Deloitte’s Financial Advisory practice in the Middle East, Deloitte Corporate Finance Limited (DCFL), has recently expanded its Forensic practice, the largest in the region, to include eDiscovery services, which allow discovery of data electronically. The company has invested in the technology and people needed to help clients and legal counsel find critical electronic evidence in cases of disputes, investigations or regulatory requests. The service is based on the Relativity review software which Deloitte offers from within Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC).
“Clients who find themselves in the midst of a dispute, a regulatory request or an investigation will often have to deal with millions of emails and electronic documents in regional jurisdictions. A common strategy is to manage as much of the data as possible in the originating jurisdiction rather than, for example transferring it to the US or UK,” explains Rick Barker, Head of Forensic Technology at Deloitte Corporate Finance Limited in the Middle East. “It is exciting to be able to offer this service to our clients in the MENA region.”
Factors such as greater global regulation, a focus on risk and compliance, and an increase in criminal prosecutions and in civil litigation are expected to influence the global market. While the US will continue to dominate the market, laws with extra-territorial reach such as the UK Bribery Act 2010 and FCPA are likely to continue to influence the international demand for eDiscovery services.
“We are seeing more GCC law firms and clients building their teams in response to these challenges and Deloitte is working with them to manage their document reviews in-country,” explains Wendy Robinson, Head of eDiscovery at Deloitte Corporate Finance Limited in Dubai. “We can process several million emails and other documents and reduce that to a manageable number using keywords and other filters. Since the eDiscovery platform is securely accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, our clients have the flexibility to use international outsourced review teams to expedite the review and to achieve significant cost benefits. We currently support review teams working locally within the UAE, and international legal teams based in New York, London and Krakow all from the same platform.”
“One of the key challenges encountered in this region is, of course, the different languages we encounter. Our team speaks over 20 languages and this has helped us and legal counsel to target the most important information very rapidly,” adds Robinson.
Nadine El Hassan
Public Relations Regional Leader
Deloitte Middle East
Tel: +961 (01) 748 444
Email: [email protected]