A large services company was facing enterprise data overload. It had saved all of its emails from the past 10 years, totaling hundreds of terabytes of data, and was adding nearly 2 million more emails per day. Some of this data was stored on poorly labeled backup tapes, and much of it contained loose file attachments with sensitive client data.
Due to the size of the email archive, basic e-discovery searches on the company’s in-house software were taking weeks and often would fail, impairing the legal team’s ability to quickly assess or respond to matters. In addition, by saving this data, the company was making itself eligible for legal and regulatory matters, potentially leading to unnecessarily large e-discovery costs down the road. Finally, due to the sensitive client information contained within these emails, the company could possibly be the target of a harmful data breach.
The company’s C-suite realized it needed to get its data house in order and clean up its archive, migrate to new systems and develop and implement company-wide policies to successfully embrace the updated program.
FTI Consulting’s Information Governance, Privacy & Security (“IGP&S”) group was brought in to handle the challenge — from making sense of the legacy data and preserving data under legal holds to developing, rolling out, training on and enforcing a new data-retention program.
FTI Consulting’s team began several concurrent workstreams, including:
- Seconding IGP&S employees on-site to help manage and staff projects, conduct managed review and leverage technology from providers including IBM, Nuix, Integro and Index Engines
- Extracting more than 1.5 billion emails from the legacy system
- Classifying data with artificial intelligence and analytics
- Removing backups
- Implementing a new process and technology for e-discovery
This large and complex project helped the services company cost-effectively reduce its risk, get its legacy data in order, eliminate what it doesn’t need and better protect and manage the data that is important. Searches that previously took weeks now return results in less than an hour, allowing the legal team to quickly respond to matters. The legal team can better handle legal, regulatory and investigative matters moving forward with updated e-discovery software and processes.
Senior Managing Director, Houston
Q: How did FTI Consulting’s expertise help this client address its challenges?
A: “Broadly, many companies have the same challenge — they have kept data for too long and need a way to safely determine what they should keep for legal or regulatory purposes and what they should eliminate. This is especially top of mind today with new data privacy regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act. FTI Consulting is uniquely suited to help clients with this challenge because of the diverse teams we can bring to any matter. We have technologists and forensics experts to lawyers and former in-house professionals, all working together to find practical and defensible solutions for our clients.”
Senior Director, New York
Q: What did you learn from this engagement that you may not have known before?
A: “At FTI Consulting, we have training classes about ‘how to think like a client’ so that we’re focused on delivering what’s important for our clients. As a seconded employee on this engagement, working alongside the client, I learned a lot about the client’s expectations around project management, communications and delivery. I helped vet and then manage a number of third-party providers and gained a new appreciation for quality client service. This experience has helped me benchmark and evaluate my own performance so that we’re constantly improving for our clients.”
Senior Consultant, Atlanta
Q: How did this case differ from ones you may have worked on previously?
A: “The sheer scale of this engagement was different, as well as the degree to which it impacted all parts of the client’s business. Because of this, we were collaborating with outside counsel and multiple teams across the client’s organization. There were a number of interconnected and dependent workstreams — we couldn’t begin project D until projects B and C were complete, as an example, so developing efficient workflows and transparency was critical. This enormous effort would not have been possible without the complete trust and collaboration from all parties involved.”