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Published: 2013-06-25 16:27:54  I just returned from my trip to China and the week overseas went by very quickly.  As much as I’m glad to be back in Austin, I already miss the new friends I made in China.  I will be doing more in depth analysis on my experiences and what I’ve learned on eDiscovery in Asia, but for the time being I wanted to provide a high level review of my trip.I came to China to speak at the Innoxcell Asian eDiscovery conference in Hong Kong and Shanghai.  Outside of the conferences, I was able to meet with a few providers serving the Asian market and they were very generous with their insight.  I intentionally came with an open mind and asked many questions that helped create a framework for my future research.The day before the conference, I had lunch with the Consilio team, Paul Taylor and Barry Wong.  During lunch, they provided their perspective on their developing practice outside of Japan, issues facing eDiscovery providers in the Asian market, and the types of cases regularly dealt with by the financial and technology companies in the market.Later in the afternoon, I met with Richard Kershaw who recently joined the FTI Consulting team as a managing director this past year to develop the Asian-Pacific market.  Richard spent ten years in Japan with other companies and has been doing forensic work in Asia for many years.  Richard’s insight on the cultural challenges in the region was eye opening for me and I must emphasize that the Asian market varies from country to country, and can’t be lumped into one simple “Asian market”.Later in the week, I met with Kate Chan with Kroll Ontrack in Shanghai to discuss her perspective on the Asian market and get an overview of Kroll Ontrack’s capabilities in the area.The Innoxcell conferences kicked off in Hong Kong on Monday night with a happy hour hosted by Consilio at the Armani/Prive Terrace Bar at Chaterhouse which is located in the heart of the Golden Circle, an area in the central part of Hong Kong where there are over 280 law firms.  I was introduced to attorneys dealing with electronic legal issues (note that I didn’t say eDiscovery, but I’ll comment more on that in the future) as well as corporate risk and legal representatives.  It was a wonderful social event and a great introduction to the people involved in the market.The Innoxcell Hong Kong conference was held at the Renaissance Harbour View on Hong Kong Island.  With over 150 attendees over the next two days, there was a great deal of lively discussion during the program and on the vendor floor and I found most of the panels helpful in learning the challenges of the Asian market.  I’ll reference some of those panels in future articles and research, but we’ll start with the panels I participated in during the week.My first panel covered Investigations and Data Retention Strategies where I moderated a wonderful panel of practitioners including Lisa Thompson (Sidley Austin), Steve Couling (kCura), and Victor Ko (Ernst and Young).    We discussed the process of creating proactive policies, the personnel teams that need to be involved in the creation of policies (IT, legal, outside counsel, and records management), and the challenges of managing policies with multi-national organizations.  We also discussed the challenges of internal investigations which are the majority of cases dealing with electronically stored information (ESI).  We discussed the tools, techniques, and approaches of dealing with internal investigations and how they potentially can impact future litigation.  I learned that the Hong Kong market leverages third party consultants quite a bit to collect and provide initial analysis as part of these projects as compared to the United States where companies have internalized these types of resources.The second panel I moderated covered the Dynamics of Multi-Lingual eDiscovery and Predictive Coding for Cross Border Legal Case (Innoxcell_HK_PredictiveCoding_Case_01).  Atsuzo Tomii with the Legal and Intellectual Property Division of Ricoh in Japan joined me to cover the complexities of dealing with CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) languages.  I covered the basics (and I do mean the basics) of predictive coding workflows and provided statistics of the usage of predictive coding from eDJ Group’s research.  Tomii-san also discussed his experiences in implementing a predictive coding work flow using UBIC’s CJK Predictive Coding engine and how it saved a significant amount of money in review costs.  In the case study Ricoh used predictive coding to help figure out confidential and potentially privilege documents first in order to shorten the production timeline.  It was an innovative use of the technology to help manage budgets despite the challenges of dealing with multiple languages.At the Shanghai Innoxcell conference, I spoke to the audience comprised mostly of legal and risk management professionals about How to Build Your Information Governance Business Case (Innoxcell_Shanghai_Information Governance June 2013).  I shared some statistics from eDJ Group’s research on Information Governance (IG) and provided suggestions on how to build a business model to implement IG strategies.Information Governance is definitely in the early stages of development in Asia, but I believe that it will continue to grow in the coming years.  During the week, I spent some time with Tamir Sigal and Julian Goringe with RSD who is focused on building an Information Governance market in Asia and they provided excellent perspective on the innovative solutions they are developing with their clients.Overall I learned a great deal about the Asian eDiscovery/Information Governance market on my trip and have a great deal of future research to develop in the coming months.  I expect to generate about 3-5 reports covering the complexities in the market and the providers covering the space.  I’ll generate an abstract of my research in the coming weeks and continue to meet with other practitioners from law firms, corporations and service providers.  Our eDiscoveryMatrix team is tweaking the matrix to include Asian language and location capabilities, so that our readers will be able to easily search for providers offering services with CJK capabilities.I want to personally thank Jeffrey Teh with Innoxcell for hosting the excellent events in Hong Kong and Shanghai.  Jeffrey is an early pioneer in the market for seeing the opportunity for discussion on eDiscovery issues in the Asian market and I’m sure he will continue to put together excellent programs in the area.  Hopefully he will be able to put together a program in the United States in the future for the people interested in learning more about Asian eDiscovery, but can’t make the trip overseas.This is an exciting topic and I look forward to continuing my research and reporting back to our followers.  I have over 30 pages of notes, so there is definitely more to come.  Please feel free to comment below with any questions or other insight.Jason Velasco can be reached at jason@edjgroupinc.com for offline comments or questions. His active research topics include International eDiscovery and Data Privacy Issues, Evaluating eDiscovery Service Providers and eDiscovery Special Masters.Find Jason at the following future events (please feel free to email to see if any passes or discounts are available):

  • August 18-22, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV- ILTA’s 36th Annual Education Conference ” The Catalyst.” To request a briefing with a member of our team, please email for more information.

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