CD: In broad terms, could you explain why well-defined data management systems are important for e-disclosure in the context of a dispute?

Jennings: The fundamental principle of a data management system is to enable authorised, reliable and secure access to, and storage of, electronically stored information (ESI). In the context of e-disclosure and the duties associated with the disclosure exercise in law, the key elements are to be able to demonstrate that a thorough search has been carried out and relevant data has been harvested, all within the context of proportionality. The more comprehensive the data management system is, the easier it is to harvest an appropriate data subset, thus saving costs and time associated with presenting and reviewing large data sets. In summary, maintaining a well-managed ESI estate, which includes robust archiving abilities, is imperative should a disclosure exercise be required.

CD: What specific obligations does the e-disclosure process tend to entail for parties involved in a dispute?

Ridley: The identification, preservation, collection and production of potentially relevant evidence is the predominant obligation for parties involved in a dispute. It is the duty of the parties’ legal representatives to explain to their clients the importance of preserving potentially relevant, and therefore disclosable, documents in addition to the requirements necessary to make the documents available in an agreeable format thereafter. In order to conduct the process successfully, it is vital that parties agree the parameters of the e-disclosure process early on in proceedings.

Oct-Dec 2018 issue

IT Group UK