Engagement Overviews


Jump to specific case examples by following the links below:
Information Management & Governance 1 |  2 |  3 |  4 |  5 |  6 |
Long-Tail Environmental Services 7 |  8 |  9 |  10 |  11 |
Investigations/Due Diligence 12 |  13 |  14 |  15 |  16 |  17 |  18 |  19 |
Insurance Policy and Claims Review 20 |  21 |  22 |


Information Management & Governance

Case Example 1:
Client: Counsel for a Steering Committee of PRPs
Services: Federal regulators alleged our client was responsible for paying $300 million to clean up contamination caused by approximately 4.5 billion pounds of waste accepted at the landfill. We were retained to discover and define the relevant evidence and accurately apportion responsibility among all PRPs at the site and facilitate the recovery of appropriate costs from them. Our work on this case was the cornerstone to our client and counsel collecting over $100 million in site remediation costs – the most successful cost recovery action in EPA history.
Key Efforts:
  • Identified a vendor and supervised the process to convert existing IBM System 36 mainframe database (50+ floppy disks containing 60+ data files) to useable ASCII format; the data was initially restored, merged and converted into FoxPro and subsequently (in 2000) into MS Access.
  • Conducted interviews with site personnel and performed a forensic analysis of the converted files to determine and document the historical information governance procedures and metadata registry of the original mainframe database.
  • Reorganized 850,000 records in 59 data fields into relational tables; documented the information governance framework and data dictionary for this interim database.
  • Coordinated the printing and Bates labeling of 50,000 additional documents from microfiche to supplement the information contained in the interim database.
  • Reviewed and identified document types and 25 fields of relevant information from the microfiche document population.
  • Worked with vendor to coordinate offshore data entry (coding) from the microfiche document population into a supplemental database.
  • Resolved instances of conflicting information between interim and supplemental database fields by revising and documenting the information governance framework to establish the ‘best available’ data.
  • Designed, documented and executed processes to identify and set aside duplicate records in the joined data populations.
  • Designed and documented the taxonomy program and data dictionary for the merged data set and 75 additional work product fields in a final database.
  • Performed a gap analysis and investigation to ensure that relevant document, data or information sources had not been excluded.
  • Performed rigorous analyses on outlier document populations identified during data entry, e.g. illegible documents, “not relevant” populations, documents with unexpectedly high or low quantities.
  • Collaborated with our client, counsel, EPA and DOJ to analyze and define a transparent and defensible allocation methodology and refine the governance requirements used as part of calculating allocation percentages. The final relevant data set identified approximately 200,000 transactions and 20,000 parties at the site.
  • Collaborated with our client and counsel to negotiate intra-group allocations and a Consent Decree with EPA and DOJ, who reviewed and approved all document, information and database capture, governance requirements, and management processes.
  • Collaborated with EPA, DOJ, counsel and our client to manage nine separate mailings of approximately 3,500 notification/settlement packages to over 1,000 parties at the site.
  • Collaborated with EPA, DOJ, counsel and our client to create, edit and finalize over 100 unique documents for the above packages.
  • Collaborated with EPA, DOJ and counsel to conduct review of appeals from noticed parties as they challenged our client’s claims against them.
  • Collaborated with counsel to create materials for public comment sessions on our database and methodologies; trained counsel so they could demonstrate our allocation model at the sessions.
Case Example 2:
Client: Counsel for a Working Group of potentially responsible parties (PRPs)
Services: State regulators alleged our client was responsible for several hundred million dollars in costs to clean up the approximately 10 billion pounds of hazardous waste accepted at this landfill. We were initially engaged to perform a peer review of the PRPs’ existing database and allocation methodologies but after presenting our findings and recommendations, we were asked to conduct a forensic audit, document the entire process to that point and take over the ongoing information management responsibilities.
Key Efforts:
  • Conducted forensic reconstruction documenting evidentiary chain-of-custody and the historical information governance procedures that were followed while structuring, standardizing and normalizing the landfill’s electronic records.
  • Submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to state regulators for a database report from their hazardous waste tracking system of all waste identified as being located at this landfill.
  • Collaborated with clients and counsel to design and document information governance requirements, taxonomy program and data dictionary for the existing client database and state tracking system records.
  • Normalized and merged the existing client database and state tracking system records into an interim database.
  • Performed gap analysis, investigated to discover and captured images of relevant documents listed in the state waste tracking database but were not reflected in our client’s database.
  • Designed strategy and planning for and managed the image capture via scanning of approximately:
650,000 forms containing handwritten information documenting waste disposed at the site;
100,000 pages of potentially relevant material not previously captured; and
2,000,000 computer-printed forms documenting waste disposed at the site.
  • Identified vendor and coordinated data capture from 80-column IBM punch cards.
