Grainne Bryan recently joined our Dublin office as a Managing Director to help establish and lead the Technology practice in Ireland. Joining from a corporate law firm, Grainne brings two decades of experience in the legal industry. Her background includes developing and implementing individual solutions to complex projects and standardising workflows and processes for projects involving all aspects of document identification, collection, production and review. Grainne sat down with us to discuss her new role and how the technology landscape is evolving not only in Ireland but globally.
Grainne, welcome to FTI. What can you tell us about your new role and your plans for the year?
Thank you. I’m delighted to be here and based in the Dublin office alongside colleagues from other FTI segments. The firm has made a significant investment in its Technology sector across Europe, opening offices in Spain, France, Germany and Dublin. I will be heading up the Dublin Technology offering, and focusing on identifying and building out a strong, diverse team of experts.
A lot of my time will also be focused on expanding awareness of our expertise and services in the region so that corporations and law firms in Ireland have access to FTI’s excellent solutions for technical, legal support and project support.
What attracted you to FTI?
Culture is very important to me, and from my first day of walking into the offices in both London and Dublin, I felt welcomed and supported. This helped me cultivate relationships even before I accepted the position, which made the decision to join the team an easy one.
The energy, enthusiasm and expertise motivated by FTI’s flexibility and entrepreneurial style in the type and scope of projects we can take on are very appealing. It’s motivating and exciting to start up a new segment in a satellite office like Dublin. FTI’s obvious investment in a global structure and our team-based approach allows us to remain agile and always be working at short notice in the client’s best interest.
What inspires you?
People in this industry inspire me every day. People that drive change, take risks and make a difference both in the short and long term. This is how we help our clients address the issues facing them around big data, compliance and risk. FTI’s Technology practice is working on interesting projects with clients in all sectors, using tools like Brainspace, Kira and Nuix, as well as delving deeper into the benefits and further use cases for Relativity. I find this unique application of technology very inspiring. I’m also eager to drive forward our use of Relativity Trace in compliance issues.
What do you see as the greatest threat facing organisations today?
Technology brings both risk and opportunity. It redefines industries, drives growth and increases exposure to mistakes and misuse of data. AI is a good example—while we’ve seen significant progress in AI implementation since 2018, and it is without a doubt continuing to have an impact, the hype-cycle remains to be ahead of the actual impact. Most organisations are still trying to figure out exactly how to use it, and how its use affects their legal and compliance posture.
Globally, we’re also seeing technology assisted review (TAR) and continuous active learning (CAL) tools become more widely adopted in e-discovery and investigations. It is an exciting time to be working in technology, but the key to success is the ability to balance technology’s risks and opportunities.
What is one of the most challenging or interesting matters you’ve worked on?
“Challenging” and “interesting” often go hand-in-hand. There are many projects—across e-discovery, investigations, AI application and dawn raids—that stand out for me. Many of these were groundbreaking in the Irish market at that particular time.
In my previous role, I was part of the team for a UK bank in a government inquiry relating to the Irish banking sector in the aftermath of the financial crisis. It involved resourcing and overseeing a large team at short notice and briefing them on the scope of the investigation. I helped lead this investigation team alongside the lawyers, the IT teams both in London and Dublin, as well as coordinating the respective custodians, the data identification, data preservation, legal review and delivery to the inquiry. We were under a very tight deadline, and facing issues in data identification and production, rolling productions and massive scale—making the project highly challenging, but one of the most satisfying and educational.
Another project that stands out was my work on the team advising an Irish cement company during a regulatory investigation that involved dawn raids, and a successful challenge before the High Court, and later the Supreme Court. This project necessitated multiple teams analyzing large volumes of documents and multiple rolling productions over the course of months. I served as a conduit between the technology team, analysts and multiple counsel in various jurisdictions across Europe. We focused on providing prompt data identification, collection, review and production, and ensuring counsel had access to key documents in almost real-time. The matter was ultimately resolved to the benefit of the client.
How do you spend your time in your personal life?
My family is my priority, and with two small children, I am kept on my toes. We live in the country and it is the perfect place to switch off, be outdoors and enjoy a quiet life. It’s the ideal contrast to working in the city during the week. I am passionate about the garden and when the weather permits, I like nothing more than being outside “pottering” around. It is a complete joy.