Technology Assisted Review (TAR) Formally Endorsed by the English High Court
Pyrrho Investments Limited & Anr v MWB Property Limited and Others  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.