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EMEA 2021: The Landscape of Legal, Compliance, and the Relativity Community

Karimah Campbell

Heading into the final stretch of a busy 2020, we were excited to share our insights on the trends and changes we had observed in EMEA during the “EMEA Market Update” session at Relativity Fest last September. We talked about continued regional expansion, as we had recently launched data centres in Germany and Switzerland; seen increased Relativity Trace usage in the EMEA marketplace; and introduced features to meet new use cases.

Seven months later and well into the new year, we wanted to revisit that session to see how our late-year observations are holding up and what we’ve seen so far in 2021—and give you a feel for what to expect from Relativity Fest London, taking place 18-19 May (registration is now open).

EMEA continues to be a dynamic and growing marketplace, reacting to and dealing with changing data privacy regulation, finding new and exciting use cases, and adopting new features to meet new challenges.  

Global Expansion of the Relativity Community

Last September, we reported an increase in usage in the United Arab Emirates, with new corporate customers and service providers adopting RelativityOne and hosting their non-regional sensitive data in the UK and Netherlands data centres. A common driver for these teams was the need to increase efficiencies, with many choosing to utilise features unique to RelativityOne, such as automated workflows.

This trend continued through the rest of 2020, with an increasing focus on regulatory compliance, accessibility, and data security, as well as an increasing appetite for local aid and support in the face of uncertainty regarding Brexit. In response to this global demand, we continue to bring more data centres online in 2021 and make significant strides toward our vision of simplifying and accelerating how the world conducts e-discovery. Paul Tombleson, global head of forensic technology at KPMG, recently told me: “We have over 25 countries using Relativity around the world, and the RelativityOne data centre roll-out plan supports the nature of the work we do—helping us to consistently deliver high quality services to our clients anywhere in the world.”

Increasing Reach for Relativity Trace

An increase in Trace usage in the cloud was another trend that we saw in the run up to Relativity Fest Chicago, with Trace gaining more and more traction in Europe across all types of financial services, from global and regional banks to commodity traders. Organisations who historically had been hesitant to deploy surveillance in the cloud are now realising the benefits that could be seen for what is typically one of the biggest infrastructure deployments in the organization.

But it didn’t stop there. The latter part of 2020 saw Trace make traction outside financial services in the oil, gas, and pharma spaces. Regulated organisations in many industries have risks that require compliance monitoring, too.

Earlier this year, we also announced our acquisition of VerQu—a data management software company that helps organisations migrate and capture communication data for record retention and compliance purposes. The integration of VerQu’s technology allows compliance teams to pinpoint risk faster and save time, as well as view chat data flagged for potential compliance violations in a more native format.

This news came after we announced new policies built into Trace, which are pre-configured to help businesses across industries monitor for unethical behavior faster. More policies are coming this year. Sonia Chowdhury joined the Trace team last year as our first subject matter expert to help us build out these targeted policies.

New Features to Support Emerging Use Cases

In 2020, we saw a surge in clients using Case Dynamics to design their case strategy. We're having more and more conversations with customers about potential workflows and possibilities and expect this trend to continue.

Additionally, with the pandemic continuing longer than any of us imagined and the world coming to the realisation that remote working is the new normal, we have seen more customers examining how they can use RelativityOne to simplify their workflows by using a single platform. In 2021, one opportunity in this vein comes with RelativityOne Collect. A new integration with X1 makes distributed collections by diverse teams easier and more defensible than ever.

“When RelativityOne Collect was released, we were eager to use it,” Robert Lin, senior consultant in data management and forensic technologies at BSI, has said. “We felt it would benefit our clients in reducing the time, costs, and resources that are normally associated with data collection.”

What to Expect at Relativity Fest London

On the heels of all this evolution, Relativity Fest London is coming up on 18 and 19 May and promises to provide real-time updates on how the legal space in EMEA continues to grow more complex and sophisticated.

This year’s event—which is fully virtual and complimentary again, so anyone in the world can easily attend from anywhere—will feature insights from our EMEA team as well as our customers and partners in the field. There will also be two pretty impressive emcees—if I do say so myself—to guide you through the event.

Sessions include an opening keynote from our leadership team, as well as more breakouts than we’ve ever featured before. You can explore session tracks like Law Firm: The Future-Proof Firm; Inclusion, Diversity, Belonging, & Wellness; Trace: Surveillance Technology & Trends; and Corporate: Blazing a Trail for In-house Legal teams.

Below are examples of some of the intriguing breakout sessions we are holding:

Though online, it’s going to be our biggest London event yet—and we can’t wait to see you there.

Did you see any major trends in your Relativity usage during 2020? What are your plans for 2021? I look forward to hearing your feedback, questions, and suggestions at our EMEA user groups, Relativity Fest London on 18 and 19 May 2021, or in the comments.

Register for Relativity Fest London 2021


Karimah Campbell is manager of customer success for EMEA at Relativity, where she supports our user community in their efforts to make the most of their software investments. Karimah has a decade of experience in legal tech and litigation support, and is also the founder of Black Tech Queens, a network where women working in technology can connect and share stories, successes, and advice.