England: High Court gives judicial approval to predictive coding
In a potentially landmark ruling, the English High Court has given judicial approval to the use of predictive coding in disclosure for High Court cases.
Edward Spencer, associate at Taylor Wessing, told the court that the deployment of predictive coding during disclosure would achieve significant cost savings.
Predictive coding uses automated processes like keyword searches, filtering and sampling to complete an initial review of documents during disclosure. It relieves legal teams of the need to manually review every document that may relate to a case.
The parties in Pyrrho Investments and MWB Business Exchange v MWB Property and others had agreed the use of predictive coding but judicial approval was sought in light of its relatively recent introduction into English litigation.
Master Matthews, co-author of the leading text on the subject of disclosure, considered the issues faced by parties when giving disclosure in the electronic age, and how technology can and should be deployed to reduce costs while complying with disclosure obligations.
In granting his approval, he noted that predictive coding is in use in other jurisdictions and evidence suggests that it is no less accurate than a traditional manual review process.
He also acknowledged that an advantage of the automated process was consistency in decision making in the disclosure process.
In this particular case, he found that the number of documents to be reviewed, the predicted significant cost saving and the value of the claims meant that predictive coding was appropriate and would promote the overriding objective.