NEW YORK, Aug. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly half (47.1 percent) of discovery, legal and information technology professionals say their organizations have responded to at least one global litigation, regulatory, or investigative incident in the past year, according to a recent Deloitte poll. Just 21.9 percent said their organizations could conduct discovery and produce evidence within mandated timelines for those global matters.
"For many organizations—particularly large, multinational organizations in highly regulated industries—the pain points around discovery are more acute than ever," said Andy Ruckman, Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory principal, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP. "Conducting discovery and responding to multijurisdictional legal, regulatory, and internal investigation matters quickly and efficiently is increasingly challenged by a host of issues, including the growing data landscape and country-specific data privacy rules."
The global volume of data, which continues to grow exponentially, demands that organizations have the effective technology and analytics in place to root out, process, right-size, preserve, and analyze relevant data for cases. According to the poll data, leading challenges to data preservation for global discovery requests included dealing with various data types (27.5 percent), data hold scoping and tracking (19.5 percent), and preserving the chain of data custody (19.1 percent).
Survey respondents also indicated that collaboration between legal and IT teams within their organizations during cross-border litigation, regulatory, and investigative matters is mixed: 36.5 percent of respondents reported that legal and IT work together seamlessly at their organization, while 37.1 percent noted an absence of collaboration.
"One of the major issues we often see is a tendency to reinvent the wheel each time a new e-discovery request is raised, both with regard to data collection and team structure," said Chris May, Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory principal and national discovery practice leader, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP. "Not only does a nonstrategic and reactive approach extend the timeline for completing a data review, but it also places tremendous and unnecessary pressure on budgets and resources."
May continued, "Leading organizations recognize that a discovery-specific operating model, especially one that makes discovery an ingrained business process rather than an ad-hoc reflex, is instrumental to completing requests. The discovery capability often sits across many internal departments and disparate data sources, so it's important that there is a plan in place to enable seamless teamwork and efficient gathering of evidence to get the job done on time."
Examples of leading discovery practices for managing global legal, regulatory and investigative matters include:
- Building an internal working group involving legal, IT, and records management stakeholders.
- Assessing existing organizational software solutions to discern how they can support overall global discovery needs.
- Determining which efforts should be handled by in-house teams as opposed to third parties.
- Creating a data map so that when unexpected matters arise, collection and preservation of data can be as efficient as possible across your organization.
- Scoping data collection to ensure only relevant data are amassed.
- Ensure you are defensibly deleting data as appropriate.
About the online poll
More than 250 discovery (37.7 percent), information technology (24.4 percent), in-house counsel (23.9 percent) and law firm professionals (14 percent) participated in a Deloitte Dbriefs webcast, "Globalizing Discovery: A Systemic Approach," March 29, 2017. Poll respondents work in industries including consumer and industrial products (26.7 percent), financial services (21.4 percent), technology, media and telecommunication (10.6 percent) and life sciences and healthcare (9.2 percent). Answer rates differed by question.
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