QuisLex Q&A: Tech a Boon, Challenge in Investigations

The information gleaned in the first few hours and days of an investigation will help set the tone for a successful outcome. Technology plays an increasing role in the discovery process by facilitating the gathering and analysis of complex data. The range of available data also presents a challenge for companies as they try to minimize cyberattacks. Joe Polizzotto, senior vice president for strategy and client services at QuisLex, previously served as general counsel for two major international banks and offered his thoughts on what companies and investors should prioritize.

Hear more from Polizzotto at the 2018 Bloomberg Law Leadership Forum on May 23 in New York, where corporate counsel from Fortune 500 businesses and leaders from top law firms will gather to discuss trends in trade, regulation, and technology.

How do the latest changes in technology facilitate, or impede, a time-critical response to an investigative or discovery matter?

Technology is both a boon and a challenge. On the positive side, there’s no question that innovation and technology enable companies like QuisLex to get to key documents and ascertain the critical facts on behalf of our clients much more quickly than ever before. The current and ongoing advances in things like AI and predictive coding tools provide really good efficiencies that will continue to get stronger in years to come. On the negative side, the primary impediment technology can have on the collection of evidence is the multiplicity of data sources.

We’re no longer in an environment where digital communications being reviewed consist mainly of emails. People now communicate in so many different ways, from text messaging on multiple devices to social media platforms. If you’re under a subpoena from the government, as an institution you’ve got to make an effort to source every conceivable way in which one of your employees might have communicated, and that presents a huge challenge. Many of these challenges didn’t exist even 10 years ago.

What are the dominant concerns of investors regarding technology shifts in particular sectors?

I’m no equity research analyst, but I would highlight the following concerns. A potential investor needs to think through the implications of a possible data breach and the overall cybersecurity environment of the company. Businesses that possess reams of confidential client data are now more vulnerable to attack. Those attacks in the worst instances could affect their very existence, or at a minimum lead to years of governmental investigations and lawsuits.

Economic sectors that are particularly vulnerable in our current environment include all consumer-facing businesses, certainly banking, health care, and insurance. All of these sectors collect personal data in abundance. From a more positive perspective, a sensible investor needs to try and understand how new technologies could accelerate innovation and lead to products that are going to appeal to a 21st-century clientele. Blockchain technologies, for example, have already altered the way people, particularly millennials, use money.

Trying to identify which of those technologies might be really transformative is the biggest challenge for an investor. Finally, I would follow the trend of the convergence of industries, like an Amazon, getting into the food business or starting to look more and more like a bank. What does that mean for businesses down the road and what else will flow out of a model like this that is actively seeking to dismantle or disintermediate the traditional business models?

 

For the 4th year, the Bloomberg Law Leadership Forum is the premier event for legal industry leaders to gain insights and discuss how global economic and regulatory changes impact their business. QuisLex is a sponsor of this year’s event. 

The 2018 Forum features an update on current regulatory priorities, a look at where corporate risk is rising, and an exploration of the technology and management tools legal counsel need to respond effectively.

Click here to request an invitation to the 2018 Bloomberg Law Leadership Forum.

Leadership Forum Speakers Include:

  • Chairman Jay Clayton, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Marcy Cohen, Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer, ING Americas
  • Noah Perlman, ‎Global Head of Financial Crimes, Morgan Stanley
  • Katherine Choo, Chief Investigative & Anti-Corruption Counsel, GE