A “collection” where nothing actually gets collected?

UK commercial law firm

Problem

A large public hospital trust would not sanction a typical data collection due to EU Data Protection and confidentiality concerns.

LDM Global’s advice was very useful in portraying the client’s position and helped in settling the case.

~Herc Ashworth, Darwin Gray

Solution

LDM Global consulted to help the client leverage technology to overcome the need to remove any data.


LDM Global was contacted by Darwin Gray, representing a large public health organisation that had large volumes of data stored, including medical records. With a potentially complex, multi-party litigation on the horizon, it was critical that the firm understand which documents were available, what they contained and where they were located on the servers. It was also a priority to ensure an effective litigation hold, and there was concern over a large, complex organisation’s capacity to enforce that litigation hold. However, because of the confidential nature of the documents, the client was unable to undergo a standard collection process; only appropriate data could be imaged, and no data could be removed until disclosure was required.

The potential legal and eDisclosure fees associated with large volumes of data were also a concern. Proportionate cost budgets were tactically and commercially important.

After a thorough consultation to establish the challenges and assess the options, the solution to the confidentiality, data protection and cost challenges was for LDM Global to do a pseudo-collection, removing no data. An LDM Global specialist was vetted before going onsite to image the servers, leaving all of the images with the client to ensure an effective litigation hold. However, the servers were also “mapped” using specialist software, providing the client with a searchable database to understand what types of documents were available and where they were located on the server. This also meant that if the data needed to be collected in the future, it was perfectly feasible to highlight the areas of the server that contained potentially relevant documents and get approval just to collect those from the images already taken.

Ultimately, the case was settled. Herc Ashworth, who worked as a consultant on the case, said the services LDM Global provided were truly valuable in strengthening the client’s position.

“We think the strength of our position that we were able to present in the disclosure report (because of LDM Global’s work) was very useful in portraying the client’s position and helped in settling the case,” Ashworth said.

Ashworth noted the firm had originally retained a different eDisclosure provider but found themselves being “blinded with science” and didn’t actually listen to the specific needs. After switching to LDM Global, Ashworth said he was impressed with the professional level of consultative service provided. He said, “(Our consultant) Jeff was extremely quick, responsive and guided us through the options, creating one that worked.”

“It’s very reassuring when you work alongside a professional outfit like LDM,” Ashworth said. “When we have a litigation case in the future, LDM will be the first on our list.”

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