Erik Laykin is a managing director at Duff & Phelps.

Erik Laykin

Managing Director and Head of Global Data Risk

Erik Laykin is a managing director and Leader of the Global Data Risk service line, which focuses on Cyber Security, Complex eDiscovery, Computer Forensics, Technology Investigations, Expert Testimony and other emerging risks of the Information Age.

Erik is a cyber security/electronic discovery/computer forensic authority and an internationally recognized expert in the reactive investigation and analysis of cyber-crime, electronic fraud, data breaches, trade secret theft, trademark, patent and systems design infringement/failure, online piracy, corporate espionage and other complex information technology disputes. Erik regularly comments on legal and technology matters at industry conferences and for the media including CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC and CBS. 

Leading the firms efforts in complex data management, technology disputes and mitigating emerging threats to corporations, Erik directs large scale and discreet investigations and electronic discovery engagements often with an emphasis on cases involving foreign jurisdictions. As a result of his investigations and expert testimony, Erik and his team have successfully solved/resolved cases valued in the billions of dollars on behalf of Fortune 100 companies in the United States, Europe and throughout Asia. 

Prior to joining Duff & Phelps, Erik was the founding chair of the Information Technology Investigations practice at an international consulting firm. In the early 1990s, Erik founded OnlineSecurity, Inc., one of the worlds first I.T. investigation and Computer Forensics firms and pioneered groundbreaking investigative techniques, providing highly specialized technology services for major international law firms and leading traditional investigative companies.

Erik is a Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator and an active member of several American Bar Association committees. He is the chairman of the Electronic Commerce Council and has been a long-time member of the United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force. Erik is also the past president and Pacific Rim Director of the FBIs Infragard Program and has participated on a number of advisory boards, including the California Judicial Council's Subcommittee on Digital Evidence and the California Department of Insurance Fraud Task Force. Erik was selected by Who’s Who Legal in conjunction with the American Bar Association section of International Law as the Leading Forensic Litigation consultant in North America for 2017 and as a “Thought Leader” at the “Pinnacle of the Profession” for 2018.

Representative Engagements

Selected Expert Testimony Experience

  • Appointed expert witness in the largest trade secret case in history by defendants who were seeking methods to strike back at highly sensationalized and public allegations. Investigated plaintiffs claims and methodologies allowing for the development of an expert report which successfully rebutted several of the central allegations resulting in a dismissal of the case against the first of three defendants in summary judgement and the resolution of all claims against the remaining two defendants for a small fraction of the originally sought multi billion dollar action.   
  • Plaintiff’s counsel engaged Mr. Laykin and his team to investigate the circumstances surrounding the departure of a key employee of an American defense contractor and heavy equipment manufacturer to a foreign competitor. As a result of Mr. Laykin’s computer forensic investigation an emergency TRO was granted against the defendant. Subsequent investigation, analysis and courtroom testimony by Mr. Laykin proved willful destruction of electronic data by the defendant and the theft of thousands of mission critical computer files from the employer. Plaintiff prevailed in court on all claims.
  • Joint defense counsel appointed Mr. Laykin eDiscovery expert, to develop a process for the management of the processing of millions of emails within a highly truncated court ordered timeframe and to opine on the feasibility of the plaintiff’s eDiscovery demands from a technical standpoint. As a result of Mr. Laykin’s analysis, testing and testimony the Court found for the defendants approach resulting in a savings of tens of millions of dollars and a swift settlement of the longstanding antitrust claims against several multinational corporations.
  • Counsel for defendants, a top pop entertainment band, engaged Mr. Laykin as a testifying expert witness to opine on the origin and authenticity of digital media presented by plaintiff whom had claimed to be the legitimate author of a Grammy award winning song; which was also the world’s most downloaded digital song in the history of Apple iTunes. As a result of Mr. Laykin’s analysis and testimony which contravened the testimony of two opposing forensic experts, it was established that the plaintiff’s claims were false and further that the destruction of evidence was prejudicial to the defendants. Subsequently, the Judge granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and sanctioned the plaintiff for spoliation.
  • Appointed expert witness on behalf of defendant, a European based global Fortune 50 Company engaged in an intellectual property dispute with an American Fortune 100 company. The action rested on transactions and systems dating back to the mid 1990’s. As an expert in the matter Mr. Laykin directed the management and retrieval of archival data from multiple global systems and successfully testified as to the impact of the plaintiff’s actions and access to databases operated by the defendant.
  • On behalf of defendant and counter claimant: one of India’s largest online businesses, Mr. Laykin was appointed expert witness in a trademark infringement matter, valued at over 60 million dollars, which had lingered for several years. Through extensive discovery and pretrial investigations, Mr. Laykin and the electronic evidence team was able to establish substantial evidence favorable to the position of the defendant, thereby helping to induce positive early settlement.
  • Plaintiff’s counsel appointed Mr. Laykin to establish a basis for intellectual property violations based on the unfair usage of computer code. Mr. Laykin and his team examined thousands of pages of database and programming code from both plaintiff and defendant and provided a basis for the argument that the defendant had both infringed on plaintiffs intellectual property and was engaging in unfair competitive practices. As a result of Mr. Laykin’s testimony, defendant settled on terms favorable to the plaintiff.
  • CHFI: Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (EC Council)
  • CEDS: Certified Electronic Discovery Specialist (Association of Certified Electronic Discovery Specialists)
  • CFLC: Certified Forensic Litigation Consultant 
  • Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA
  • JMG (Jewelry Management Graduate), Gemological Institute of America, Santa Monica CA

Advisory and Board of Directors

  • X1 Discovery, Inc. An IdeaLab Company (Pasadena, CA)
  • Forensic Expert Witness Association (Los Angeles)
  • EC Council, Inc. (New York) 
  • Kornerstone, Ltd. (Hong Kong) 
  • American Bar Association
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Case Studies