Given the global nature of e-discovery today, the need to review documents in multiple languages is a challenge facing an increasing number of corporate legal teams. Even the most sophisticated legal departments, with fine-tuned e-discovery processes, still struggle with the review phase when non- English language documents are involved. One of FTI Consulting’s recent Advice from Counsel surveys revealed that 35 percent of respondents – which were exclusively from Fortune 1000 legal departments – were regularly managing litigation, investigations or regulatory requests involving data from outside the U.S., and 65 percent had experienced a recent matter involving data from international jurisdictions.
Multi-language e-discovery matters are not at all unique in today’s litigation environment. Not only are these cross-border matters becoming more common, they are increasingly complex given the varying and evolving data privacy regulations around the world, and the fact that conducting foreign language e-discovery requires a highly specialized talent pool, knowledge base and skill set. Senior Managing Director Sophie Ross feels strongly that foreign language review is one area of complex e-discovery that holds a great deal of potential for increased efficiency and reduced costs, when done right. Below is an outline of key focus areas for foreign language review that highlight FTI’s philosophy on handling this form of e-discovery. Sophie recently published an article in Today’s General Counsel that offers insights on each of these areas and FTI’s recommendations for how to navigate them.
- Reviewers: It is often challenging to ensure feet on the ground in the region from where the data originates. Corporations often rely on external providers to manage e-discovery activity taking place across borders, but many providers don’t have the capability to screen and manage the quality of the review under these circumstances. Qualification is absolutely critical and the requirements vary by country.
- Workflows: Cross-border review teams must also establish and maintain processes for projects that specifically address data protection regulations for each region, while at the same time controlling the volume of data that will need review and translation.
- Security & Confidentiality: There is no room for mistakes in cross-border e-discovery, and it is imperative that security is not compromised. Ensuring security and compliance with data privacy regulations should be top priority for cross-border teams, and warrants involvement of experts with deep experience in handling these sensitive issues.