As Brexit looms, leading global eDiscovery and risk management company Advanced Discovery (formerly known as Millnet in the UK) has launched an Irish practice with the opening of a Dublin-based office and data centre, as well as hiring Greg Deane (pictured) as Advanced Discovery Ireland’s regional director.
Prior to joining Advanced Discovery, Deane spent 15 years working in some of Ireland’s leading law firms, most recently William Fry, where as head of eDiscovery and data management services Deane was responsible for building and overseeing the firm’s data management unit. His team assisted with a variety of projects such as due diligence exercises, regulatory investigations, discovery and data subject access requests.
“Greg’s understanding of the Irish legal market will be key in taking our business forward to meet the new challenges of the evolving commercial and legal landscape in Europe,” says Julia Chain, UK managing director and executive VP, international of Advanced Discovery. “Our new practice in Ireland will further enhance our ability to serve clients with complex multijurisdictional and multinational issues. As Brexit looms ever closer, we are delighted to be investing in Ireland with its stable presence within the EU.”
The news follows the recent announcement that Advanced Discovery has once again achieved Relativity’s Orange-level Relativity Best in Service designation for exceptional customer service for Relativity end users. This marks the sixth consecutive year the company has been recertified by Relativity as a Best in Service Orange-level provider.
Elsewhere, North Carolina-headquartered information intelligence solution provider DiscoverReady announced on 13 March that it has brought in Todd Tennell as chief financial officer. In his new role Tennell will be responsible for managing financial planning and analysis, accounting, financial operations, and will contribute to the company’s strategic direction.
Prior to joining DiscoverReady, Tennell served as CFO at Morae Global Corporation. He previously led and was responsible for finance operations and human resources at Huron Legal, a division of Huron Consulting Group, where he was a member of the management team as vice president of operations through the 2015 acquisition of Huron by Consilio Group.
“Todd brings valuable insight and experience to his role at DiscoverReady,” says James Schellhase, CEO. “He is a veteran in the industry, with an understanding of the evolving business models in e-discovery and legal services. His career experience includes contributions to the growth of legal services startups, expansion of global e-discovery operations, management of corporate acquisitions and new product development efforts. His experience and drive align well with the DiscoverReady growth strategy.”
There’s been a significant product upgrade from NASDAQ-listed cybersecurity and compliance company Proofpoint, which on 12 March formally announced an extensive software enhancement to its cloud-based Proofpoint Enterprise Archive solution to simplify e-Discovery and improve defensibility.
“Our streamlined e-Discovery and workflow is a game changer, because while most e-Discovery cases are settled before they go to trial, organizations still have to devote significant resources to resolve them,” said Darren Lee, senior vice president and general manager of Information Archiving and Governance for Proofpoint. “Our new enterprise archive lets customers use the e-Discovery module in-house to complement Microsoft Office 365 and conduct early case assessment on their native archive, massively reducing the time and costs associated with e-Discovery cases. As user experience is also critical, our enhanced mobile support and new visualizations will help compliance teams address inquiries faster.”
Proofpoint Enterprise Archive 4.0 enhancements include:
• New e-Discovery and analytics visualizations
• An updated user interface to simplify workflow and use for administrators
• Improved legal hold processing
• Mobile support for iOS and Android devices
Proofpoint on 1 March as part of its cyber business completed its acquisition of Wombat Security Technologies, Inc., a leader for phishing simulation and security awareness computer-based training.
And Exterro in conjunction with BDO Consulting and EDRM/Duke Law towards the end of February released the 4th Annual Federal Judges Survey: Judicial Perspectives on the State of E-Discovery Law and Practice. The report collected survey responses from 30 current or recently retired Federal Judges. The judges’ responses to the questions asked to provide an in-depth examination of how the bench views the legal community’s eDiscovery proficiency; areas to improve eDiscovery processes; and the 2015 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure changes.
Key takeaways of the report include:
• 60% of judges said that the lack of cooperation between parties was the cause of e-discovery problems, compared to 10% saying either lack of defensible policies or lack of e-discovery education. Judges believe that the biggest improvements needed are not in technology but in lawyers’ mindsets, including greater cooperation and preparation.
• In the judges’ eyes, attorneys have been slow to develop their e-discovery competency. Only 23% of judges strongly or somewhat agree with the statement “the typical attorney possesses the legal and technical subject matter knowledge required to effectively counsel clients on e-discovery matters.”
• 46% of surveyed judges felt that e-discovery education should be mandatory, either in law school or through continuing legal education courses.
• When asked to evaluate how attorneys were leveraging proportionality to improve e-discovery outcomes, the surveyed judges found that more parties were making proportionality claims on a frequent basis, averaging a 3.9 on a scale of 1 (never) to 5 (a lot more). As one respondent said, “Proportionality is the new black.”
• Preservation practices have largely stayed the same, 70% of the surveyed judges were neutral, neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the statement, “With the insertion of the ‘reasonable steps’ to preserve language in Rule 37(e), parties modified their approach to preservation.”
“Judges responding to the 4th Annual Federal Judges Survey were clear, federal judges are handling the e-discovery challenges presented to them fairly well while the lawyers who appear before them have made little progress. Attorneys are demonstrating far too little of what the judges most want to see: basic e-discovery competence; meaningful efforts at cooperation; and a focus on proportionality. The judges’ bottom-line message to attorneys: Take e-discovery seriously, roll up your sleeves, and finally start the hard work of learning how to do e-discovery well,” said George Socha, Managing Director with BDO Consulting and co-founder of EDRM.
In addition to the quantitative results of the survey, the report includes expert opinions of eight sitting and former Federal Judges: Judge John Facciola, Judge Ronald Hedges, Judge Michelle Childs, Judge David Waxse, Judge Joy Conti, Judge Xavier Rodriguez, Judge Frank Maas, and Judge Andrew Peck. Download the report here.