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The Best of Relativity Fest London: Our Favorite Quotes about e-Disclosure, Brexit, and More

David Horrigan

With our London event growing to become the largest e-disclosure conference in the UK, as well as undergoing a transformation into Relativity Fest London this year, we thought it was time to roll it into our bigger e-discovery conference tradition: sharing our favorite quotes from the speakers (and live-tweeters) after the event.

Read through the notable highlights below, and let us know what stood out to you in the comments or @RelativityFest on Twitter.

meribeth_banaschik.pngMeribeth Banaschik, Partner at EY

on the challenges of international e-discovery and e-disclosure:

“Clients are, in essence, juggling about six balls of uncertainty in trying to navigate their way through e-discovery projects—and that’s not only Brexit, it’s the Trump administration, it’s model clauses, it’s the EU-US Privacy Shield, the Umbrella Agreement, the GDPR, and trying to make sense of all these issues.”

clare-carrol_100x100.pngClare Carroll, Senior Associate at McCann FitzGerald

on preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR):

“Just getting mobilized at the start is a challenge. People have a theoretical interest, but putting in place a plan takes resources, it takes time, it takes commitment … the challenge of the GDPR is to move from the theoretical to the practical.”

and agreeing that Ireland may benefit from Brexit, but noting one consequence:

“One of the first casualties that we can see in Ireland from Brexit is the humble block of cheddar cheese. Our prime recipient of cheddar cheese is the UK, and in the first three months of the year, exports are down.”  

chris-dale_100x100.pngChris Dale, Founder of the eDisclosure Information Project

noting the GDPR will take effect before Brexit is finalized:

“There are still people who think we don’t have to worry too much about the General Data Protection Regulation because we’re leaving the EU, and I’ve even heard stories to the effect that companies that had already started compliance programs for the GDPR have decided to give up because ‘We’re leaving the EU; we don’t have to have to worry about it anymore.’ That, of course, is nonsense of the highest order.

“Post-Brexit, when we’re finally over Theresa May’s cliff, lying on the rocks below—even then, as we sort of put our hands above the water—we will want to be involved in trans-Atlantic data flows, and if we as a country don’t qualify under EU rules as a suitable home for data, then the data won’t come to us.”

sean-doherty_100x100.pngSean Doherty, Analyst for Governance, Compliance, and e-Discovery at 451 Research

as both a practicing attorney and industry analyst:

“I can’t see doing a discovery case today without analytics.”


“Although we’re getting much more volume, much more variety, and more complex data, courts are not giving us more time to litigate our cases, so that speed of response is very important in understanding your case; early case assessment is key.”


kathleen-kristiansen_100x100.png(via Twitter) Kathleen Porter Kristiansen, Senior Consultant at Millnet, an Advanced Discovery Company

on the diversity of the Relativity Fest London International Panel:

“Happy to see two women on the same panel … It is unusual to see two women on the same panel in #ediscovery unless the term ‘women’ is in the title!”


richard-legge_100x100.pngRichard Legge, e-Disclosure Manager at Mishcon de Reya

“Our lawyers are extremely competitive. If you can offer them something which can allow them to get an upper hand or find their key documents more quickly, they’re going to take it because it’s something the other side might not be doing.”

jo-livermore_100x100.pngJo Livermore, Associate at Stephenson Harwood

on an e-discovery challenge:

“Going forward, I think it will be a much more collaborative approach. Previously, I think the vendors had sometimes been seen as an add-on … I’m now seeing a two-pronged approach where the law firm and the vendor approach the client together.”

Jonathan-Maas_100x100.pngJonathan Maas, Managing Director at Maas Consulting Group

on Brexit:

“I think Brexit is a complete and utter shamble. We have no idea how it’s going to pan out, whether it’s going to go ahead or not … We voted with no knowledge, and we’re moving forward with no knowledge, so I don’t rule out anything at this stage.”

and with predictions on the GDPR:

“I suspect that when this kicks in in May next year, that there may very well be quite a few high-profile victims who are not compliant in order to encourage everybody else to become compliant … Perhaps for the first time in 10 years, IG will be taken seriously as the umbrella over all the data in an organization … It’s the kick up the derriere of data-keepers.”

al-karim-makhani_100x100.pngAl-Karim Makhani, Senior Case Consultant at TransPerfect Legal Solutions

Law firms that were not early adopters of technology will soon have to be.”

nicholas-newbury_100x100.pngNicholas Newbury, E-Discovery Executive at Herbert Smith Freehills

“I don't think legal teams have an issue with the technology behind assisted review. I think the issue is workflow.”

constantine-pappas_120x120.pngConstantine Pappas, Solutions Team Manager at kCura

on attorneys’ fear of the “black box” in technology:

“You don’t have to be able to build a refrigerator—you just have to be able to spot one.”


judge-peck.pngUS Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck (S.D.N.Y.)

predicting the next place to have judicial approval of technology-assisted review (TAR):

“The next logical case is probably going to be New Zealand, Hong Kong, or Singapore, any one of those three.”

andrew_sieja.pngAndrew Sieja, CEO at kCura

on the importance of adding Outlines to Relativity Fact Manager to allow users to think like a person:

“A computer nerd like me—I think like a database—but most normal people, and especially lawyers we work with, they don’t think like a database—they think like a person.”

charles-stewart_100x100.pngCharles Stewart, Manager of Electronic Discovery Services at Sheehan Phinney

“Each email thread tells a story, but sometimes a story has subplots; it takes a turn, and it doesn’t go the way you think. Email thread visualization allows you to see those clearly—those subplots, those twists, those turns—and how they relate to the main thread.”


meagan-sauve-120x120.pngMeagan Sauve, Consultant at Millnet, an Advanced Discovery Company

on the acceptance of TAR:

“We’ve had a big interest and push into TAR. Previously, there were a lot of cases where they would consider it, but ultimately drop it. Now, it’s coming up repeatedly—that’s the first question: ‘Could we use TAR in this case?’”

and on clients requesting the mysterious TAR:

“Do that thing you do.”

steven-whitaker-updated_100x100.pngFormer Senior Master Steven Whitaker

on American views on data privacy:

“‘Data privacy, what’s that?’ … I think a lot of Americans are quite convinced that their own government spies on them all the time anyway, so what’s the point?”

and on data privacy in other jurisdictions:

“The fact of the matter is we’re all guilty. I mean, you go back 10 years, nobody cared a tinker’s cuss about data privacy. People just didn’t think about it at all, but things have had to change enormously. When the GDPR—sounds like an East German republic—comes in next May, we’ll have to think about it more seriously.”

David Horrigan is Relativity’s discovery counsel and legal education director. An attorney, award-winning journalist, law school guest lecturer, and former e-discovery industry analyst, David has served as counsel at the Entertainment Software Association, reporter and assistant editor at The National Law Journal, and analyst and counsel at 451 Research. The author and co-author of law review articles as well as the annual Data Discovery Legal Year in Review, David is a frequent contributor to Legaltech News, and he was First Runner-Up for Best Legal Analysis in the LexBlog Excellence Awards. His articles have appeared also in The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, The New York Law Journal, Texas Lawyer, The Washington Examiner, and others, and he has been cited by media, including American Public Media’s Marketplace, TechRepublic, and The Wall Street Journal. David serves on the Global Advisory Board of ACEDS, the Planning Committee of the University of Florida E-Discovery Conference, and the Resource Board of the National Association of Women Judges. David is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, and he is an IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional/US.

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