Altlaw recieves ISO27001 accreditation
Altlaw, the UK’s leading independent provider of eDiscovery and Litigation Support, have received the ISO27001 accreditation, achieving the joint highest score the assessors have seen. A huge congratulations and well done to our team on this fantastic achievement!
Understanding Technology Assisted Review (“TAR”)
Altlaw have been at the forefront of the application of TAR which, when utilised correctly, can save our clients significant time, effort, costs and enable them to make key decisions earlier in the litigation process, by prioritising relevant data for review.
The technology has recently been given judicial approval for use in UK cases and we have seen a significant increase in the use of the technology.
What is TAR?
Also known as “predictive coding,” TAR can significantly reduce the time and cost of document review in litigation, investigations and other document-intensive matters.
As the reviewer codes documents, the system looks at the coding decisions of the reviewer and attempts to replicate this going forward.
TAR in the context of a live case:
TAR is now so widely used in e-discovery and so widely accepted in the US, that that one judge labelled it “black letter law”, giving it the same level of legal credibility as other long-standing legal doctrines.
Recent studies have it sought to determine whether there was a benefit to adopting a human review or whether computer systems could be relied on to produce comparable results.
The results were very interesting and further upset conventional wisdom by concluding that on every measure, the performance of the two computer systems was at least as accurate as that of human re-review.
In 2010 there was a publication of a study comparing the results of computer-assisted review to manual review. The study, Document Categorization in Legal Electronic Discovery: Computer Classification vs. Manual Review, was conducted by Kershaw along with Herbert L. Roitblat and Patrick Oot, who were all at the time affiliated with the Electronic Discovery Institute. The study concluded that; “Overall, the myth that exhaustive manual review is the most effective—and therefore the most defensible—approach to document review is strongly refuted,” they wrote in the Richmond Journal of Law and Technology. “Technology-assisted review can yield more accurate results than exhaustive manual review, with much lower effort.”
Their study found that TAR produced a 50-fold savings in cost over manual review.
For lawyers and clients facing increasing e-discovery costs, this was significant. It provided evidence that TAR could be both more effective than manual review and also significantly cheaper. But even with this evidence, many lawyers still saw one big obstacle to using TAR: the uncertainty of its acceptability to the courts.
This was significantly lowered in 2012, when Judge Peck issued his opinion endorsing the use of TAR in a case pending before him. In Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe, it was the first judicial opinion anywhere to endorse the use of TAR. “Computer-assisted review appears to be better than the available alternatives, and thus should be used in appropriate cases,” he wrote, opening the door to a sea of change in how lawyers conduct e-discovery.
Furthermore, In 2013, two e-discovery researchers, Maura R. Grossman, counsel at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and Gordon V. Cormack, co-director of the Information Retrieval Group at the University of Waterloo, concluded that TAR was not only more effective than human review at finding relevant documents, but also much cheaper.
The second major milestone in the courts came just two months later with the case Global Aerospace, Inc. v. Landow Aviation. In Da Silva Moore, the court approved TAR based on the parties’ agreement. Global Aerospace was the first case to approve the use of TAR over the opponent’s objection. It was also the first state court case to approve the use of TAR.
There have also been a key judgement this year in the UK courts regarding the approval of TAR as a reviewing tool. In the case of Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd & Ors  With Master Matthews presiding, Berwin Leighton Paisner (“BLP”) won the first contested application to use Predictive Coding as part of a substantial document review exercise. This order is a significant acknowledgement of the value and acceptance of this technology and marked a long anticipated judicial affirmation for use of this method of reviewing documents in the UK legal market (by contrast with the US, where the technology has been in active use for some time).
BLP, representing the respondent, asserted that the costs of the “traditional” approach using paralegals to manually review the relevant data, would be excessive and that superior results could be achieved at a more proportionate cost using predictive coding technology.
On 17 May 2016 the High Court ordered, for the first time, the use of predictive coding in the face of disagreement between the parties as to its suitability.
The future of TAR
There was a further factor limiting TAR’s widespread adoption, which has presented an interesting challenge; the limits of the technology itself.
While first-generation TAR system (TAR 1.0) presented a revolutionary advance over manual review and keyword searching, they had shortcomings that limited their usefulness in many real-world contexts.
