Landmark ruling for predictive coding in disclosure exercises

Following on from the first formal judicial endorsement of predictive coding earlier this year, which we covered in our post on the case of Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd, the High Court has now strengthened the arguments in favour of this technology by granting an order in favour of its use in respect of a disclosure exercise. 

23 May 2016

On 17 May 2016 the High Court handed down an order, yet to be published, in favour of BCA Trading, allowing them to use predictive coding technology as part of a substantial document review. The use of predictive coding was strongly contested by the applicant. Berwin Leighton Paisner, acting for BCA Trading, had argued that using the technology as part of the disclosure exercise would lead to better results at lower cost than the traditional manual review. 

This ruling is the first of its kind in respect of a technology which has recently been gaining wider attention in the UK, despite it being long-established and being considered a “tried and tested” method of document review in the US. The doors for a decision of this magnitude were opened with the approval by Master Matthews for the use of predictive coding for the first time in the English High Court in the case of Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd, which we covered here. It is thought that such judicial endorsement is likely to lead to an increase in the use of predictive coding in a variety of contexts, including major disclosure exercises. 

Shepherd and Wedderburn have a depth of experience in using technology assisted review, including predictive coding, and have a dedicated e-discovery team who can help you with any queries you may have about predictive coding and its potential uses. Please do not hesitate to contact John Mackenzie, Guy Harvey, or Nicola Perry if we can assist you any further on these matters.