M&A Risk Assessment Internal Investigation
A large U.S.-based law firm conducting an internal risk assessment investigation for a client’s acquisition faced data privacy restrictions impeding the review of 11 million documents.
As global data privacy regulations evolve, legal counsel need to consider the various jurisdictional requirements and cross-border data transfer restrictions that impact the scope and approach to data access, processing, review and production for legal matters. In this case, the client had a short timeframe in which it needed to complete an internal risk assessment investigation relating to its purchase of another company. The investigation included millions of documents containing personal information for individuals outside of the U.S., and because those documents were subject to privacy restrictions, U.S. outside counsel was prohibited from viewing them.
FTI Consulting was already supporting the ongoing internal investigation in other areas, and FTI Technology’s managed review team in EMEA was well-positioned to provide further support to the client. We swiftly deployed a European based review team to conduct the initial review within prescribed borders and provide insights to inform the investigation.
Using a combination of experts, proven workflows and advanced technologies, FTI Technology set out to first reduce the population of 11 million files in the review platform, which allowed the managed review team to evaluate the remaining documents relevant to the investigation.
With an initial set of keyword search terms and qualified lawyers in multiple jurisdictions, the team conducted the review through steps including:
- Leveraging FTI Technology’s breadth of expertise across multiple areas and regions to provide extensive support for the ongoing, high-stakes matter.
- Combining search terms with continuous active learning (CAL) predictive coding to target the documents most likely to be relevant to the investigation.
- Implementation of proven workflow efficiencies alongside advanced technology, including division of review sets into different jurisdictions, with dedicated review protocols and assigned to multiple review teams.
- Document review of the reduced population to identify relevancy, issue codes, entities, sensitive personal data and significance across the dataset.
- Foreign language review for documents in Spanish originating from multiple Spanish-speaking countries.
- Provision of detailed significance summaries for all documents deemed of high importance or key to the investigation escalated to counsel daily.
- Execution of robust quality assurance across the entire team throughout the review, including CAL scoring to assess tagging.
- Performing additional targeted searches to collect documents related to additional issues identified in the course of review and creation of summary reports.
Timely and thorough assessment of crucial facts, conducted in compliance with GDPR, to enable continued progress of the internal investigation.
Results delivered through FTI Technology’s managed document review offerings included:
Reduction of Immense Dataset
The team reduced the review set from the 11 million documents collected to only 180,000 determined relevant for review.
Analysis of Key Issues and Evidence
Through the review, identified multiple issues of potential importance to the investigation. The team analysed evidence for those issues and prepared summary reports to provide insights to counsel.
Data Privacy Considerations
FTI Technology’s global reach supported counsel in conducting a compliant document review in accordance with local data privacy laws.