CD: Could you outline why it has become increasingly important for companies to build a global information governance (IG) and discovery programme? What factors are driving this trend?

Lim: As with most corporate initiatives, the driving factors behind the importance of developing a global information governance (IG) and discovery programme are cost and risk. We have learned over the years that with the rise in volumes of information used and disseminated by global business enterprises, the potential cost of managing and litigating even smaller cases continues to increase exponentially. Operations for multinational companies necessarily involve data sources across multiple business platforms, both on-premises and hosted through outsourced providers. These data sources, from a legal perspective, constitute ‘potentially relevant’ data sources that should be searched and evaluated for information responsive to a lawsuit or investigation. Also, data privacy restrictions on the collection, processing and review of employee, consumer and patient data continue to increase in the US and globally.

Cheng: Data forms the basis on which many companies’ business models are run. The way corporations manage, use and protect this data can have a significant impact on company reputation, success and the bottom line. Privacy and cyber breaches pose the top threats to the integrity of this data, while regulations demand that corporations deliver unprecedented levels of governance, transparency and accountability surrounding it. As a result, many concerns are investing in IG and discovery programmes to provide a structure for data management. Additional factors driving this movement include data growth and complexity and the legal landscape. There has been exponential growth both in the volume and diversity of data enterprises generate in the last decade. Additionally, data sources and storage options have also evolved rapidly, making today’s data landscape larger and more complex than ever before. The regulatory landscape mandating how companies manage their data is complex, onerous and likely to continue diversifying. Companies are ever aware of the impact of fines to the business from regulators, including multi-billion-dollar penalties and sanctions that make headlines on a weekly basis.

Jul-Sep 2019 issue

FTI Consulting LLP

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP