'Where Does a Wise Man Hide a Leaf?': Modernising the Laws of Disclosure in the Information Age

AuthorDenise Wong
Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology
Vol.9, No.4 (2014)
Where Does a Wise Man Hide a Leaf?1:
Modernising the Laws of Disclosure in the
Information Age
Denise H. Wong
Assistant Professor of Law
Singapore Management University
Abstract. Litigation practice has been significantly altered by the advent of
electronically stored information in daily corporate life. It is argued that the laws of
disclosure should be updated to recognise that technology-assisted document review via
keyword searching is crucial in ensuring that the costs of litigation are well managed. In
order to facilitate keyword searching, a new legal concept of accuracy in the selection of
keywords should be introduced into the laws of disclosure. At the same time, despite the
adversarial nature of litigation, it is imperative that parties approach electronic disclosure
with a spirit of collaboration in order to achieve collective savings of time and resources.
Keywords. Litigation, Disclosure, Keyword Searches, Electronic Documents, Technology
1. Introduction
The interests of efficiency require tha t a case gets to trial a s soon as
possible with the best set of documents that can be a massed to assist
in arriving at a decision on the merits… Efficiency seeks to cull t he
volume of documents to be disclosed and it employs the scythe of
proportiona lity and economy... The Holy Grail is to ar rive at a set of
documents of the right size containing all relevant documents without
expenditure of disproportionate costs.”
Global Yellow Pages Limited v Promedia
Directories Private Limited [2013] 3 SLR 758
A revolution has taken place in the world of litigation. The advent of the Internet and email technology
have heralded a sea change in commercial habits, particularly in the manner in which people
communicate and in the volume of electronic documents being produced and stored as part of daily
corporate life. The mass of information that has been accumulated causes significant di fficulties when
the data has to be retrieved, sorted and reviewed as and when a di spute arises. This problem is
exacerbated by gl obalization and the cross-storage of corporate information across jurisdictions. This
1 Nichia Corporation v Argos Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 741 (CA) (Jacob LJ).

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