For example, TAR 1.0 required a senior lawyer be involved in training the system. The senior lawyer would have to review and code hundreds or thousands of random documents until the system understands the data. Given that the goal of TAR was to reduce costs, requiring the involvement of a senior lawyer was not a cost-effective solution.
These shortcomings were overcome with the development of a new generation of TAR system: TAR 2.0 systems. Now gaining wide popularity, these newer systems no longer require senior lawyers for training. Instead, through a process known as “continuous active learning,” the review team can simply begin reviewing documents and the system will continuously learn from their coding choices and tailor its decisions to mirror this behaviour and therefore, increase efficiency whilst working in line with the clients’ objectives.
Crucially, because the system is continually refreshing its rankings, new documents can be added at any time. This reflects litigation in the real world, where discovery documents typically arrive on a rolling basis.
TAR at Altlaw
The adoption of TAR in legal review can be a more efficient, less costly, and a more proactive process that aids the legal team in managing and reviewing the case.
Recent studies and the increased willingness to embrace this technology has replaced the long held scepticism held by lawyers and their clients that data produced using these tools cannot be viewed as having the same reliability as data that has been extracted using manual review.
The early objection to TAR, that it was not as accurate as human review has now been addressed and TAR has been approved by the UK courts as a reliable a means of reviewing documents; Altlaw predicts that the use of TAR will only increase and we are at the forefront of offering TAR to our clients, enabling them to increase consistency, and speed of review whilst also cutting costs.
With the use of TAR, our experienced team will deliver our clients a successful result on time, on budget, every time.
Altlaw and iLit Open Secure London Document Review Centre
Altlaw, the UK’s leading independent provider of eDiscovery and Litigation Support, and i-Lit, the independent eDiscovery consulting firm, and leading provider of legal professionals for Legal Document Review, are pleased to announce the opening of their London Document Review Centre, with one of the first projects undertaken at the centre, being a multi lingual review, on behalf of a Magic Circle Law firm.
The Joint Venture Review Centre currently has a capacity of over 50 seats, with more capacity planned as demand increases.
The centre is staffed by skilled legal professionals, with proven experience performing Document Review. All of our reviewers are prescreened and where applicable, independently language tested for multilingual review.
We aim to provide cost predictability by providing either hourly or per document pricing models, combined with high levels of productivity and accuracy.
For more information on London Managed Document Review, Please call us on 020 7566 7566
Who do you think you are kidding Mr Lenaerts?
Following on from our successful Seminar on Data Privacy and the EU in New York in June, we have since seen the European Court of Justice declare invalid the Safe Harbor data-transfer agreement which has governed data transfer between the EU and the US for some 15 years.
Safe Harbor was enacted in 2000 to expedite the transfer of data between companies and international networks and has been used by some 4500 companies. Under the arrangement, US companies transacting business in the European Union followed one uniform set of EU privacy standards, and could transfer EU-based consumers data back to the US. It worked broadly on an assumption that if an organisation abided by the laws and regulations of one EU member state then it was being compliant with the laws of all member states.
This was challenged by Max Schrems, a 28-year old Austrian law student whose four year battle to restrict the activities of big US corporates, resulted in victory by ending Europe's Safe Harbor provisions.
It is widely thought that after the invalidation of the Safe Harbor arrangement, EU member States can now create their own privacy rules and regulations. The reality however, is that in that regard, not much has changed. Each member state has always had its own privacy rules and regulations, and the challenges of cross border data privacy have always, and still do pose a significant problem, with large fines and possible custodial sentences for breaches of those rules.
In June this year, all 28 member states of the Council of the European Union agreed to new European data protection laws that will see tough new regulations unified across the whole of the EU.
The changes will allow for a pan-European framework for privacy and the handling of European citizens' data, instead of the current scenario where data privacy is regulated by watchdogs in the country of operation within Europe such as Ireland.
It is widely thought that the abolition of Safe Harbor, simply paves the way for a smoother transition to the new European data protection laws agreed in June and due to come into effect in 2017. The Council of the European Union has already agreed that new fines for breaches of EU privacy and data protection law could be up to €1m or 2% of the company's global annual turnover. The European parliament would have them as high as €100m or 5% of turnover (whichever is higher) when the new laws come into effect.
Clearly, this will pose a significant challenge for large US operations operating in EU member states.
Altlaw currently have Data Collection teams operating in the UK, Luxembourg, France and Portugal working on urgent matters.
