Article:

Five critical success factors for on-time, high-quality eDiscovery productions

13 April 2021

Stan Gallo, Partner, Forensic Services |
Quin Rijnders, Executive Director, Forensic Services |

When your organisation needs to respond to a regulatory notice, substantiate a Research & Development (R&D) tax claim on time with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or AusIndustry or complete data separation for a carve-out post-merger, time is usually of the essence.

How can your organisation meet legally contracted timeframes, while remaining on the front foot?

How do you deal with the myriad of unstructured data files stored in the cloud, on work premises and in emails? This is where enhanced eDiscovery services come to the fore.

Five critical success factors – the difference between success and failure

Drawing on decades of experience, BDO’s Forensic Services team has identified the key steps your organisation should follow to optimise results.

1.    Optimise your infrastructure

Get the right combination of on premise high specification machines for data processing, and a scalable cloud solution for cost-efficient and secure hosting. Consult your organisation’s eDiscovery provider when determining the set-up, as many applications have specific and critical hardware requirements and without these your quick turnaround timeframe prerequisites will become impossible. The right infrastructure is a core requirement to facilitate your organisation’s license to operate. If you don't get this right, service will be poor and your organisation won’t be able to meet return on investment requirements or agreed service levels.

2.    Initiate the review process early

Commence the review early and use it as both a learning and calibration tool, and a 'finding the needle in the haystack' process. The days of full scope linear reviews are long gone - budgets no longer accommodate this approach, data volumes continue to exponentially increase, and modern technology's capability means it is unnecessary.

3.    Get the right people on your team

Ensure you have qualified and experienced people operating and driving your organisation’s eDiscovery environment and process. The devil is in the detail and it can all go wrong if any part of the process is deployed incorrectly. If this happens, the non-compliance risk lies with your organisation and not the eDiscovery vendor.

4.    Engage your stakeholders

Proactive engagement with regulators, legal teams and other organisational stakeholders is often overlooked. Yet, this step is critical to ensure your stakeholders understand the production protocols, so you can measure their expectations and acceptance, or not, of any Technology-Assisted Review (TAR) processes. Not all regulators and Courts accept TAR enabled processes, so before heading down this path, ensure your stakeholders understand and agree on the details.

5.    Understand your scope

Finally, remember the aim is to uncover the most relevant documents as quickly as possible for your organisation, but not at the expense of quality. Just because there is a myriad of machine learning options and analytical tools available does not mean you need to use all of them, or even any of them, all the time. The purpose and scope of the eDiscovery matter should lead the design of the approach and not the other way around.

Should you have any questions about how to get the highest quality from your eDiscovery project, or what suite of tools and approach would best suit your needs, reach out to our team of dedicated Forensic Technology professionals today.