ZyLAB, leading provider of e-discovery and information management solutions, recently issues a stark warning that failure to effectively manage information could result in a large fines, weakened cases and loss of business, under the Civil Procedure Rules.
With the number of disputes gradually increasing year-on-year, from 31% in 2008 to 40% this year, and new fines and data management regulations constantly being brought into the business world, both IT managers and legal teams face an increasingly complex compliance challenge.
Ronald Van Vuure, Director, ZyLAB comments: "Not only is the UK becoming increasingly litigious, but we also know that legal disputes generally increase when economic times are tough. The cost of preparing data can be relatively high for legal teams and many companies may be frightened by the possibility of under-retaining data – but simultaneously, the cost of over-retaining or losing data can also be prohibitive. However, the cost of preparing now and putting effective e-discovery methodologies in place is far lower than the cost of bringing an external body in to ‘clean-up house' and carry out audits and due diligence."
The cost of preparing for such an audit should not be underestimated; during 2006, Siemens employed accounting firm Deloitte and law firm Debevoise to assess the organisation's compliance protocols and determine whether the company had violated anti-corruption regulations. The project took two years and cost the company approximately £850m. The scope of the investigation included 1,750 interviews, the examination of 14 million documents and 38 million financial transactions.
Under UK law, organisations that do not prepare adequately for litigation face a weakened case in court and possible contempt of court charges. For this reason, companies are increasingly trying to manage their information effectively to enhance data accessibility and ultimately minimise cost and disruption from legal action or regulatory audits.
"One of the key challenges today, however, is that information is stored in many different formats – from paper to e-mail to multimedia – it all needs to be managed and stored effectively to avoid big risks to businesses," continued Van Vuure "In today's unstable economic times, many companies are taking legal actions on issues which would not normally result in claims – sometimes to ensure that they are protected, or sometimes because they simply need money. Either way, it is imperative that companies are adequately prepared or they risk substantial fines."
ZyLAB can significantly enhance investigative capabilities with the most advanced set of search products and text analytics for finding specific pieces of information or associations across enterprise wide information: electronic documents from 700 different formats, e-mail and their attachments, paper documents , web pages, etc effectively, searching and retrieving information from documents in nearly 400 languages; and performing automated indexing, de-duplication, redaction, and foldering activities to enhance review. For more information visit www.zylab.com