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Gearing Up for the Next Wave of e-Discovery: An Innovative Approach

Mary Rechtoris

The volume and composition of electronic data continues to evolve. As a result, organizations supporting e-discovery are developing innovative approaches to address this maturing global industry. Control Risks is one such company that is impacting the market through its security, geopolitical, and compliance expertise.

“Clients who know us for our security or business intelligence services might be surprised to know that we’re an e-discovery provider,” said Antonia Karlan, principal in Control Risks’ compliance, forensics and intelligence practice. “But, e-discovery is a natural complement to our other offerings. We have on-the-ground resources in regions where few competitors have a presence and our multidisciplinary consulting teams collaborate on solutions to address increased regulatory, governance, and litigation challenges.”

Meeting Global Privacy Needs with Technology

Control Risks’ compliance, forensics and intelligence engagements continued to expand into e-discovery. Control Risks partnered with Relativity so it could effectively deploy resources and technology to bolster its e-discovery business and this year moved to RelativityOne to handle document management and review needs. The platform accommodates Control Risks’ creative integrations and workflows designed to navigate unique requests for increasingly complex global data handling.  

“With our security and intelligence-centric DNA and global footprint, we adopted RelativityOne to tackle challenges on a task and case management level,” said Antonia.  

In one case, Control Risk’s client acquired another company in a foreign country. When it came time to consolidate the acquired company’s files into its central US servers, the client realized that it had an obligation to suspend the transfer of any documents containing personally identifiable information (PII).  

“Our client wanted to avoid a lot of manual review. So, we mapped out an efficient but comprehensive detection plan by using a combination of workflows,” Antonia said. This included pattern-matching scripts, Relativity Analytics, and minimal human quality control for sampling the data tagged and categorizing outliers prior to transfer.

This type of matter isn’t unique, and Control Risks’ engagements increasingly need to incorporate technology to address regulatory compliance demands.

“Matters with unique privilege, privacy, and state secret constraints are becoming a bigger data governance issue for our clients,” Antonia said. “With RelativityOne, our solutions are scalable and easy to implement across global teams. We use standardized templates so the same solution can be deployed on any project across every region."

Becoming a Trailblazer in the Discovery Arena

When asked to assist on a time-sensitive project for a multinational corporation, Control Risks deployed RelativityOne’s communication analysis to build an efficient way to identify correspondence that substantiated or refuted allegations that an employee was routinely accepting travel and lodging gifts from multiple subcontractors. 

Control Risk’s project team mapped out the employee's interactions to visualize vendors with whom the employee communicated. The team quickly identified suspicious messages between the employee and certain subcontractors so that the general counsel’s office could review a reasonably small set of items to determine the nature and extent of noncompliance. The dashboards also provided the ability to assess whether the noncompliance issues were limited to the sole targeted employee or if other employees were involved. With over 100,000 email messages collected, Control Risks culled the set for review down to 600 emails in less than one week.

Looking Onward to a Proactive Process

Control Risks is incorporating custom applications into RelativityOne to tackle complex data challenges—such as Tableau for interactive visualizations—and deploying new RelativityOne features to further enhance review, analysis, and reporting on evolving data structures, like short message format.

“RelativityOne’s short message format has the potential of tackling a host of newer challenges we see, especially with new data formats,” Antonia said. “Segmenting a large block of source data into unique logical records provides for more flexible review and classification by review teams. This is a critical concept in addressing the surge of unstructured, composite data records that reside in business and personal data repositories collected in discovery proceedings.”

Read How Control Risks Used RelativityOne to Accelerate a Compliance Investigation

Mary Rechtoris is a senior producer on the brand team at Relativity, where she's always collaborating and looking for new ways to develop and socialize stories.