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In this Q&A session with the team leading Kroll's eDiscovery expansion, we dive into new geographies, technologies, and capabilities developed to provide speedier, more efficient and accurate support for clients.
Joel and Ben, Kroll’s eDiscovery services are really coming into their own this year. In fact, the team is recognized as a partner of choice for clients in the eDiscovery market globally. What has been going on behind the scenes to reach this point?
Joel: You’re right, these are exciting times for the team, but especially for our clients. A lot of hard work and strategic investments in resources, expertise and technology have come together to enable Kroll to deliver end-to-end eDiscovery services globally.
One of our most important achievements last year was to fully integrate Duff & Phelps’ existing eDiscovery practice with Kroll’s Cyber Risk team. I can’t emphasize enough how the impact of one united practice is greater than the sum of our parts. For clients, it means being able to benefit from Kroll’s unparalleled range of experience including cyber risk, investigations, compliance, disputes and risk management. Being able to leverage these teams in an enhanced, seamless and time-sensitive way is often critical in matters that involve eDiscovery services.
Ben: We have long provided eDiscovery services in the U.S. and Canada, and regularly work with top-tier law firms and corporations on wide-ranging, complex matters. We also have a very active eDiscovery practice based in London. Now, our colleague Andrew Beckett, head of the EMEA Cyber Risk practice, is leading the expansion of eDiscovery services throughout EMEA. We also started 2020 with a new acquisition where we welcomed Rob Phillips and his RP Digital Security team in Singapore. RP Digital Security has provided eDiscovery services for some of the largest law firms, financial institutions and insurance providers in the Asia Pacific region.
Rob and Andrew, how do you anticipate Kroll’s clients will benefit from expanded eDiscovery resources in Asia Pacific and EMEA?
Rob: Kroll’s global expansion is optimizing the eDiscovery experience for clients no matter where they are based or have business interests. Singapore, Hong Kong—and increasingly Australia—are some of the world’s most active business centers, and Asia Pacific as a whole plays a critical role in global supply chains. Beyond enhancing services and response times for Asia-based firms, we can bring unique local insight and experience, in a timely way, to clients with multijurisdictional eDiscovery matters.
Andrew: The same drivers are at work in our planned expansion of eDiscovery services for EMEA. At the end of last year, we added additional processing and storage capability to our London eDiscovery platform and are replicating this in Germany with the build due to complete in March 2020. Alongside this, we are building smaller eDiscovery platforms in the UAE and Saudi Arabia to cater to the Middle Eastern market which will go live in February. Having local resources and expertise that can expedite eDiscovery has taken on greater urgency today. Data privacy regulations, such as GDPR, continue to become more stringent, particularly around timely notification, while organizations are facing more cyber threats than ever before.
Ben, Kroll’s eDiscovery services are described as “enhanced.” What does that mean?
Ben: We take a multidimensional approach to eDiscovery matters that draws on the vast human experience we bring as well as leading-edge, often pioneering, technology. This enhances the results we are able to achieve for clients in terms of speed, accuracy, efficiencies and contextual discernment.
For example, our global network of Relativity Certified administrators and digital forensic experts can deploy remote solutions quickly and/or prepare to be onsite within hours. Additionally, Kroll has developed a strong collaborative relationship with a number of document review providers in the different regions in which we operate which allows us to provide industry leading document review services to our clients. Our collaboration delivers results that are more efficient, cost-conscious and accurate than those delivered by inhouse teams.
That all feeds into the breadth of the services we can provide. In fact, our team can assist in all stages of an eDiscovery engagement: identification, preservation and collection; processing; analysis; support; review; and production.
Technology is a topic that Kroll is passionate about, isn’t it?
Joel: Absolutely! Our teams not only leverage industry-leading technology, but they are also tremendously creative in pioneering advancements that solve and anticipate client challenges.
First, as Ben alluded to, Kroll is a Relativity Certified Partner. Many of our case managers are Relativity Certified, and we have access to several other platforms, analytics and visualization tools. This enables our administrators to customize eDiscovery engagements according to clients’ needs, fueling speed and cost efficiencies.
Additionally, we have developed proprietary technology and tools that enable us to extract meaningful insights from large collections of data without compromising accuracy. These include the Kroll Artifact Parser and Extractor (KAPE), which lets forensic teams collect and process forensically useful artifacts along with any potentially relevant information for review within minutes. We also have unique tools that enable in context review of evidence from collaborative communication platforms like Slack.
Our team is continually pushing the boundaries of advanced data analytics, machine learning and visual data mining.
What kinds of challenges and matters do clients entrust to Kroll for its eDiscovery expertise, Andrew?
Andrew: Our clients expect and know they will get high-quality, cost-effective results for a wide range of matters, such as high-stakes litigation, internal investigations and government and regulatory inquiries. One of the greatest challenges for clients involves cyber incidents. Given the severe repercussions associated with privacy-related data breaches, we help clients ascertain if, and to what extent, a cyber incident has compromised personally identifiable or personal health information (PII/PHI) or other sensitive data.
Independent third parties have been noticing and validating Kroll’s eDiscovery robust offerings as well, haven’t they?
Joel: Yes, they have! As I am based in Canada, I am very proud that last year, the readers of Canadian Lawyer voted Kroll the Best Litigation Support and eDiscovery Consultants in Canada.
Ben: Additionally, Forrester Research, the global research and advisory firm, named Kroll an “eDiscovery Specialist” in their report, Now Tech: eDiscovery Service Providers, Q3 2019.
Speaking on behalf of the entire team, what is most gratifying to all of us, however, is that we have earned a near 100% retention rate with our clients. That kind of success underscores our understanding and sensitivity to the human side of eDiscovery. We know eDiscovery is often associated with stressful matters. We strive to do everything we can to help our clients resolve their data-related challenges in the most supportive and seamless way possible.
Expert analysis and testimony in the context of litigation and/or commercial disputes