Lighthouse Uncovers Key Facts In Misappropriation Investigation

Lighthouse’s analytics and linguistics expertise helped a tech company quickly find hidden evidence of employee misconduct.

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3 months

Total Time Saved


Total Cost Savings

Key Actions

  • Replaced linear review with sophisticated key document search led by legal linguists
  • Attuned search criteria to the nuances of software discussions and chat-based communications

Key Results

  • Cut through 8TB of data to find the 39 pivotal documents needed in just 9.5 days  
  • Saved 3 months and nearly $200K compared to traditional search, analytics, and review

Searching for Evidence in 8TB of Chat and Technical Data

Senior executives at an information technology company suspected that former employees had utilized company resources and intellectual property when starting a rival company. To determine whether litigation was called for, executives needed to find the most relevant documents within 8TB of processed data. The data was extremely complex, dating back 6+ years and consisting mostly of Slack data and attachments including highly technical documents, applications, logs, and related system files—tallying over ten million files.  

The company engaged a senior partner at an AM50 law firm, who recommended using keyword search terms, filters, and targeted linear review to find the “smoking gun” documents—which was estimated to take several months. The company came to Lighthouse looking for a faster, more strategic search alternative for their investigation.  

Pinpointing Key Docs with Linguistic Analysis

Two Lighthouse search and linguistics experts met with company executives to learn exactly what information they suspected the former employees had misappropriated. From there, our experts created linguistic-based search criteria that go well beyond keywords, taking into consideration the unique vocabulary and syntax of software engineers and developers, the conversational quirks of Slack and other chat-based communications, and the coded language used by people who are trying to get away with something.

The team delivered documents in 2 batches, refining their search based on input from the executives—and resulting in only 39 files for the company to review.

Getting Results—and a Start on Case Strategy—in Days

In less than 10 days, 2 Lighthouse experts pierced the subterfuge in the employees’ chat messages to reveal patterns in their behavior and attempts to cover their tracks. In all, we found 39 documents representing possibly questionable conduct, which required only 141 hours of eyes-on review.  

In comparison, using conventional analytics would have identified 5-20% of the search population as key documents—up to 50K documents to review in this matter. So in the end, Lighthouse saved the company over 3 months and nearly $200K.

Armed with knowledge of the key events, timelines, and context of conversations buried within the data, the company was primed to begin litigation efforts and had a team ramped up to perform additional searches when needed.

Lighthouse KDI vs Linear Review