Where data cannot be moved, Altlaw is able to deploy mobile technology and technicians to collect, process, cull and review data within the country that it resides, thus ensuring that only data relevant to the particular action is required to be moved making the process of compliance and consent much simpler and more likely to succeed.
Altlaw Mobile - Taking Technology to the Data
We had an interesting case recently, which we thought you might be interested in hearing about.
An international Law Firm required an ‘in-house' solution for processing and review. Due to the sensitivity of the particular project, the data could not be moved, and therefore the client required that the solution would need to be installed at their offices.
Altlaw suggested their portable solution, dubbed Altlaw Mobile, a custom built Server Array, which is powered by edt software. In this instance, no outside/online access was permitted, nor unauthorised access from within the network, resulting in Altlaw placing the tool behind their firewall, allowing the client to have complete control over every aspect of access and security.
The initial estimation for data ingestion was quite small, but very quickly grew to approximately 1.5TB or 1500GB. The scalability of our mobile solution enabled us very easily and quickly to expand and add more power and storage without interrupting the ongoing processes.
The project required that two separate and independent review teams were able to simultaneously review the documents in the same database without visibility of the work being done by the other team. We were able to have these securities in place so that the review could go ahead even as the data was being ingested.
In addition; to assist with the ingestion and processing, Altlaw technicians were dispatched to give ‘round the clock' assistance and support to the Client In-House team.
The Altlaw Mobile Solution, is a complete and powerful, end to end eDiscovery processing and Review platform, capable of handling multiple cases/projects simultaneously with no limits on data or users, and is available to be installed in-house, or client site, for a fixed monthly rental. Full support and training is on hand from our experienced team, 24/7.
The system also lends itself perfectly to be deployed within Europe where Data Privacy laws restrict the movement of Data across borders. We are able to take the technology to the data and process, cull and review within those borders, so that only relevant, and therefore much smaller data sets are required to be moved outside of that jurisdiction, making compliance much simpler.
If you would like further details, please call our team on 020 7490 1646 or email email@example.com
Altlaw FIXED PRICE 'Review Lite'
Altlaw FIXED PRICE 'Review Lite' Altlaw has received phenomenal interest in our fixed price ‘Review Lite' tool.
Ideal for smaller projects, ‘Review Lite' is a fully functional review tool which will allow clients to conduct the full range of review elements including producing and receiving disclosure lists and document exchange, all at a fixed, up-front cost.
This platform is new to the UK and has been widely used and
approved by major US law firms and corporate. Altlaw is pleased to be
able to offer this dynamic fixed price option to our UK and European
clients. There are no set-up fees, monthly hosting fees or user fees.
Our fixed pricing model will allow our clients to have cost certainty
and transparency at a very early stage of any matter.
Functions of ‘Review Lite' include:
- Immediate data visibility
- Full searching and tagging
- Automated review batch creation and review workflow
- Comprehensive review management
- Multi-format viewer
- Intuitive user friendly GU
- Search building wizard
For a demonstration, or to register a project, call our team on 020 7490 1646
Altlaw is now able to offer a complete non-cloud based, physical portable client site processing and hosting solution, which can overcome many of the obstacles and challenges such as EU cross-border data protection laws. The solution can act as a stand-alone closed network in a totally secure environment, or can be integrated behind the firewall, with the client controlling all aspects of security.
With the increasing number of cross- border, multi jurisdiction disputes and investigations taking place, particularly in the EU, this approach offers an innovative solution to a previously prohibitively costly and complicated review requirement.
Typically, Altlaw is able to have this service, up and running within 2-3 days anywhere in the EU, or indeed globally.
Features of Altlaw On-Site:
- Full end-to-end solution from data processing to disclosure production.
- Minimal training required
- Supports multiple review teams
- Full disclosure productions
Altlaw are hosting a seminar in New York City this month on Cross Border Data Privacy and the EU.
Among the speakers at the Seminar will be Brian Corbin - Vice President of eDiscovery at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Patrick Burke of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Brian Supervises a multinational team of Discovery Specialists and Project Managers focusing on information governance, retention policy, and cross-border discovery issues arising as a result of global data privacy and banking secrecy regulations.
