By Oliver Browne and Hayley Pizzey

Anyone engaged or interested in the electronic disclosure process should pay close attention to the landmark decision handed down earlier this year by the English High Court in Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd (‘Pyrrho’),[1] the first ever decision on the use of predictive coding software.

What is Predictive Coding?

Electronically stored information (‘ESI’) often constitutes the majority, if not all, of the entire universe of information held by parties to litigation. The digital nature of our lives and businesses leads to large volumes of ESI being created, duplicated and stored in a variety of formats, locations and jurisdictions.

Parties to litigation may face difficulties in determining how much ESI they have or where it is located, or they may simply have too much to sift through. In past years, parties have relied on simple keyword or Boolean searches (using operators such as AND, OR and NOT in a search) to sift through data, but these methods of search can be unreliable, subject to human error and simply under- or over-inclusive. Predictive coding is a powerful tool that seeks to address these issues. It has the potential to augment human decision making with computer aided pattern recognition.