eDiscovery Leaders Live
September 12th

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Bill Odom & Andy Hunniford of Orbital

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Bill Odom & Andy Hunniford of Orbital


Bill Odom and Andy Hunniford, the co-founders of Orbital Data Consulting, join George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, as part of a special ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive series broadcast from ILTACON 2022.

Bill Odom has over 23 years of experience in computer forensics, cybersecurity investigations, eDiscovery, and expert testimony globally. A co-founder of Orbital, Bill leads the global team for digital forensic and incident response investigations. He began his career in this area as a special agent with the FBI where he received training in general investigative techniques, computer intrusion and security matters and national intelligence and counterintelligence matters. He was also certified through the FBI Laboratory as a Certified Computer Forensics Examiner for the FBI’s Computer Analysis Response Team (CART). During his service, he managed the Computer Forensics Lab for the Houston office of the FBI and was involved in nearly all the 200+ federal matters investigated by the FBI, ranging from white-collar crime to terrorism and national security matters.

Andy Hunniford has almost 20 years’ experience in eDiscovery, data governance, and digital forensics. Also a co-founder of Orbital, Andy oversees the eDiscovery and data governance practices, playing an integral role in strategic management. He commenced his career as an IT technician, supporting both software applications and technical infrastructure. He then joined the litigation support team of Herbert Smith LLP, a global law firm. His team rapidly evolved from supporting paper-based matters that were scanned and digitized, to managing the explosion of electronic based evidence. Andrew spent almost 10 years at Herbert Smith, continually learning as the industry evolved. The experience acquired at Herbert Smith allowed Andy the opportunity to work on some of the largest global cross border litigation matters. He also helped pioneer one of the first predictive coding projects in the UK.

Bill and Andy met with me on the second anniversary of their company, Orbital. After sharing thoughts on ILTACON, they talked about their respective backgrounds, founding Orbital and the challenges of doings so during a pandemic as well as the benefits that brought, and what Orbital offers. They discussed AI: how they use it, the benefits its use delivers, and levels of adoption. From there, they moved on to forensic and cybersecurity, discussed the changes they’ve seen there as well as the advantages AI can bring to bear. And, best of all, they brought a wonderful chocolate birthday cake!

Key Highlights

  • [2:29] What ILTACON has been like so far.
  • [3:24] Andy’s most arduous trip to ILTACON.
  • [4:59] Bill’s background with the FBI.
  • [6:12] What that experience adds to Orbital.
  • [6:37] Expert testimony – a key part of what they do.
  • [7:11] The challenges of testifying over Zoom – and the flexibility it offers.
  • [8:28] Interesting bits from Bill’s time with the FBI.
  • [9:17] Starting Orbital, global, virtual, and all in the cloud from the start.
  • [12:13] And starting a new business in the middle of a pandemic.
  • [12:47] Working remotely from day one – a leveling of the playing field.
  • [14:27] Expecting a hybrid approach for quite some time to come.
  • [15:13] Deploying a global workforce – who’d already all worked with each other.
  • [16:21] A focus on project management processes.
  • [16:55] And with all that, the value of meeting in person.
  • [18:12] What Orbital does: a global boutique consultancy firm across the EDRM.
  • [21:32] How they use AI in the eDiscovery side of their practice.
  • [23:07] Adoption of AI by clients and the courts and its connection to proportionality.
  • [24:52] How the approach to eDiscovery has changed over time and how Orbital has adapted to that change.
  • [26:47] Changes and responses on the forensics side.
  • [29:04] From the cybersecurity side, data points, reporting needs, and pulling the pieces together with AI.
  • [30:01] AI as augmentation, not replacing humans, making eDiscovery, forensics, cybersecurity stronger.

Key Quotes 

    • “For us, [starting during the pandemic] actually was to our benefit. We knew we were not going to be able to set up a brick-and-mortar sort of shop, we knew we wouldn’t be able to get server rooms, so we said, let’s look at cloud-based tools and let’s work on the process to do that.”
    • “In some ways, [being remote from day one] leveled the playing field because traditionally in London or Paris or here in DC you walk down the street, have a coffee with someone, and talk about meetings and take them for lunch. No one could really do that, so we were on the telephone, we were on Zoom, everybody was in the same boat, so it really, really leveled the playing field. We were able to get meetings, we were able to start to get work, and we were able to leverage that.”
    • “When we set the company up, we wanted to go through a deep dive of what really works and what works well for a client, what are the problem areas and how do we tackle them, and that’s why we’ve put together a lot of project management processes.”
    • “We use a lot of the bespoke [Reveal AI] models…. We’ve used those a lot, pulling a model off for privilege and various other models that are because they’re just there and they give you a really quick head start on to a matter.”
    • “We’ve always tried to promote AI to our clients, and we’ve tried to promote it in a way of, it’s there so why not use it? We’ve had, broadly, wide adoption.”
    • “Some of the law firms want to go with the traditional model but we’ve said to them, look, there’s no extra cost to do this with our subscription model so let us run it in the background and then let’s take a little bit of time to show you how the results are.”
    • “I know the UK has been working on a disclosure pilot system where it doesn’t necessarily reference AI, but it talks about proportionality, it talks about trying to be as efficient as possible, and really the only way to be as efficient as possible it to use AI models.”


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