  • Created and maintained detailed chain-of-custody and security records documenting each individual handling every document in the image capture process to satisfy regulators’ concerns about these originals’ integrity.
  • Designed and created two process and procedures manuals for offshore data entry personnel, one 100+ pages long detailing information for capturing 87 fields of data, the other 60+ pages long detailing information for capturing 16 fields.
  • Designed and documented the information attributes and definitions and metadata registry for the information captured in the data entry process.
  • Designed and created templatized approach for capturing 100+ fields of data from 40+ document types.
  • Designed and documented information governance requirements for all databases in the process.
  • Directed statistically valid sampling of data entry to ensure 95% accuracy for the foundation of the next 10-15 years’ work recovering costs from other PRPs.
  • Directed normalizing and merging of data entry database with client and state tracking databases. This integration required designing and documenting a complex governance structure, as there was little consistency in the sources’ data structure, content or metadata models.
  • Designed, documented and executed processes to identify and set aside duplicate records in the merged, “final” database.
  • Collaborated with state regulators and DOJ to verify our search optimization strategy, waste volume calculations and “documents excluded” methodologies.
  • We are in the process of obtaining regulatory agency and DOJ endorsement for our clients’ waste database content, accuracy and defensibility.
Case Example 3:
Client: Fortune 500 Manufacturing Company
Services: EPA ordered our client to participate in an investigation into perchlorate contamination of area groundwater.
Key Efforts:
  • Directed forensic investigation to quantify a “mass-balance” analysis of the company’s perchlorate purchase, usage and disposal by identifying and reviewing historic accounting and operations records.
  • Collaborated with subject matter experts to design and document reporting requirements and deliver intelligent data reports for use in modeling scenarios for potential groundwater impact from historical site operations.
  • Directed a detailed accounting analysis of historic corporate successorship issues to refute alleged liability. Our analysis was used by counsel to obtain a court exemption from plaintiff’s clean-up order.
  • Directed extensive research within the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) into government contracts performed at our client’s and proximate facilities.
  • Directed and conducted interviews and on-site document identification reviews at fourteen NARA facilities, military commands and historical offices.
Case Example 4:
Client: Fortune 500 Utility Company
Services: Plaintiffs in an environmental class action lawsuit alleged exposure to and contamination from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at thousands of residential and commercial properties along a natural gas pipeline.
Key Efforts:
  • Collaborated with counsel to identify and interview key personnel with relevant knowledge and information about the issues being litigated.
  • Supervised the collection and capture of structured and unstructured data and documents related to our client’s historical pipeline operations and maintenance activities.
  • Supervised the creation of separate analytical, case-tracking and document repository databases to support various litigation activities and the client’s response to a regulatory request for information.
  • Designed and documented the governance framework and taxonomy program for each of the databases, focused on search optimization.
  • Collaborated with client and counsel to design and document reporting requirements for each type of record; designed analytics and reporting to meet these objectives.
Case Example 5:
Client: Fortune 500 Utility Company
Services: Retained by client to facilitate their responses to a series of natural gas regulatory reviews and anti-trust matters.
Key Efforts:
  • Conducted dozens of interviews with client personnel and corporate records custodians to discover, identify and review thousands of boxes of potentially relevant documents.
  • Conducted dozens of interviews with client personnel and corporate records custodians to discover, identify and review thousands of boxes of potentially relevant documents.
  • Collected and organized hard copies of approximately 100,000 potentially relevant documents into a central library.
  • Designed and implemented an information security program, including a “check-out, check-in” file tracking system.
  • Collaborated with client and counsel to design information governance and reporting requirements, taxonomy program and optimize search strategy for discovery and trial support.
  • Supervised bibliographic coding of central library documents.
  • Designed database for captured information.
  • Supplemented library and database with documents produced over time as the scope of matters expanded; library eventually reached 1,000,000 pages of hard-copy documents.
Case Example 6:
Client: Fortune 500 Utility Company
Services: Plaintiffs alleged exposure to chromium from our client’s natural gas pipeline facilities in a $333 million class-action toxic tort lawsuit.
Key Efforts:
  • Conducted interviews with dozens of client personnel and file custodians to discover and document the location of potentially relevant materials.
  • Reviewed thousands of boxes of archived documents to identify approximately 1,000,000 pages of potentially relevant material.
  • Managed the capture of all potentially relevant documents by scanning paper to image.
  • Collaborated with client and counsel to design taxonomy program and information governance requirements for image database.
  • Managed discovery and deposition support to counsel by performing and providing requested database reports with related images.