Patrick is a leading authority on e-discovery, data privacy and security, information governance, records management and digital investigations, with a particular focus on European Union and global data privacy. As well as being Senior Counsel in Seyfarth Shaw's NYC office. Patrick is Executive Director of the Cardozo Data Law Initiative at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, where he has taught "E-Discovery, Digital Evidence and Computer Forensics" and "Information Governance Law." He is also a holder of the CIPP/Europe certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals, and is well-acquainted with the e-disclosure rules/practice direction in English courts.
The event promises to be an informative evening which will shed some light the complex issue of collecting, processing and reviewing data in the growing number of Cross border Litigation.
Dave Best: 23rd March 1962 - 1st May 2015.
It is with great sadness and deep regret that we announce the untimely death of David Albert Best. A great and well-loved asset to our company, and a good friend to both staff and clients alike. Dave had worked for Altlaw for 4yrs, providing the critical, client facing task of job deliveries and collections. Always cheerful and upbeat, even during his short illness, Dave is, and will continue to be sorely missed.
Altlaw has recently upgraded and made Relativity 9 available to our clients.
With increased behind the scenes processing and storage efficiencies, end users will benefit from some exciting new features:
A new zero-footprint viewer means there are no downloads, plug-ins, or installations required to get to work in Relativity—making it easier to set up and manage.
Additional benefits of the new viewer include: an improved thumbnail viewer; several display modes, like a two-page view and continuous pagination; faster persistent highlighting;
and the ability to publish documents to Relativity Binders directly from the viewer for quicker access to documents on the go.
New multi browser support also mean that users can now log on using any of the following browsers – Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and IE.
‘I can't believe it's NOT Relativity!'
In addition to Relativity, Altlaw will now be offering a new simple cost effective, FIXED PRICE review solution for matters that involve a less complex work flow and a smaller volume of data.
“Review Lite” is a fully functional review tool that will allow clients to conduct the full range of review elements including producing and receiving disclosure list and document exchange
without incurring additional charges for the “bells and whistles” that are often superfluous to requirements.
A new product to the UK, this tool has been widely used and approved by major US law firms and corporate clients. Altlaw is excited to be able to introduce this dynamic option to these shores.
Altlaw will continue to offer the same excellence of support as it does for all our other offerings.
With no set-up fees and capped monthly charges, this tool will allow clients to have cost certainty and transparency at a very early stage of any matter.
We look forward to demonstrating the new platform on request.
Altlaw TAXI Campaign
Hopefully many of you will have seen the Altlaw taxis being driven around the legal district from their Ranks on Chancery Lane. From Monday 13th April, Altlaw have liveried 70 London Taxis
Serving London's legal district. This latest marketing campaign is designed to coincide with the launch of our FIXED PRICE ‘review lite', and boost brand awareness by adorning one of London's
most loved and recognised icons.
We have also increased our presence on the http://www.rollonfriday.com/ website with yet another ground-breaking animated Banner advertisement.
Altlaw TAXI Competition - Win an iPad!
Running from Monday 13th April through 30th June, Altlaw are running a competition to win an iPad. For your chance to win, all you must do is take a picture of one of the Altlaw Taxi's and
upload it and ‘like' our Facebook Page - .https://www.facebook.com/AltlawLitigationSupport - It's that simple! The winner will be picked at random on 1st July 2015.
Altlaw completes what is thought to have been the largest eDisclosure project in the UK last year
2013 was a successful year for Altlaw Litigation Support and to top it off, we successfully completed what sources have led us to believe was the biggest EDD project in the UK last year. As a matter of fact, considering that Altlaw was involved in two concurrent projects of similar value; it would appear (though unfortunately we have no way to confirm it) that Altlaw actually had the top two largest EDD projects in the UK last year.
The news comes as Altlaw celebrates its decade long existence, having evolved from a reprographics company into a high tech, eDisclosure and Litigation Support company, providing technical expertise and offering all elements of the EDRM cycle in-house, at our premises in the shadow of both Tech City and the City of London. It also firmly cements our place as a recognised leader in the eDisclosure market with our market leading Nuix and kCura® Relativity® services.
