An eDiscovery and eDisclosure round-up post with some compliance thoughts on Boris Johnson

It is sometimes helpful to do a round-up post, pulling together a number of different eDiscovery / eDisclosure stories in small nuggets, rather than a big single post on one subject. The week in which my wife has a knee replacement is one such week, as minor household tasks get redistributed (she’s fine, by the way).

The round-up king is Jonathan Maas, whose daily BONG captures everything of interest or importance. You can subscribe for that with an email to

Here are links to a few articles which have caught my eye recently, ending with a picture of Boris Johnson embarrassing us in foreign affairs (an update for those abroad who may have missed the freak show and the trigger for a compliance point).

Exterro buys AccessData

AccessData was founded in 1987, making it one of the oldest of the eDiscovery tech companies. It is best known for its long-running Forensic Tool Kit (FTK) which grew over the years into a suite of programs used worldwide to find data in difficult places. Its purchase, and subsequent complete rebuild, of Summation, broadened its range into pretty well every corner of the discovery and cybersecurity market around the world.

I have fond memories of working with AccessData, principally from the events they organised: Vince Neicho (now at Integreon) and I led a conference in a castle in Frankfurt in 2011; US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck (now retired as a judge and at DLA Piper) and I did sessions in London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt in 2016 and in San Diego in 2017, which rank high in my memory for content as well as for their top quality organisation.

Exterro broadened its scope from fast high-volume eDiscovery software into privacy, legal operations, compliance, cybersecurity and information governance. The combination of the two companies seems likely to attract many new customers around the world.

There is more information about the acquisition here.

Relativity – looking back and forward in data law

An article by David Horrigan of Relativity sets out Relativity’s legal education stall to carry us across the year-end and into 2021. Two webinars – one in December and one in January – will give you a look back at the year in data discovery and a predictions webinar where industry leaders will look ahead to 2021.

Lawtech UK reports on five businesses chosen for ‘lawtech sandbox’ pilot

An article on Legalfutures reports that five lawtech businesses are to join a ‘sandbox’ designed to “fast-track transformative ideas, products and services” with the help of legal and financial regulators.

It quotes Jenifer Swallow, LawtechUK director at Tech Nation, as saying that the sandbox was designed to provide “targeted support to those who are building game-changing lawtech, working alongside them to help raise the bar for business and society”.

Yet more on the UK disclosure pilot

I have recently passed on some articles about the forthcoming changes to the disclosure pilot. We now have an article by Rachel Rothwell at Law Gazette called Why the clock is ticking on the disclosure pilot which gives a deeper view into the reasons why improvements are seen as necessary – not just those already approved by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, but further changes to be proposed in April. Part of the focus is on improving the balance between adequate disclosure and disproportionate burdens on parties, particularly those at the lower end of litigation.

The number of issues, case management by docketed judges and a slimmed-down version of the Disclosure Review Document are all under discussion.

Craig Ball on vanishing metadata in photographs

One party swears that the photographs they supplied contained all their metadata. The other says with equal conviction that the metadata was missing. How can they both be right?

In an article called The Metadata VanishesCraig Ball looks into the points at which such metadata may be stripped out or hidden, and suggests how different handling may preserve information which ought to be common between the parties.

Terry Harrison on eDiscovery in South Africa

Terry Harrison, once a stalwart of London eDisclosure, went to South Africa some years back, and has been working hard to persuade people, from judges to lawyers to clients, that discovery ought to be given electronically.

He is getting there, to judge by his article Annus Horribilis – but not for eDiscovery in SA which came out this week. He says “This year, more than any other, I have seen eDiscovery technology working on more cases and investigations and the level of interest is greater than ever before.” He has a book on the way and seems generally in good form.

Embarrassing us abroad

This picture shows on the right Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission. Beyond her is Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s Head of Task Force for UK relations. The slobs on the left are David Frost, made Lord Frost to make him sound grand for his role as the UK’s Chief Negotiator, and Boris Johnson, Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury.

Quite apart from the slippery dishonesty which Johnson and his government have brought to the negotiations, it is just embarrassing that he and Frost should turn out looking like this on any public engagement, let alone this one.

Boris Johnson would be a nightmare for a corporate compliance officer – dishonest, short of money, in a position to make decisions which influence markets, head of a government which barely tries to conceal corruption in (for example) procurement, and friendly with people who will profit from Brexit chaos. No-one is yet accusing him of anything beyond lying and incompetence, but if you sat at the dashboard of any decent system for monitoring compliance risk, every light and siren would be blazing and blaring. Let’s come back to this in a while.



About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
This entry was posted in CPR, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Litigation Support. Bookmark the permalink.

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