Long-Tail Environmental Services

Case Example 7:
Client: Landfill Steering Committee
Services: Document and database management, volumetric allocation, investigative services, and settlement and litigation support for cost recovery actions

Our first task was to develop document, accounting and volumetric waste databases by converting the site’s electronic waste data into a useable “waste-in” database format.  We then developed supplementary databases from available waste disposal manifests and weigh tickets collected from the site’s storage facility.  Once the documents were collected and organized and the data consolidated, we worked with the client to analyze and define an allocation methodology, developing and implementing hierarchical rules that were used to calculate allocation percentages for the approximately 200,000 transactions and 20,000 parties at the site.  These allocations were used to support the client’s settlement negotiations with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”).

Under the resulting Consent Decree, we supported the steering committee and EPA in their joint effort to pursue contribution from other parties at the site.  Efforts included the identification, corporate research and physical location of additional Potentially Responsible Parties ("PRPs") at the site, analysis of financial viability and “ability-to-pay” issues, and other investigative services.

In addition, we developed, coordinated and assembled EPA demand packages, including supporting documentation of waste contribution and settlement amounts, and tracked responses, data requests and settlements for over 1,700 parties.  We supported the subsequent contribution litigation against 300+ non-settling parties.

The above work was the cornerstone to the client and counsel collecting over $100 million in site remediation costs – the most successful cost recovery action in EPA history.

Case Example 8:
Client: Counsel for landfill PRP Working Group
Services: Conduct peer review, forensic investigation, construction of Class I and municipal solid waste databases and work with regulatory agency to obtain endorsement of database content, accuracy and defensibility
Key Efforts:
  • Two databases contain approximately three million records in approximately 150 fields of data
  • Conduct interviews and identify additional hard-copy and electronic data
Case Example 9:
Client: Landfill Joint Defense Group (“JDG”) and their counsel
Services: Peer review and analysis of proposed cost allocation methodology
Key Efforts:
  • Identified and quantified allocation errors such as double-counting and inconsistent methodologies
Case Example 10:
Client: Landfill PRP group
Services: Cost recovery support and analysis of owner/operator’s Comprehensive General Liability policy coverage
Key Efforts:
  • Constructed “Industrial Waste-In” database containing over 250,000 transactions using landfill tickets and transporter records
  • Presented database for public comment
  • Coordinated with EPA to execute a de minimis settlement
Case Example 11:
Client: Regional groundwater JDG
Services: Cost recovery support and analysis of owner/operator’s Comprehensive General Liability policy coverage
Key Efforts:
  • Identified additional PRPs and their successors or subsidiaries, including relevant inter-party relationships

Investigations/Due Diligence

Case Example 12:
Client: Counsel for pyrotechnic manufacturing company
Services: Discovery support, liability assessment and allocation

Our work on this engagement consisted of two distinct phases of work:

Develop a “mass-balance” analysis, using historic accounting and operational records, to quantify the company’s historic perchlorate purchase, usage and disposal levels.

