I avoid lists, on the whole. Apart from the fact that one can sense the readers bleeding away, there is always the risk of omitting somebody or something, or of appearing to give an unintended priority to one thing rather than another.
Big conferences raise particular issues. There is no point in itemising every event – I might as well simply refer you to the published agenda. Perhaps I should refer only to those panels in which I am personally involved, but that seems a trifle egocentric. I might limit the selection to those companies with whom I have a personal or business connection, but that potentially omits reference to a major player on a significant subject. Is my role simply to promote those who are good enough to sponsor what I do, or does that undermine the objectivity which is, I hope, what keeps the readership and the Twitter followers rising?
Looking through the programme for IQPC’s Information Governance and eDisclosure Summit, taking place in London this week, I can reconcile these various conflicts by reliance on the fact that the sponsors of the eDisclosure Information Project are representative of the broader range of providers, and that the subjects which they cover give a correspondingly representative picture of what matters in a UK-centric picture of electronic disclosure.
First up is Rob Kenny of ZyLAB who, fittingly for an opening session, gives an overview of document collection and review and the whole strategy which companies and their lawyers ought to have in place to face whatever comes along.
In the afternoon, Drew Macaulay of Consilio and Mark Surguy from the Commercial Dispute Resolution Group at Eversheds cover effective cost control in litigation and regulatory investigations. That the prediction of costs has become a formal component in civil litigation does not make this a new subject, nor one which applies only in that context. A “clear strategic plan and effective use of appropriate human and technical resources” (as the session description puts it) is necessary to face any kind of document demand.
As I mentioned in my earlier article of today, Dean Gonsowski of Recommind joins Allison Stanton of the DOJ and Keith Foggon of the Financial Conduct Authority to talk about enforcement priorities and expectations when facing regulatory demands. The last time Alison Stanton spoke in London, she said something like “if you have got it, we will find it”, a strong argument for using software capable of bringing you to the critical documents before the regulator gets there.
A theme which came up at the recent conference in San Diego concerns the broad decision-making between using in-house and external resources to face eDisclosure/eDiscovery demands. Craig Earnshaw of FTI Technology leads a panel on Wednesday called The Virtuous Partnership: creating a strategic relationship with your eDiscovery partner which looks at exactly this question. There is a trend, discerned by FTI in a report of a year or so ago, towards the use of a smaller selection of eDiscovery partners, with companies developing closer and more strategic relationships in place of ad hoc arrangements.
The interactive sessions on Wednesday afternoon include one led by Bill Duffy of Symantec called Investigations with big data: Boolean searches are not enough! which looks at alternatives to Boolean searches and at new techniques for identifying meaningful terms.
In parallel with that, David Falconi of Bloomberg Vault leads an information governance session called Planning for what’s next. It focuses on global compliance demands, money-laundering, data privacy and regulatory reporting, with a focus on managing social media, voice, mobile and e-mail data.
Following HHJ Simon Brown QC’s talk on the Jackson reforms, we have the panel which I am moderating with Steve Couling of kCura. The panel members are HHJ Simon Brown QC, Mark Surguy of Eversheds and Damian Murphy, a barrister from Enterprise Chambers in Newcastle.
Thursday opens with Richard Susskind’s keynote followed by the judicial panel which I am moderating. That is followed by a session called Improving information economics and the defensible disposal imperative led by Roger Johnston of IBM Information Life Cycle Governance. The focus here is on a broader look at eDiscovery readiness and on what organisations are doing by bringing all the interest groups together to focus on the reduction of risks and costs of keeping information, together with the implications of deleting it.
After lunch, Drew Macaulay of Consilio and Matthew Davis of Hogan Lovells look more closely at budgeting for disclosure and at the requirement to predict costs which the rule changes bring. Amongst the subjects to be covered are the collation of metrics from past cases to inform budgeting decisions about present ones – something which has recurred in recent panels and articles of mine.
These are by no means the only sessions at this always interesting conference, but this summary gives you a flavour for what you can expect (going by the published programme – there may be additions not know to me). See you there.