An international advisory firm needed to analyse almost 10 terabytes of data spanning a decade as part of a fraud investigation.

Grant Thornton’s Cyber-eDiscovery Resilience Team provided Early Case Assessment using Nuix software to bring the most relevant data to the surface and minimise the number of items sent for legal review.

Client challenge

Our client needed to analyse a backup of all data connected with an individual involved in a high-profile international fraud case. This data included hard drive of forensic images, images of email servers and even backup tapes – in all, almost 10 TB of data spanning the past decade.

The client had to find any evidence of wrongdoing and deliver it for legal review before producing it for a court. It would have been impossible and cost prohibitive to conduct traditional linear review of these masses of evidence.

The solution

The advisory engaged Grant Thornton’s Cyber-eDiscovery Resilience Team to provide a cost-effective solution for dealing with this much data to find relevant evidence sooner. The volume of data made an on-premise solution unviable, so we used Nuix Discover, an ISO 27001-certified cloud platform, to conduct an early case assessment of the data.

Applying culling techniques such as deduplication, keyword searches, concept analysis, social network analysis and date range filters helped the advisory defensibly eliminate the vast majority of data that was not relevant to the case.

"Evidence that can make or break a dispute can come from all sources within a business – but this can seem like an impossible task when this typically means sorting through millions upon millions of files to find what you need. For our client, it was almost 10 TB of data over a decade – that is, a ton of storage space. We were really pleased to be able to bring our skillsets, complemented by technology, to fine-tune our clients’ evidence, saving untold time and money if done internally and manually."


Doug Haselwood - Senior Manager, Grant Thornton

The outcome

Within two months, the early case assessment had culled the data set from 12 million items to just 1.8 million. This eliminated 85 per cent of items from needing to be hosted in a review platform and examined by lawyers, achieving a substantial cost and time saving for the client.

Chris Watson

Chris is a Partner within the Forensic Consulting team and has over 25 years’ experience in investigations. Chris spent 12 years in the City of London Police where, as a detective in the crime scene investigation unit, Chris was responsible for building the computer crime unit.

Chris Watson

Chris Watson

  • Partner – Risk Consulting