The project in question involved all aspects of the EDRM life cycle including:
- Initial project scoping and ongoing consultation on a highly contentious matter worth hundreds of millions in value
- Assisting in the recruitment and training of project leaders on behalf of the client
- Multi-location forensic data collection (including outside UK)
- Intensive early case assessment filtering process, involving Terabytes’s of source data
- Managed document review, with a peak usage of 100 reviewers to analyse millions of documents
- Disclosure of half a million documents to multiple parties and in multiple formats
- Scanning of hundreds of boxes at our premises in London, as well as offshore at various client sites
- Large scale hard copy production for disclosure and review
Altlaw works with all sizes of law firm, ranging from boutique litigation firms to silver circle, magic circle and international firms. Working comfortably across litigation, regulatory, investigatory and compliance matters, we have a particular experience with large construction cases and have worked closely with the leading firms in this area.
With highly customisable, rapidly scalable solutions, Altlaw also has extensive experience with managing the international needs of its clients, having completed more than 65 different jobs with an international dimension, ranging from on the ground forensic collections through to international on-site hardcopy processing.
If you would like to know more about our capabilities, please do not hesitate to contact us at 020 7566 7566.
Altlaw celebrates 10th Anniversary
This month, Altlaw celebrates its decade long existence, having evolved from a reprographics company into a high tech, eDisclosure and Litigation Support company, offering all elements of the EDRM cycle in-house, at our premises in the shadow of both Tech City and the City of London.
Ten years ago, Altlaw’s founder Matthew Altass, set out to build a company that would become a real player in the industry and provide an innovative new approach to the legal reprographics industry, with among other things, transparency in pricing and a customer centric ethos.
In the ten years that we have been in existence, there have been many changes along the way. We have grown exponentially, becoming in that time, a national and international provider of forensic collection and investigation, early case assessment, data processing, review software and managed review, alongside our staple hardcopy and document production capabilities.
Managing Director Matthew Altass said, “Altlaw’s 10th anniversary is a tremendous milestone for the company. Over the past ten years, we’ve introduced innovation into the eDisclosure and litigation support industry, embracing the very latest in technology and always looking for better ways to do things. I am very proud to be leading a team of dedicated people who believe in our ethos and strive to provide the best service to our clients every day.”
Here’s to another 10 years of excellence…. We look forward to the next set of milestones.
Altlaw’s Decade of Milestones
- Altlaw successfully completes its 1st job September 2004
- Altlaw expands as it moves its operations into new, more modern and much larger premises May 2007
- Altlaw successfully completes its 5000th job March 2008
- Altlaw substantially expands services with eDisclosure services including hosting and Early Case Assessment January 2010
- Altlaw succeed in record forensic data capture June 2010
- Altlaw successfully completes its 10,000th job May 2011
- Altlaw becomes a Relativity Premium Hosting Partner October 2011
- Altlaw makes its first use of Private Aircraft to dispatch Data Collection team to the Channel Islands. May 2012
- Altlaw implements Nuix eDiscovery Platform July 2012
- Altlaw attends LegalTech® New York 2013 January 2013
- Altlaw expands its hard copy fleet March 2013
- Altlaw Litigation Support sees year on year 270% rise in turnover and 300% rise in profits March 2013
- Altlaw supports the Meningitis Research Foundation March 2013
- Altlaw announces major upgrade to its hosting and processing environmentJune 2013
- Altlaw supports the Widehorizons Outdoor Education Trust July 2013
- Altlaw takes part in the London Zoo Stampede charity run September 2013
- Altlaw Document Services posts record turnover October 2013
- Altlaw introduces ‘light touch eDiscovery’ service December 2013
- Altlaw attends LegalTech® New York 2014 January 2014
- Altlaw upgrades to Relativity 8.1 March 2014
- Altlaw expansion as it makes plans to once again move its operations into much larger premises TBA 2014
Altlaw systems are NOT affected or at risk from the Heartbleed bug.
It’s been a few days since news of the Heartbleed bug was discovered and by now you may have heard that it has now affected a leading UK site for parents and the Canadian tax authority among others.
Heartbleed impacts version 1.0.1 of OpenSSL, the open source tool used to encrypt communications between personal computers and web servers. OpenSSL is widely used by online services (including banking and ecommerce) to secure transactions.
Though the issue is critical and widely considered to be the biggest security threat that the Internet has faced, any data viewed or exchanged through Altlaw’s software and systems is secure and unaffected by this threat. Put simply Altlaw systems are NOT affected or at risk from the Heartbleed bug.
If you have questions about this issue and how it may affect your use of Altlaw’s services, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 020 7566 7566.