Who's Who Legal
Who's Who Legal
New to Who's Who Legal?
New to Who's Who Legal?
Menu
User Menu
New to Who's Who Legal?
Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Craig Earnshaw
Watch interview with Craig Earnshaw

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

Questions & Answers

The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, Inc, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.

Craig Earnshaw is a senior managing director at FTI Consulting in London where he founded the European Technology Consulting practice in 2006. Craig has worked in the electronic evidence field since the mid-1990s, amassing considerable experience in both the technical and strategic application of forensic technology for his clients. Craig provides advice to clients in a wide variety of contentious and non-contentious situations, including disputes, investigations, and regulatory inquiries, often incorporating cross-border and data privacy issues.

Describe your career to date.

Having graduated from the University of Durham with a BSc in computer science, I was given the opportunity to build a forensic technology practice at an independent forensic accounting firm in the mid-1990s. This was a great opportunity but a massive challenge as I was coming straight out of university. Over the course of almost 10 years, and during a critical period in the evolution of the disciplines of digital forensics and e-discovery, we built one of the most respected practices in the UK, handling a significant portfolio of disputes, investigations and expert appointments in the UK, around Europe and in the United States.

FTI Consulting then approached me to establish and grow a European forensic technology practice. By this time, electronic evidence was a frequent feature in many contentious situations, and more readily being accepted by the judiciary and regulators. The challenge was, therefore, to create a European practice to deliver solutions to clients from FTI’s much more substantive (and global) client base, to handle the forensic technology issues that they faced. We also had to continue to innovate those solutions, to combine technology with the other capabilities at FTI, and to lead the thinking in the market: examples being our information governance practice, our first-to-market financial instant messaging capabilities, and our recent contract intelligence offerings.

You offer specialist insight into the field of electronic evidence. What made you decide to focus on this space?

Technology and information is the lifeblood of any modern corporation. It’s impossible to handle a dispute or investigation without analysing the relevant electronic information, be that an email, a WhatsApp message, an accounting entry or the timing of an equity trade.

The ever-increasing volume of data generated by corporations, together with evolving technologies, mean that the potential sources of information that could help resolve disputes and investigations are always growing. We are constantly adapting and innovating to ensure that we provide the right solution to a particular client situation.

On what types of matters are clients coming to you most frequently?

A large portion of our work focuses on major regulatory investigations and cross-border litigation, where clients require a forensic technology and e-discovery partner who will stand shoulder to shoulder with them to provide support and expert guidance throughout all stages of the process, in contrast to a “vendor”-type engagement where the decision is primarily based on the lowest-priced provider.

With the changing approach in terms of timetable and scope from the regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, we’re also seeing an increase in merger clearance work, as well as consulting engagements to enable clients to adapt their business to accommodate the requirements of new legislation such as GDPR and the e-Privacy Directive.

How does the breadth of expertise in FTI’s team assist you in your work as a forensic expert?

At FTI we have the benefit of being part of a global multidisciplinary advisory firm that provides clients with a wide range of expert consulting services, such as financial investigations, business intelligence, corporate restructuring and strategic communications. Having access to market-leading experts in these fields around the world enables us to deliver solutions that combine the latest technology and domain expertise to our clients, helping them to solve the complete challenge that they face, as opposed to a single component of it.

You have a highly international practice. What effect, if any, do you expect Brexit to have on cross-border forensics work?

With all of the uncertainty around the relationship between the UK and the EU27 in the run-up to, and following, Brexit we’re seeing clients across the EU increasingly prefer that their data remains within the EU27 countries, and not come to the UK. We’ve responded by expanding our continental European and Middle Eastern capabilities, including, most recently, launching the ability to process and host data in a facility in France.

Brexit is also driving demand for our contract intelligence capabilities as corporations are seeking a clearer understanding of the content of, and impact of Brexit on, their contracts.

What changes should colleagues and clients be most aware of over the coming months?

The main challenge centres around the growth of data volumes and formats. We are constantly required to develop new technology and methodologies, to account for this growth. This will also require instructing counsel to better understand, and be willing to use, these technology developments.

A good example of this is the acceptance of technology-assisted review and predictive coding to accurately and rapidly identify potentially relevant documents from large populations – without relying on keywords. We’ve used predictive coding for seven or eight years, although the UK courts have only recently accepted its use.

