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Where Man Meets Machine – Litigation Technology in the Hockin case Part 1

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Posted in:Banking and Finance, Litigation, Science and Tech|May 10, 2017 | Join the mailing list

As ‘the imaginative law firm’, berg and its people strive to bring innovation and progressive thinking to everything we do.  This is no less important in utilising the most up to date technology to bring a case to conclusion in a manner that improves accuracy and results whilst also saving on time and costs.

In the 1st blog of a 2 part series, the team who worked on the recent Hockin vs RBS case reflect on the use of software throughout the proceedings.

Introduction – disclosure & trial

The vast size of the case in respect of documentation meant that conventional methods for directions such as disclosure would have likely found both legal teams overwhelmed. berg therefore employed intelligent technology to reduce the amount of time that would have been spent on searching for documents.

Additionally berg had to think logistically about the mechanics of a Trial of this magnitude; a conventional paper hard-copy Trial Bundle would have been (in total for all the parties) between 600 – 700 lever arch files.


There were two limbs to disclosure in this case; the first element involved the documents that were specific to the misrepresentation claim (i.e. documents that named the Claimant and specifically concerned the Claimant) and the second element concerned the documents relating to LIBOR.  The combined total amount of documents that necessitated review in this case approached 100,000!

Ravn – Artificial Intelligence for E-disclosure

Plainly, reviewing circa 100,000 documents would not be an effective or proportionate use of time. The endeavour could have easily taken a year to complete or perhaps longer. berg therefore engaged Ravn.

Ravn is an Artificial Intelligence platform that automatically distils key documents from a vast quantity.  Search terms or phrases are manually inputted into the software and it returns results in seconds. The results can then be further filtered into date categories, document types (email, pdf, excel, etc.) and document authors etc…. Ravn substantially reduced the administration time in dealing with such a large amount of documents as it allowed us to quickly eliminate over 95% of the documents leaving a manageable set of relevant documents to review.

Cyfor – drilling down further

Despite the prowess of Ravn it was still necessary to manually review several thousands of documents. Again, the conventional style of arduously reviewing documents “page by page” would have taken a significant period of time and would have detracted from the progression of other elements of the case. We therefore contacted Cyfor.

Cyfor are similar to Ravn in that they are a hosting platform that can hold large quantities of documents for review. Cyfor will take any hard copy documents and convert them into a content searchable, electronic format ready for the review process. Once uploaded each document can be reviewed and categorised with the click of a button.

When the review was completed, Cyfor produced an index of the relevant documents and forwarded an electronic zip folder containing the indexed documents to the Defendants.

Next – Find out how technology helped the team in the following stage of litigation and as the trial commenced in the second blog in the series.

To find out more about the issues raised in this post, or to discuss any queries regarding litigation, banking disputes and use of technology in litigation get in touch with our Litigation team on or call +44 (0) 161 829 2599.
The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by berg or any of its partners or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

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