Perform extensive research within the National Archives and Records Administration (“NARA”) for government contracts performed at our client’s and surrounding facilities.  Research encompassed publicly-available and classified materials within the National Archives and Federal Records Center branches of NARA.  Fourteen NARA facilities, military commands and historical offices were contacted and/or visited in the course of investigating these Army and Navy contracts.

Our investigation included identification of original contracts, related documents and national and regional Ordnance District correspondence in support of an “Arranger Defense” strategy.

Documents identified relating to broader case issues included military research, development and testing of the munitions at issue and identification of other contractors providing the same products to the military during the relevant time period.

Case Example 13:
Client: Foreign-owned multi-national company
Services: Estimate value and timing of current and future long-tail liabilities to facilitate investor transaction
Key Efforts:
  • Analysis and estimation of current, future and potential unknown liabilities
  • Supported transactional due diligence
Case Example 14:
Client: Counsel for publicly owned utility
Services: Initial fact-finding, liability assessment, and discovery and trial support
Key Efforts:
  • Assisted counsel with document identification, data mining activities and dozens of client personnel interviews related to chromium in natural gas pipeline facilities
  • Developed and managed the case analytical and document database systems
Case Example 15:
Client: Publicly owned utility
Services: Historical fact-finding, liability assessment and discovery support
Key Efforts:
  • Collection and analysis of historical natural gas pipeline operations and maintenance data related to PCBs
Case Example 16:
Client: Large waste management company
Services: Due diligence on a variety of operating and landfill remediation sites
Key Efforts:
  • Review of engineering and cost documentation, cost estimates, regulatory oversight and site closure/post-closure costs
Case Example 17:
Client: Real estate development company
Services: Review and analysis of environmental engineer’s remediation plan and associated cost estimate
Key Efforts:
  • Verification of the underlying residual oil waste volume and cost data
  • Systematic testing of data veracity, underlying model assumptions and mathematical calculations
Case Example 18:
Client: Private water utility
Services: Historical fact-finding, liability assessment and discovery support
Key Efforts:
  • Detailed study of historic flood patterns, flood maintenance and prevention activities in the relevant watershed
  • Collected and organized historical dam operations, historical flood and weather data, hydrogeology and water velocity patterns
Case Example 19:
Client: Publicly owned utility
Services: Information management, discovery and trial support and analysis
Key Efforts:
  • Reviewed thousands of boxes of documents to identify relevant documents
  • Created searchable databases containing 100,000 document images
  • Created and managed a centralized library of historical natural gas operations with over 1,000,000 pages

Insurance Policy and Claims Review

Case Example 20:
Client: Three major oil companies
Services: Preparation, presentation and negotiation of liability insurance claims for past and future environmental and asbestos liabilities
Our efforts encompassed all major aspects of the claims, including review and analysis of coverage, accumulation and analysis of past environmental costs, allocation of environmental and asbestos liabilities to the clients’ insurance programs, development of claim values and presentations for insurers for settlement negotiations and direct participation in settlement negotiations.  The effort covered over 80 separate insurers and over $2 billion in incurred costs over 50 years of operations.  Our clients recovered over $400 million in costs.
Case Example 21:
Client: Insurance carrier
Services: Valuation of over 9,000 asbestos claims from a bankrupt asbestos refractory brick distributor/installer
Key Efforts:
  • Assessment of liability and exposure parameters
  • Accumulation, review and quantification of existing claims
  • Estimation of value for potential future claims
  • Review of insurance policy detail to assess coverage and potential defenses
  • Historical analysis of insured’s operations
  • Allocation of quantified costs to insurance coverage on a “products” versus “non-product” basis.
Case Example 22:
Client: Large electric and gas utility
Services: Claims management and historical fact-finding services related to the defense of more than 150 asbestos premises liability lawsuits
Key Efforts:
  • Claims administration and tracking
  • Identification and notification of other potentially liable parties
  • Analysis and documentation of historical regulatory investigations, fines and penalties