In highly regulated industries, monitoring compliance is often seen as an expensive exercise or a necessary evil, requiring substantial investments in staffing and technology with the hope that the team will never find anything. To reap the benefits of proactive compliance, companies need an integrated approach, including software and workflows, that conserves resources and reduces costs for both the legal and compliance teams.
Leveraging economies of scale between compliance and eDiscovery is often difficult due to a lack of communication and coordination between teams. Typically, the compliance team uses compliance software to actively monitor communications. If they find an issue, they send it to the legal team, who then conducts their own investigation within an eDiscovery platform. This knowledge transfer – or lack of it – creates a number of issues:
- Loss of knowledge and work product – Working in two isolated yet overlapping teams has many drawbacks, one of which is redundant work. The compliance team flags potentially high-risk content, conducts a small investigation, and if a larger investigation is required, the legal teams are tasked with a document review. Rather than using the intelligence gained by the compliance team, the legal team begins the case again from scratch, conducting their own collections, using a different tool designed for document review and re-reviewing the data.
- Increased time – The aforementioned workflow is unnecessarily time-consuming – collecting and processing data, getting the legal team up to speed, and re-reviewing documents. Add to that time the days or even weeks the compliance team spent investigating data, ultimately only serving to identify the issue. Their work product will never be used.
- Increased costs – Any workflow which increases time increases costs, and an employee’s time is an expensive commodity to waste. Additionally, the use of two separate systems requires purchasing multiple licences and using multiple teams to administer and transfer data between the platforms.
How does Relativity Trace differ from existing workflows?
Trace integrates directly with the Relativity platform providing a unified process for both compliance and legal teams to work within a platform that is not only familiar but provides compliance technologies alongside the entire suite of eDiscovery tools available to Relativity users. The workflow when using Trace is very straightforward and consists of the following steps:
- Integrate Trace: Link Trace at a custodian level to the internal systems which require monitoring.
- Identify Collection Rules: Specify the data required for collection, allowing for collection of historic data alongside the monitoring of new data. This data is then collected, processed and ingested into Relativity automatically.
- Identify Rules: Determine the rules used to identify issue documents which will then be flagged for review by the compliance team.
- Review: As data is ingested into Relativity, documents are flagged to the compliance team via email and automatically batched for review. Data can then be reviewed online via the web or via the Relativity mobile app.
- Machine Learning: As documents are reviewed by the compliance team, Relativity’s machine learning algorithm updates and flags additional documents for review which are related to issue documents but have not been hit by the initial rules.
- Legal Review: Compliance continues to monitor communications proactively. Should issues be identified, data can then be sent to a review workspace for the legal team to review. The work product conducted by the compliance team is also sent to the new workspace and at this point further data collections and additional review workflows can take place in response to litigation or regulatory matters.
What data can be monitored by Trace?
Trace currently monitors and captures data from over 40 sources including email, chat, and audio data. These sources are actively captured and processed in Relativity without the need for human interaction (post initial setup).
When ingested, data is reviewed with the same Relativity interface familiar to legal teams. In addition to the traditional review interface, Relativity now provides improved review of short message data (Bloomberg, Slack, Twitter etc.) with data from Trace being ingested directly into the Relativity Short Message format (RSMF).
How does Trace reduce costs and reclaim resources?
For companies actively monitoring compliance, any disconnect between compliance teams and legal teams comes at a cost. The same documents are reviewed multiple times, without utilising existing work product. Administering multiple tools wastes time and money. Moving to a single unified platform eliminates expensive staffing and licencing costs, streamlines workflows and facilitates an easy transition of data to legal review. With everything under one roof, companies can then take full advantage of eDiscovery tools like active learning to increase efficiency and speed when working through large data sets.
Companies that are not currently monitoring their communications for compliance would be wise to invest in a compliance team and dedicated tools. Being proactive is affordable compared to the legal costs, reputational damage and heavy fines associated with illicit activities like insider trading, collusion and bribery. Banks such as ING are adopting Relativity Trace and harnessing the power of proactively monitoring communications in Trace alongside other third-party applications available within Relativity.