What do you do?
I’m a subject matter expert in eDiscovery with a focus in cross-border disputes and investigations and I lead the eDiscovery practice at Ankura.
We help our clients collect, analyse, and understand data related to litigation and government investigations. My role is to make sure we have the correct people, in the right roles, with access to the information to accomplish our goals as an organisation and deliver results for our clients. This includes managing our revenue and budget, our processes, people, and technology.
Coming out of college I chose to work for a start-up in the eDiscovery field with people I liked and trusted. I knew nothing about the industry but based the decision on the people. As we went through rapid growth, I really enjoyed the nuance of leading teams through growth and change.
What’s keeping you busy?
We have several major matters ongoing which require complex workflows to extract data from emerging technologies such as Slack, Teams, Zoom, and WeChat. While data from these applications is simple to extract, it is difficult to present in a way that lawyers can review and analyse in context. We have built an industry-leading technology-driven process for reviewing this data, but it is difficult to keep up with the pace of innovation from these emerging technologies, so we must attract and develop talent capable of meeting the demand.
I’m also in my final semester of an executive MBA program and I’m a father to 3 boys 5 and under, so when work is not keeping me busy those things certainly are!
What mentors or other influential figures have helped you get where you are today?
I have been fortunate to have inspiring leaders provide mentorship at every phase of my career. Each one has provided different perspective and helped me achieve success.
If you could change one data-related law, how and why would you change it?
With AI and machine learning continuing to integrate into our daily lives, laws and regulations must adapt to ensure that these technologies are applied ethically, privately, and equitably.
How has covid-19 affected what you do?
Much of my role is related to business development and recruiting talent. Doing both of those things in a virtual environment is challenging, but everyone is facing it together and we have been able to quickly adapt. From a process perspective, we are needing to create new techniques to collect data remotely and ensure proper chain-of-custody and preservation without physically accessing our digital forensic labs.
What’s the next big thing – what data opportunities are companies now looking at?
In a very short time, workplace communications went from phone, face-to-face, and paper-based to email, video chat, and collaboration platform-based. The recent pandemic has added to the volume of work conducted in those mediums. Thirty years ago, email was novel and meant to replace the office memo. It became the dominant form of business communication to the point that it became overwhelming, so collaboration platforms came in to deal with the volume. While these platforms do great at managing communications and data, they were built to solve the wrong problem. Businesses will need to adapt to be more agile and provide technologies that support that agile work environment. The opportunity will be to replace email and collaboration platforms with something that delivers the right information, to the right people, so can they perform the tasks that they need to perform – a just-in-time mechanism for information sharing. Tying all the disparate data sources together will be the challenge.
What’s keeping companies worried at the moment – what are some key data risks?
Conducting work in unsanctioned and unmonitored applications is a big problem for companies – for example, the use of personal versions of Salesforce, Trello, WeChat, WhatsApp, and Slack to collaborate with teams and communicate. When those applications are left unmonitored, it can be difficult to track and govern against government regulations, privacy laws, or in compliance with company policy. These platforms can host a bevy of communications used for insider trading, fraud, theft of trade secrets, and workplace harassment.
What do you do to relax?
I enjoy playing golf, kettlebell exercises, and riding my Peloton bike.