How competitive is the market at present?

As our corporate clients, and the law firms that represent them, are becoming more familiar with the legal technology solutions that are available they are looking to ensure that they are getting the most out of both the technology and the advisers that are available to them. For some, this means bringing the technology in-house, to support the e-discovery process, to carry out contract review or to perform financial data analysis, along with employing the expertise to undertake the work.

The challenge for us is to constantly develop solutions for new issues that the market is facing, and (even more so) to be able to provide a full end-to-end solution across the FTI business and across the world, which means we’re able to deal with multi-jurisdictional matters smoothly.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in the field of forensic technology investigations?

Somewhat atypically for such a technical field, a focus on so-called soft-skills is essential: clear communication, an attention to detail and an enquiring mind.

In our work, it’s crucial to be able to clearly explain complicated technical processes and concepts in ways that can be understood by all parties, including counsel, the judiciary or regulators, who don’t have the same level of familiarity with the subject matter that we do.

It’s also important to be creative and innovative in your approach to a client’s problem. While a technical background in computing or forensics is beneficial, the nature of our work is such that we draw from a wide variety of backgrounds, ranging from qualified lawyers to project managers.

Thought Leaders Global Elite 2019 - Digital Forensic Experts
WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader
Thought Leaders - Data 2019
WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Global Leader

Data - Data Experts 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Craig Earnshaw distinguishes himself as a standout individual in the market as he impresses sources who describe him as “very technically knowledgeable” and note that he is “particularly skilled in multi-jurisdictional deals”. 

Biography

Craig Earnshaw is a senior managing director in FTI’s technology practice, based in the London office which he founded in 2006. For over 20 years Craig has worked solely in the forensic technology field, and has amassed considerable experience in both the technical and strategic application of technology, and had delivered this for clients on some of the most complex and demanding matters that have taken place over this time.

Craig provides strategic advice to clients across all areas of FTI's forensic technology offering, and delivers specific counsel to clients in the areas of European Union-based evidence collection and disclosure, electronic data hosting for litigation and regulatory enquiries, and the impact of data privacy requirements on multi-jurisdictional disputes and investigations. His engagement experience includes cross border disputes and regulatory inquiries relating to anticompetitive behaviour, cartels and price fixing, in addition to fraud, bribery, corruption and IP theft investigations.

Craig has provided both written and oral expert evidence relating to e-discovery and computer forensic analysis in the High Court in London, and has testified at depositions in the United States, as well as submitting written expert evidence into other forums such as employment tribunals and arbitrations.

Craig has authored numerous articles that have been published in the European and US legal and technical press, and is a frequent conference speaker on subjects including multi-jurisdictional investigations and data privacy.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader
WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Craig Earnshaw is described by peers as “a top forensic expert”. He runs an excellent practice that sees him involved in such issues IP theft and fraud investigations.

Biography

Craig Earnshaw is a senior managing director in FTI's technology practice, based in the London office which he founded in 2006. For over 20 years Craig has worked solely in the forensic technology field and has amassed considerable experience in both the technical and strategic application of technology, and had delivered this for clients on some of the most complex and demanding matters that have taken place over this time.

Craig provides strategic advice to clients across all areas of FTI's forensic technology offering, and delivers specific counsel to clients in the areas of European Union-based evidence collection and disclosure, electronic data hosting for litigation and regulatory enquiries, and the impact of data privacy requirements on multijurisdictional disputes and investigations. His engagement experience includes cross-border disputes and regulatory inquiries relating to anticompetitive behaviour, cartels and price fixing, in addition to fraud, bribery, corruption and IP theft investigations. 

Craig has provided both written and oral expert evidence relating to e-discovery and computer forensic analysis in the High Court in London, and has testified at depositions in the United States, as well as submitting written expert evidence into other forums such as employment tribunals and arbitrations.

Craig has authored numerous articles that have been published in the European and US legal and technical press, and is a frequent conference speaker on subjects including multijurisdictional investigations and data privacy.

Law Business Research
Law Business Research Ltd
Meridian House, 34-35 Farringdon Street
London EC4A 4HL, UK
© Law Business Research Ltd 1998-2019. All rights reserved.
Company No.: 03281866