Erik Laykin is a managing director and testifying expert witness in the Expert Services practice of Kroll, based in Los Angeles. Erik is a cyber security, computer forensic authority and an internationally recognized expert in the reactive investigation and analysis of trade secret theft, cyber crime, electronic fraud, data breaches, trademark, patent and systems design infringement/failure, online piracy, corporate espionage and other complex information technology disputes.
Erik established the Kroll computer forensic and cyber practices in 2008 and has remained a leader in the firm’s efforts in complex data management, technology disputes and mitigating emerging risks to corporations. Erik directs large-scale and discreet investigations often with an emphasis on cases involving foreign jurisdictions. As a result of his investigations, expert testimony and independent Special Master appointments, Erik and his teams 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 Kroll, Erik was the founding chair of the Information Technology Investigations practice at an international consulting firm. In the mid-1990s, Erik founded OnlineSecurity, Inc., one of the world’s first information technology 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 the author of “Investigative Computer Forensics” and is a Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator as well as 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 FBI’s 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 regularly comments on legal and technology matters at industry conferences and for the media, including CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC and CBS.
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 plaintiff’s 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 judgment and the resolution of all claims against the remaining two defendants for a small fraction of the originally sought multibillion-dollar action.
- Plaintiff’s counsel engaged Erik 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 Erik’s computer forensic investigation, an emergency TRO was granted against the defendant. Subsequent investigation, analysis and courtroom testimony by Erik 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 Erik as an discovery 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 discovery demands from a technical standpoint. As a result of Erik’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 Erik as a testifying expert witness to opine on the origin and authenticity of digital media presented by plaintiff, who 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 Erik’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 Europe-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-1990s. As an expert in the matter, Erik 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 counterclaimant, one of India’s largest online businesses, Erik was appointed expert witness in a trademark infringement matter valued at over $60 million, which had lingered for several years. Through extensive discovery and pretrial investigations, Erik and the electronic evidence team were able to establish substantial evidence favorable to the position of the defendant, thereby helping to induce positive early settlement.
- Plaintiff’s counsel appointed Erik to establish a basis for intellectual property violations based on the unfair usage of computer code. Erik 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 plaintiff’s intellectual property and was engaging in unfair competitive practices. As a result of Erik’s testimony, defendant settled on terms favorable to the plaintiff.
Education & Certifications
Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator, EC Council (CHFI)
Certified Electronic Discovery Specialist, Association of Certified Electronic Discovery Specialists (CEDS)
Certified Forensic Litigation Consultant (CFLC)
Affiliations & Memberships
X1 Discovery, Inc. an IdeaLab Company (Pasadena)
Forensic Expert Witness Association (Los Angeles)
EC Council, Inc. (New York)
Kornerstone, Ltd. (Hong Kong)
American Bar Association
Awards & Recognition