E—Discovery Ireland 2011: Dealing With the Obligations of Trading in a Global Market

With the recent purchase of Autonomy (who say they service 77 of the top 100 global law firms) by HP for a possible $10 billion and of Clearwell Systems by Symantec for $390 million there is a clear signal to the market regarding the value of e-discovery.

According to Gartner, “The reason e-discovery is now a pressing issue for most companies is clear: ESI [Electronic Storage of Information] in all its many forms dominates in legal proceedings because modern business is mostly conducted using electronic communications and electronic records. Regulators require this ESI to be archived for proof of compliance. Governments of all nations, except the least developed, also produce and disseminate information primarily via electronic channels.”

Elsewhere Gartner says that, “The e-discovery software market is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent and is estimated to reach $1.7 billion by 2014.”

Owen O’ Connor is the managing director of Cernam, a Dublin based company specialising in online evidence and investigations. He says that e-discovery, “is about the disclosure of electronic records in the litigation process. There is a requirement for companies to produce electronic records and paper records that are relevant to that case.”

Depending on the nature of the lawsuit and the jurisdiction in which it takes place the obligation to comply with the various legal processes can be very burdensome to a business.

Owen says that solving this problem has resulted in, “A market for companies that are building values in the high hundreds of millions of dollars in a relatively short period of time.”

However, in Ireland there is not professional association or trade publication that exists in this area. In response to this situation Owen has organised E—Discovery Ireland to give the industry a focal point. Owen would like the event, “To catalyze a significant leap forward in the use of digital evidence in Ireland.”

Irish companies, simply by trading in global markets are exposed to the legal processes of other countries either through law suits or government legislation. The area of e-discovery is about the disclosure of electronic records in the litigation process and the requirement for companies to produce electronic records and paper records that are relevant to a given case.

The event offers Ireland the opportunity to, “Get to grips with the level of electronic evidence that is required today. In terms of technology, there has been quite a bit of innovation in the last couple of years.”

According to Owen the participants would be those in the role of, “CIO or Director of IT who are fielding requests from their legal departments. Or, someone who is an information governance or discovery management role and anyone else who is likely to see their company activities pulled into investigations overseas, particularly in the United States.”

However, for the constructive discussion that this subject needs participants are also encouraged to attend from the legal sector. The conference is expecting solicitors and lawyers to come not only from corporations but from independent legal firms as well.

The conference takes place Dun Laoghaire, Dublin on the 6th and 7th of October. You can register here.

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