Court rulings endorsing the use of Technology Assisted Review (TAR) abound in the US. Since the seminal Da Silva Moore case in February 2012, rulings advocating the use of TAR are fairly common. Despite the many benefits of TAR, other jurisdictions, including Canada, have been slower to react.
In what is being described as a landmark ruling, a High Court in the UK recently recommended that the parties use TAR to partially automate the review process and achieve a substantial cost savings.
In Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd & Ors  EWHC 256 (Ch), Master Matthews concludes that there is no evidence to show that the use of predictive coding software leads to less accurate disclosure than a traditional manual review, and that there is, in fact, some evidence to the contrary.
While this does herald a new era in the use of technology in the UK e-discovery scene, it doesn’t necessarily open the floodgates. Master Matthews did add the caveat “’Whether it would be right for approval to be given in other cases will, of course, depend upon the particular circumstance obtaining in them.”
In Canada, there are many cases that would benefit from the use of TAR, and we are seeing it applied effectively in appropriate circumstances. While litigants would prefer to have the comfort of knowing that the courts endorse their approach, we have yet to see a Canadian court rule on the use of TAR. Until that happens (and it is just a matter of time) the US decisions, and now this important UK decision, provide solid guidance.