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Do not underestimate the magnitude of a regulatory request

Annelore van der Lint
Jun 8, 2017 12:17:13 PM

In this week’s ACEDS webinar “Efficiently Handling Regulatory Requests”, ACEDS’s executive director Mary Mack and Johannes Scholtes (CSO ZyLAB), were joined by May Tal Gongolevsky, Counsel E-Discovery Advocacy and Management Team with Baker & Hostetler LLP.

Gongolevsky counsels clients on issues relating to electronic discovery, data privacy, software licensing, and handling regulatory requests. Her advice: “Do not underestimate the magnitude of a regulatory request”.

Regulatory requests are the number one reason for eDiscovery worldwide. Opposed to civil litigation the magnitude of regulatory information requests usually is greater. Where you can negotiate the number of custodians, data types and sources in civil litigation, regulating agencies seem to expand the universe and have a bigger appetite when it comes to data. After all, as May remarks, “In eDiscovery it is easier to receive than to give”.

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“Not all vendors are created equal”

Asked about the challenges of handling regulatory requests, May notes that there is not only less flexibility when it comes to the option to negotiate data, but deadlines are tighter and productions need to be perfect. She also points to possible friction between international and local bodies of law, especially when it comes to regulation with respect to data privacy. In this matter, she warns that not all eDiscovery vendors “are created equal” and favors vendors “that can speak both eDiscovery and EU-privacy-rules”, and have the flexibility needed to address possible conflicts of regulations.


“Understand and communicate”

Giving tips from her own experience, May advises companies and firms handling regulatory requests, to get a good understanding of the situation and clearly communicate with the different stakeholders. “Get in touch with the regulator; make sure you understand what is expected and let them know you will cooperate and comply. Then reach out to the other stakeholders, especially the IT-department and get to know exactly what devices and storages are in use before you go talk to the custodians.”


“Use technology”

As most regulatory bodies use advanced analytics and eDiscovery solutions, you better not bring a knife to a gunfight. May urges companies to realize that the amount of data involved in an information request, can be very high and friction between data protection laws and the need to produce, can complicate matters. The sooner and better you know what has happened, the better your changes to discuss challenges and (in)possibilities with the regulator.

Johannes Scholtes adds to May’s advice to use technology by illustrating how ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery uses advanced techniques from Artificial Intelligence and Data Science to simplify the process of responding to information requests in a timely and defensible matter and with the highest level of accuracy.

For the full webinar download the recording.