The Forensic and Investigation team at leading business advisory firm Grant Thornton has more than doubled in size in the past six months amid a surge in demand from the legal sector for its advanced digital services.

It follows a £250,000 investment in new digital forensic technology by the firm, enabling it to deal with higher volumes of big data, improve its data analytics and provide advanced e-discovery services.

The growth is being driven, in part, by the developing requirements of law firms and clients which are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence as they seek technological solutions to tasks traditionally carried out manually.

Paul Jacobs, Partner, Head of Forensic and Investigation Services at Grant Thornton commented:

“The world as we know it is changing and the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning is causing major disruption across the business landscape, including in the legal sector. The investment made by Grant Thornton in this area will be of particular benefit to cases going through the new High Court Business and Property Hub.”

“Law firms and clients engage Grant Thornton because they want to streamline their processes. Whether it’s reducing the time spent analysing vast amounts of data, scanning and reviewing contracts or carrying out due diligence the legal profession has recognised the enormous benefits of using digital technology.”

“Our services are also in high demand from other corporations, large and small, regulatory bodies and organisations.”

“They want to access the most up to date technology in litigation and investigations, and we help them to do that.”

Grant Thornton’s Forensic and Investigation team in Belfast now comprises of seven staff members headed up by Associate Director Sinead Watts and newly appointed e-discovery specialist, Matthew McKee.

Andrew Harbison, Director, Forensic and Investigation Services at Grant Thornton, added:

“The team in Belfast includes forensic accountants and other experts from a range of backgrounds with experience across UK and Irish jurisdictions, sensitively handling confidential affairs on behalf of our clients.

“Our recent investment in new forensic technology complements our wider offering which includes expert witness services, fraud investigations, asset-tracing and cyber security.

“The scope of digital services is constantly widening. By continuing to invest in new technologies, we can ensure the most advanced techniques remain at our disposal as we help keep our clients ahead of the game as they embrace the digital future.”