Client
Large industrial enterprise

Background
The client had ordered an industrial plant in the UK worth hundreds of millions of pounds. Construction ran well over schedule and, when it was finally delivered, it was not functional so the client decided to sue the developer.

Task
A full e-disclosure project that both ensured a reasonable search of the claimant’s systems and which challenged the defendant’s process to ensure that it was adequate.

Challenges
The need to locate data within a complex IT environment where email systems had been changed; taking full responsibility for the client’s Electronic Document Questionnaire (EDQ).

Overview
PLT was engaged very early which allowed our team to go through a data mapping process. This involved interviewing the IT staff and asking a series of pertinent questions, such as: what systems they used; what systems they used during the relevant period; whether they had migrated from an old system to a new one; and where custodians’ data would reside. In this particular case, they had used a Lotus Notes email system during part of the relevant period and then changed to a Microsoft Exchange environment. Inevitably, there was an overlapping period where both were in operation simultaneously.

PLT was able to map all of this information and advise the lawyers on how the collection should be conducted. Our experts drafted the EDQ on behalf of the client, who lacked the knowledge or experience to do it themselves, and then were able to cause the opposition a number of strategic problems by exposing the shortcomings of their own EDQ. This gave the client a significant early advantage over their opponents which was not relinquished and strengthened their case considerably in front of the judge.

Findings
The firm foundation that was created by the involvement of experts during the identification phase of the project prevented any significant challenge as to the search process and ultimately the claimant’s disclosure.

Outcome
The claimant’s disclosure costs were a fraction of those employed by the defendant, despite the company being much larger and more complex in its infrastructure. The matter went to trial and favourable judgment is anticipated.