What a year 2020 has been. When shortlisting the major talking points throughout the e-discovery industry during the year, where else could one begin other than with the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact has been dramatic. The massive exodus from offices to remote working has disrupted practices, tested the most battle-hardened organisations, and perhaps become a catalyst for technological advancement.
The mandated lockdowns throughout the UK forced e-discovery teams to shift their activities to within their own homes. Collection, preservation, and many other e-discovery processes across the EDRM (Electronic Discovery Reference Model) that were being undertaken manually became very challenging to fulfil. At the same time, an increasing shift to bringing e-discovery in-house was being observed. If anything, the pandemic has shown us that technology is a clear winner in reducing manual processes, increasing efficiencies, and enabling remote processes to succeed, like in-place collection and in-place preservation.
There were also various regulatory decisions that helped shape the e-discovery market. Brexit still looms large. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield scheme and called into question the safeguards provided through standard contractual clauses (SCC). This also introduced new data privacy risks which organisations need to ensure are adequately addressed (these were explored in a recent joint webcast with Alvarez & Marsal and Exterro here). The new Hong Kong National Security Law (NSL) introduced has also impacted global data flows and transfers. And the Disclosure Pilot Scheme (the “DPS”), which has been in force since 1 January 2019, was originally intended to finish at the end of December 2020. However, it has now been extended for another year (until the end of 2021).
With so much change, it’s appropriate to ask: “Will E-Discovery ever be the same again!?”
Exterro recently hosted a virtual panel, in association with ACEDS (Association of Certified E-Discovery Professionals), to explore some of the biggest updates and events throughout the turbulent year of 2020 across the e-discovery industry in the UK.
The interactive panel included speakers Bryant Isbell (Managing Director, Global eDiscovery & Data Advisory at Baker McKenzie), Ben Sigler (Partner at Stephenson Harwood LLP), Gary Foster (Senior Director at Alvarez & Marsal), and Stuart Davidson (European Marketing Director at Exterro). Follow the link below to listen to the panel and watch the webinar replay on-demand from the Exterro website.