Asian E-Discovery Growth Trends Highlighted in New FTI Consulting Study
Australasia News

FTI logoFTI Consulting, Inc., the global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance their enterprise value, today announced the results of its E-discovery in Asia: Legal, Technical and Cultural Issues study, conducted in collaboration with Asian Legal Business magazine. The report, which includes both quantitative and qualitative answers from 70 Asia-based law firm and corporate e-discovery professionals, uncovers a number of strong, but evolving e-discovery trends in the region.

The report highlights challenges and practical advice for multinational corporations and law firms managing the legal, technical and cultural implications of e-discovery in Asia.

“E-discovery is an increasingly global process, whereas the challenges become less about data volume and more about jurisdiction,” said Rod Sutton, Senior Managing Director and Regional Chairman for FTI Consulting in Hong Kong. “This study highlights more than 20 factors encountered in dispute resolution unique to Asia, and provides perspectives from leading lawyers regarding the conduct of e-discovery in this complex region.”

Key findings from the study include:

  • High rate of regulatory activity: Sixty-seven percent of respondents cited regulatory investigations as the biggest driver of e-discovery in Asia. These are a result of the ongoing enforcement of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act, as well as Asian regulators and company-driven internal compliance reviews. Further, increasing cooperation among regulators from different countries is expected to cause a greater number of investigations and e-discovery in more countries.
  • Privacy and confidentiality are the biggest challenge: Managing data privacy laws and confidentiality concerns is the single biggest challenge identified by respondents, with 79 percent citing privacy or data protection as a specific risk expected to emerge from new Asian regional laws. When asked to rank challenges in running a review project, the top response was finding the appropriate technology that could support the intricate workflow needed to meet local data privacy or state secrecy regulations.  
  • China poses unique challenges: Almost 40 percent of those surveyed said new laws in China will impact the management of electronic data in legal review. One of the most impactful pieces of legislation will be the Law of the People's Republic of China on Guarding State Secrets, which is broad and vague and requires documents to be reviewed and cleared of secrecy concerns before leaving China.


“Global companies are turning to FTI Technology to safely conduct e-discovery within Asia,” said Veeral Gosalia, a Senior Managing Director in the Technology segment at FTI Consulting. “We have extensive experience in the region, knowledgeable professionals on the ground, and employ global methodologies. For our clients, these components reduce the complexity of e-discovery in Asia and provide comfort that the process is defensible.

For corporations and law firms managing global e-discovery, FTI Technology provides a range of offerings to conduct defensible discovery in Asia. This includes local hosting of the industry-leading Ringtail software, as well as Investigate, a discovery offering incorporating FTI Consulting experts, equipped with Ringtail, to conduct end-to-end investigations on-site at company locations and in compliance with country-specific data privacy requirements.


In late 2013 and early 2014, FTI Consulting partnered with Asian Legal Business magazine to interview legal professionals in Asia on the e-discovery transformations underway in the region. Sixty-five individuals from corporations and law firms completed an extensive online survey, while five e-discovery experts participated in phone interviews.


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