The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street
SE1 9SG, London, England
Peers and clients say:
"Jason is able to explain complex material in an easy-to-understand way"
"Jason is immensely hard-working"
"He has a deep understanding of how IT works"
Jason Coyne is an expert information technology (IT) and digital forensics consultant with over 30 years’ experience spanning government, telecommunications, manufacturing, healthcare, energy, wholesale and distribution, retail, and gaming. He specialises in the forensic examination of system delivery performance, digital evidence, discovery compliance and intellectual property (IP) matters. Jason has testified in the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) as well as various high courts, criminal courts and international arbitrations. It is said that Jason has the rare ability to simply explain complex technical systems.
Describe your career to date.
I started my professional career as a computer systems developer, writing code for business control and accounting systems.
This progressed into systems design and business process re-engineering. It was during this time that I started to discover the different technology project failure modes. In 2000 I set up a consultancy to focus on smart technology procurement to avoid the project failure modes that I had observed. During this time I was approached to act as expert witness in several technology disputes.
What is it about IT and digital forensics consultancy that you enjoy most?
It’s the detail at the low level, in the zeros and ones. Understanding how the systems operate and then observing the layers of data created during their operation continues to fascinate me.
What qualities make for a successful data expert?
I believe its experience in a wide range of systems, with underlying engineering principles. Whilst much can be gained from the theory and teachings, you must roll your sleeves up and start taking elements apart.
Looking back over your career, what has been the most interesting case you have been a part of?
NHS patent records was a very interesting investigation, because it was as much about the business change and user adoption of technology – rather than the technology itself. But more recently, the years of work that my team and I put into the Post Office Horizon investigation for Alan Bates and the Justice for Postmasters. The range of different systems, telecommunications and technologies employed within Horizon was far reaching. Being the preferred expert after being cross examined for four days in the high court was exhilarating.
From a disputes resolution standpoint, how do you effectively coordinate on cases when working alongside experts with other areas of expertise?
In the early days I was often the only ‘computer expert’ on a dispute, but that is less effective when looking at enterprise systems because there are usually many potential lines of enquiry which benefit from multiple team members with different specialisms. We have developed very good processes and standardised tools for mapping reoccurring elements such as timelines, roles and responsibilities, change control, impact analysis, etc., which typically feature in many disputes.
What challenges has the shift to remote working presented from a digital forensic standpoint?
I have found that the team is more efficient working remotely for at least 80 percent of the time. We have very good collaboration tools for evidence management, team chat, video conferencing and document creation.
Many of the digital forensic tasks run for many hours of system processing until results can be observed so having the ability to start a process, have an early dinner with the family and check back in to see the results or start another process later in the evening has really reduced investigation timeframes – which is often key in IP and white-collar investigations.
How do you expect the expert services practice at Kroll to develop over the coming years in response to rapidly changing data regulations?
I’m now a managing director in Kroll’s data insights and forensics division and before the end of 2022 we will have nine data centres across the globe featuring full service digital forensics, data analytics and litigation support services catering for the most popular jurisdictional data regulations.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in expert consultancy?
Start slow, don’t take on too many matters concurrently. Whilst the dispute process is often projecting 18 months into the future, there are many phases where expert input is required and your agility to consider and turn around interim opinions will be tested.