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Guidance Software demands legal aid for IT departments

Vendor claims IT and legal teams must forge closer ties, as threat of corporate litigation grows.

Legal

Digital forensics vendor Guidance Software is leading calls for greater collaboration between IT departments and corporate legal teams, as UK firms find themselves at greater threat from litigation.

Speaking to IT Pro, Frank Coggrave, general manager for EMEA at Guidance Software, said UK firms are coming under increased pressure to comply with third-party regulators, much to the dismay of IT departments.

Regulation is becoming a creeping concern for companies in all sectors.

"There is a misconception that it is just banks and financial services organisations that are under pressure from this, but regulation is becoming a creeping concern for companies in all sectors," said Coggrave.

"Therefore, there is a growing need for companies to lay their hands on data quickly [for audit purposes], and this responsibility usually falls on IT."

To tackle this, Coggrave said corporate legal teams should liaise with IT departments more so they know exactly what is expected of them.

To back this view, he cited figures from a recent Guidance Software survey, which asked 100 IT decision makers about how they cope with corporate litigation.

Forty-two per cent of respondents described the "lack of clear objectives laid down by legal teams" as the biggest problem they face when carrying out an investigation.

"The legal and IT departments are two different beasts that do not share a common language. The legal team will ask IT, for compliance reasons, to locate some data and the IT department won't understand why they need it," explained Coggrave.

"Some organisations have E-discovery managers to help bridge the gap, but there is definitely a case for more cooperation between the two groups."

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