

The hacking scandals of 2014, which reached a pinnacle with the recent Sony incident, have demonstrated the very real risks to businesses and corporate information meaning that effective corporate governance will be paramount to the success of organisations in 2015.

Growing cybersecurity risk to company data drives information governance

As the Sony hacking incident in late 2014 demonstrated, the risks presented to corporate information are both very real and highly varied.  Companies need to know where their data is, how it can be accessed and how to set up early warning systems that highlight breaches.  EJ Hilbert, Managing Director,  Kroll said: “Effective corporate information governance will be paramount to the success of organisations in 2015, and ediscovery tools will increasingly be used to both investigate cyber-based attacks and reduce the risk of them occurring by identifying valuable data.”

The legal profession will increasingly offer alternative solutions to address evidence management

Companies and their legal professionals are looking for cost-effective ways to manage the ever expanding volumes of electronic evidence that need to be considered as part of litigation and regulatory or other legal investigations.  There is growing impetus behind the trend to outsource ediscovery to efficient third parties with the right legal and technical expertise to work as an integral part of the traditional legal team.  There is also growing recognition across Europe that processes like document review can be safely unbundled from a law firm’s services, and be led by third party managed review providers, without loss of control or a reduction in quality.

International ediscovery solutions will develop as legal risk becomes increasingly global

As companies expand in the global marketplace, regulators will continue to reach into every corner of the world and co-operate on the enforcement of regulation aimed at controlling mergers and acquisitions and at stamping out corruption, anti-competitive behaviour and breaches of trade sanctions.  A number of European companies faced intense regulatory scrutiny in 2014 including large banks and engineering companies which faced record fines issued by United States authorities under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and sanctions programmes.

Companies will need to rely more on international ediscovery solutions to carry out compliance audits and to deal with the challenges that arise in multi-national investigations.  These solutions include the ability to seamlessly collect data scattered in different countries, review documents in multiple languages and comply with data protection and privacy laws which restrict data transfer across borders.  Companies will increasingly look for the flexibility, control and security they need to successfully manage their electronic evidence and ediscovery obligations in the most appropriate location, whether that should be a local data centre or an onsite solution.

New legal developments will drive how ediscovery software and services are used

A raft of new legal developments in 2014 will create new requirements in 2015 and beyond for organisations to produce electronic evidence and use ediscovery software and services.  These include the adoption in December 2014 in Europe of the Directive on antitrust damages actions by the EU Parliament and the EU Council.  The Directive recognises that injured parties should be afforded the right to obtain the disclosure of evidence relevant to their claim, opening the door to ediscovery obligations in competition cases.  EU Member States will have two years to transpose the Directive into their national laws.

In the United Kingdom, the newly formed Competition and Markets Authority, which investigates mergers as well as anti-competitive and cartel behaviour has demonstrated its commitment to enforcement by building up its intelligence, investigation and enforcement capacity and by indicating in November 2014 the sectors likely to come under scrutiny.

Companies will face less risk if they have carried out dawn raid training and thought about how to use ediscovery tools to carry out legal audits and handle their ediscovery needs in response to legal and regulatory action..

Technology developments will change the scope of ediscovery

Electronic evidence already includes email, documents and voice mail and must increasingly take account of social media and mobile data as the ‘consumerisation’ of IT in the workplace continues to take hold.  As data transfers between inter-connected business systems continue to grow the need to analyse structured data – especially in financial investigations – will increase.  The most effective solution for companies faced with this landscape will be a combination of human skill and sophisticated software tools such as predictive coding and structured data analytics, which analyse these more complex evidence streams.


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