Sonya Kwon is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura, based in Irvine, California. She leads a team that specializes in the application of statistical, economic, financial, and complex data analyses to legal and regulatory issues. She has over twenty years of experience leading data‐intensive matters including consumer class actions, TCPA matters, regulatory and governmental investigations, healthcare litigation, labor and employment disputes, overdraft fee litigation matters, financial and accounting investigations, theft of trade secret matters and entertainment royalty matters, and other cases requiring the analysis of systems, structured data, or complex data modeling. Technically, Sonya has extensive experience in the cost‐effective and total quality management of large dataset capture and analysis and has worked with Fortune 100 companies to analyze data from the largest warehouses. She is an expert in data science and has developed numerous relational database design, data quality management, economic modelling, and computer programming courses to fellow employees and clients. She has served as a named expert on dozens of matters involving the collection and analysis of data, statistical analysis, complex data modeling, data integrity, class certification, as well as wage and hour and other class action issues.
Sonya’s professional experience includes:
- Overdraft Fee Class Action Matters: Served as the testifying expert on dozens of overdraft fee related class action litigation matters for large financial institutions. Reviewed Plaintiff reports and prepared rebuttal analysis and evaluated the reasonableness and accuracy of the methodologies utilized by Plaintiffs’ data analysis expert.
- TCPA Matters (Financial Services): Led the design and development of SQL Server databases to house and manage detailed customer calls for call centers and banks in class action matters involving TCPA related allegations. Acquired over 100 million electronic call records from client computer systems and reorganized data into relational tables to facilitate analyses. Performed extensive data quality audits of the data and provided data and document production services. Led statistical and economic analyses related to class certification issues.
- Consumer Class Action (Major National Mortgage Provider): Retained as the expert on a consumer class action matter involving allegations that borrowers were overcharged on fees related to renewing mortgage rates. Analyzed marketing materials and millions of historical marketing and loan transactional records to assess liability and to estimate potential exposure.
- Breach of Contract Dispute (Financial Institution): Retained as the Third‐party Neutral Expert in a matter pertaining to allegations of a breach of Insurance Recovery Agreement for REO properties entered into by the parties. Led a team in analyzing data from disparate sources including bank loan foreclosure and real‐estate owned (REO) property records, asset manager records, hazard insurance recovery provider data and insurance claims records to provide expert opinions regarding: 1) the potentially relevant loan and/or REO population; 2) the potential REO assignment shortfall; 3) the financial payments for recoveries made on this REO population; and 4) the assumptions and characteristics applicable to determining the calculations.
- Wage and Hour Matters (National Electronics Retailer): Analyzed over 83 million point‐of‐sale transactions to develop a proxy for employee behavior in the class certification stage for a national electronics retailer. Applied advanced clustering algorithms to identify unique attributes of employees, categorize combinations of employee attributes into distinct cluster groups and to quantify the magnitude of differences in groups. Developed a sampling methodology to compare hard copy scheduling documents with the point‐of‐sale data to test accuracy of time card recording.
- Theft of Trade Secrets Matter (Information Provider): Retained as the expert in a theft of trade secrets matter involving competing subscription providers of online and hard copy information. The scope of our work included reviewing the data that had been exchanged by both parties, converting the data into an analytical repository, standardizing the data to facilitate a comparison of the data contents including metadata for the two competing products, and reviewing the content of the databases to evaluate the likelihood that the defendants used unauthorized access to proprietary information for their benefit and make inaccurate statements to the public about the superiority of their information.
- Royalty Reporting Review (Large Entertainment Company): Led a team in the analysis in response to multiple royalty audits of a major entertainment company regarding allocation of distribution costs for cable and pay television, home video, theatrical, and non‐theatrical income. Scope of work included: 1) Understanding the procedures used by internal accounting and financial groups to record and report financial information; 2) tracing revenues and expenses through various levels of internal reporting systems to confirm data integrity, accuracy and consistency before data was released to the requesting party; and 3) making recommendations for improved efficiency and accuracy of reporting systems.
- News & events
- National Law Firm Conference, 05/04/2018, “How to Hire a Damages Expert Witness”
- American Bar Association, Regional CLE Workshop, Commercial and Business Litigation, Pretrial Practice & Discovery, and Intellectual Property Litigation Committees, 09/28/2017, “Maximizing Expert Witnesses: Best Strategies and Practices for Selecting, Using, Challenging, and Defending Expert Witnesses”
- American Bar Association, Class Actions and Derivative Suits and Expert Witness Committees Expert Witness Committees, 06/06/2017, “‘Best’ Practices for Working With Experts”
- American Bar Association, Expert Witness Committee , 05/11/2016, “Roundtable on Working Effectively With Experts”
- Association of Corporate Counsel, 11/09/2015, “LGBT Legal Issues in the Workplace,” webinar
- Orange County Bar Association, 02/10/2015, Structured Data Analysis,” Newport Beach, CA
- American Bar Association Section of Litigation, 04/16/2014, Panel: “Selecting the Right Testifying Expert,” Scottsdale, AZ
- American Bar Association, 02/14/2013, Panel: “Sex, Lies, and Backup Tape – Litigating A Spoliation Claim American Idol Style!” Hollywood, FL
Insights & innovation
- “Three Things You Should Know to Effectively Use Financial Forensics: From Books and Records to Bits and Bytes,” Navigant.com, 4/2018, with Mary Beth Edwards, Angela Sabbe, and Rebecca Patterson
- “Department of Labor Proposes Changes to the White Collar Exemption Rule – What it Means for Employers,” American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Labor & Employment, 01/2016, with Jeremy Guinta
- “Unique Litigation Risks and Challenges Facing the Oil & Gas Industry,” Corporate Disputes Magazine, 10-12/2015, with Jeremy Guinta
- “The Impact of Crude Oil and Natural Gas Market Trends on Litigation,” American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Section of Litigation, Energy Litigation, 11/2015, with Bob Broxson and Julie Carey
- “Employment Litigation: 2012 Year in Review,” Navigant.com, with Brendan Burke and Nicholas Schmidt
- “Medical Loss Ratio in Group Markets: Will Many Plan Participants Receive Rebates?” American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Employment & Labor Relations, 9/2012, Melissa Hulke
- “Medical Loss Ratio Rebates in August 2012: Has the Burden of Distribution Been Shifted to Employers?” American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Employment & Labor Relations 04/01/2012, with Melissa Hulke, and Wayne Jacobsen from O’Melveny & Myers