Our experience with Information Management & Governance, Long-Tail Environmental Services, Investigations/Due Diligence and Insurance Policy and Coverage Review is described briefly below. If you would like additional detail, please visit our Engagements page or send us an email with any questions or issues you would like to discuss further.
Many clients struggle to realize optimum synergies between their classification model, governance program and information findability. Only through consistent, repeatable and, where appropriate, defensible application of structure, governance and ongoing maintenance will they realize the long-term benefits in their enterprise search, knowledge management, and e-discovery solutions. Selected areas where Smith Consulting Group helps clients include:
- Discovery Risk Mitigation – end-to-end review of information at all stages of lifecycle: document location, format and condition of information universe, review current state of information identification and governance programs and the consistency of their use, establish defensible process for data and document collection;
- Information Intelligence and Findability – design and document content and classification models, governance requirements, and search optimization strategies to facilitate efficient deliverability and usability;
- Communication – facilitate more efficient synchronization and communication between all levels of client and counsel organizations;
- Process and Documentation Transparency – clearly detail process and procedures and, where helpful, provide warnings highlighting potential errors; and
- Training – design and deliver tools for training and education in group, individual and on-demand environments.
The following expert services have been provided to clients defending or undertaking remedial actions, analyzing potential costs and related damages, and funding remediation activities through contribution claims and “de minimis” cash-out settlement programs:
- Initial Fact Finding and Liability Assessment – review of historic site operations, assessment of operating and financial data and potential damages or cost recovery;
- Discovery Support – fact and witness support, assistance in writing and responding to interrogatories and document requests, and document and database management;
- Cost Analysis and Damages Assessment – assessment and/or estimation of incurred or future remediation or agency oversight costs and allocation of costs; and
- Multi-party Allocation and Cost Recovery Support – potentially responsible party (“PRP”) cost allocation, PRP identification and analysis of financial viability.
Smith Consulting Group develops and implements dynamic and fluid investigative strategies for clients involved in complex and multi-party environmental sites, including petroleum refining and tank storage facilities, liquid and solid hazardous and non-hazardous waste disposal sites, active and former manufacturing facilities; underground storage tanks (USTs) and surface and regional groundwater contaminations where there is active or pending cost recovery litigation.
Smith Consulting Group’s approach to the analysis of client insurance coverage programs considers key insurance policy data, collected and summarized as part of the following:
- Policy Analysis - Review relevant policies and capture key data necessary to analyze overall coverage such as insurer, policy number, coverage period, attachment point, limits, quota share, additional named insureds, exclusions, etc.
- Coverage Evaluation - Highlight issues such as pollution exclusions, aggregate limits, insolvent carriers and gaps in policy documentation with client-specific coverage program as the central focus. Evaluation results have been used to perform reserving and/or settlement analyses, prepare indemnity and expense billings to insurers, prepare and present claims to insurers and typically consider the following variables:
- Scope of coverage (all sums or pro-rata);
- Allocation method (time-on-the-risk or weighted);
- Policy exhaustion methods;
- Trigger theories (continuous, exposure, manifestation, or injury-in-fact);
- Multi-year recovery and stacking of limits;
- Definition of occurrence theories;
- Exclusions (pollution, owned property, other) and aggregate limits;
- Self-insured retentions and deductibles; and
- Treatment of insolvencies and settled policies.