On 19th March 2015, 119 of France’s leading authorities on international litigation, labour, competition and IP/IT gathered at the historic Hôtel Plaza Athénée to celebrate the launch of Kroll Ontrack’s new French data centre and share best practice on controlling risks related to electronic data. With representation from international law firms and internal counsel of global corporations, the event’s popularity highlighted the growing importance of successfully managing investigations and litigations involving high volumes of electronic evidence.
The highlight of the evening was a lively roundtable discussion focusing on the role technology plays in safely guiding companies through investigations involving electronic evidence. Moderated by Kroll Ontrack’s Thomas Sely, speakers Winston Maxwell (partner, Hogan Lovells, Paris office), Florence Raynal (CNIL) and Isabelle Hautot (Orange Head of litigation) discussed the topic in depth, each one offering a unique perspective on the investigative process as lawyer, regulator and corporate director respectively.
A full report on the panel discussion, is being prepared and will be published in due course. However, the broad conclusions of the panel’s discussion were as follows:
- There is a difference between the US discovery process and ediscovery technology and the two are often confused; the technology is simply a tool that assists document review, whether this is for an internal investigation or part of litigation or any case with high volumes of documents to review. The applications of ediscovery technology are not limited to US style discovery cases.
- Accountability during the discovery process is of utmost importance to protect intellectual property. When selecting ediscovery service providers, companies and law firms should ensure that the ediscovery provider has the proper processes in place to secure data.
- Data should be filtered and processed within the country of origin for data protection purposes. Kroll Ontrack’s new data centre will be welcomed by companies who would prefer their data to stay within France in order to comply with local privacy laws.
After a question and answer session, attendees continued the conversation less formally at the champagne reception that followed.
We would like to thank our guests for taking the time to attend the evening, especially our speakers whose experience and opinions sparked so much discussion. It is clear that how electronic data is handled is of increasing importance in France and we anticipate that with the recent opening of Kroll Ontrack’s French data centre that more firms and companies will take advantage of what ediscovery technology has to offer in a wide range of cases from compliance and investigations to litigation and arbitration, both domestically and internationally.