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Technology Assisted Review (TAR) Formally Endorsed by the English High Court

Posted 03/8/16 4:59 PM by Sarah Brown

Pyrrho Investments Limited & Anr v MWB Property Limited and Others [2016] EWHC 256 (Ch)

A recent decision in the English High Court has endorsed the use of technology assisted review for a large disclosure exercise. This is a landmark case for e-discovery providers and one that will encourage sceptical English litigators to move with the times and embrace the advances in this field.

Master Matthew’s acknowledged in his decision that TAR (he used the term predictive coding) has, to date, been used relatively infrequently in English litigation. He noted that “no English court has given a judgment which has considered the use of predictive coding software as part of disclosure in civil procedure.” He saw this as an opportunity and provided that judgment.

One of the reasons for his endorsement was that software has been used successfully in other jurisdictions (he cited the US and Ireland as examples). Further, he referenced evidence to suggest that TAR can be more accurate than manual review.

The case in question was dealing with over 3 million documents: this was seen as an enormous number in the English courts but as we know would not be particularly significant in the US.

Reading Master Matthews judgment, one might think that TAR is a rare beast in England, but I am pleased to report that this is not the case. Inventus has been using TAR where appropriate in e-discovery exercises both in the US and in the UK enabling the parties to successfully manage large volumes of documents. In order to establish where TAR is appropriate, English lawyers must look to the overriding objective of the Civil Procedure Rules: this is to enable the court to deal with cases justly and at a proportionate cost.

With increasing volumes of documents in e-discovery exercises, TAR is an ever more popular and appropriate option, and the endorsement in the High Court has ensured that this trend is set to continue.

Click here for access to the full decision.

 a tale of trust

Sarah Brown

About The Author

Sarah Brown is a legal technology thought leader with more than a decade of experience in the eDiscovery and information management fields. At Inventus, her primary focus is on driving awareness for the company’s innovative services and solutions. Prior to Inventus, Brown spent eight years as head of marketing communications at Epiq, where she led global marketing communications and built thought leadership, PR, and analyst relations programs. Prior to Epiq, she led marketing communications at Exterro, an eDiscovery software company, where she founded and led their content-driven marketing organization. She has a journalism background and holds a master’s degree in strategic communications from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

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