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Hickman & Rose’s role uncovering SFO disclosure problem revealed in GIR

20 Apr 2024

Global Investigations Review has reported on the fundamental role played by Hickman & Rose lawyers in uncovering a serious problem in the SFO’s disclosure review system.

The GIR report highlights how the Autonomy Introspect computer program used by the SFO to store and manage digital evidence between 2011 and 2018 does not automatically return all relevant results for searched-for keywords.

Journalist Sam Fry describes how “specific words with certain punctuation in or directly beside them aren’t caught by ordinary keyword searches” so that a search for a person’s name will not, for example, return results in which that name is included in an email address, or at the end of a sentence.

This issue “first came to light when lawyers at Hickman & Rose acting for a defendant in the G4S case raised it in pre-trial hearings“, GIR reports. It “remains an area of concern in [an] other case, which is scheduled for trial in 2025” and it “may have affected other, older cases.”

Since GIR’s report, the issue has also covered by the Financial Times, which reports the SFO has “launched a review of its past and present cases after uncovering [the] problems“.

The GIR report is available to subscribers here. The FT’s report is here.



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