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Posted By Annelore van der Lint, CEDS, Monday, November 25, 2019

Earlier this month, the Benelux Chapter of the Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists (ACEDS) organized a panel discussion in Amsterdam. The panel addressed the complexity of internal investigations and audits and talked about how eDiscovery technology can help address these challenges. Judging by the large turnout, this is a spot-on topic that many of the participants could relate to.

Companies and law firms are doing more internal investigations and audits than ever before. These investigations are the result of the increasing number of requests from regulators and the pressure to be compliant with increasingly stricter laws and guidelines related to competition, money laundering, bribery, privacy and other matters. Since the introduction of the GDPR in May last year, the growing number of access requests from consumers and employees has exponentially increased the amount.

Heavy burden

To respond to these requests for information accurately, internal fact-finding missions are essential. These internal investigations however, weigh heavily on the internal departments that must execute them. To make matters worse, these fact-finding missions need to be executed in ever-larger electronic data sets.

In the panel discussion on Thursday November 11th, Maaike Visser (Manager Digital Investigation, ING), Manon Cordewener (partner Litigation & Arbitration, Hogan Lovells), Bas Maat (Integrity Expert, Achmea), Dirk de Hen (Partner Forensic Technology, BDO Technology) and Jan Scholtes (President ACEDS Benelux Chapter, Professor of the University of Maastricht and CSO ZyLAB) shared their eDiscovery “best practices” for internal investigations and audits.

The participants explained that each type of investigation requires their own approach. Some – mostly internal – investigations you can prepare for. A file-investigation to prepare a case, for example.

Other investigations arrive unexpected. Dawn raids by national or international regulative authorities and in the Netherlands, the increasing number of “bewijsbeslagen” come unannounced, are typically the most stress-full and error-prone.

Prepared for the unexpected

Preparation, even for the unexpected investigation, is crucial. The panel recommends having a clear internal policy in place and to ensure the quality and integrity of the processes.

It should also be clear who is responsible for what, and legal and IT departments must work together seamlessly. The most important recommendation of the panel however, concerns the need for technology.

Scaling up with hands will no longer do

The use of eDiscovery technology in the collection, processing and reviewing of electronic data helps to meet short deadlines, control the costs and facilitate cooperation between third parties. In an earlier blog, we discussed how a good review plan reduces the number of ad hoc decisions and prevents duplication.

Each of the panel members indicated that today's data volume is the main reason to select a future-proof solution to conduct internal investigations. As one of the panel members rightfully pointed out, scaling up in terms of labor no longer makes a difference when you need to handle larger and larger data sets.

Unforeseen insights

The only way to handle today’s massive data sets is by using smart technology, with the emphasis on "smart". The panel members indicate that "normal" or legacy technology is no longer adequate. Working with hypotheses formulated by the investigators, and search queries deriving from these hypotheses, allows you to make better assumptions.

Large and complex data structures are about patterns and algorithms and you need intelligent data science techniques to gain the insights that the researchers did not foresee having.

Keep investigations in house

Finally, the panel members discussed the benefits of keeping investigations in-house. With a sufficient amount of investigations (more than five a month), it becomes beneficial to set up your own internal eDiscovery services department. This is made easier with the centralization of e-mail services. This way you can easily save 30-40% of the decentralized eDiscovery costs, in addition to the fact that you can meet deadlines faster and deliver higher quality results.

An additional advantage of keeping the investigation in-house, is that it is no longer necessary to inform third-parties about ongoing investigations. And because your sensitive data is not being unnecessarily sent back and forth, the risks are reduced.

With Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, there is also the convenience of automatic updates. With a user-friendly solution, the company's own team can easily and without extensive training, conduct smaller investigations themselves. This becomes very convenient with smaller "data subject access requests".

An increasing number of organizations are also using eDiscovery technology for preventive analysis and cleaning up unstructured data. Obligations and risks related to new privacy regulations like the GDPR and the CCPA are pushing organizations to action!

Want to know more?

Early next year, the ACEDS Benelux Chapter is planning another series of panel discussions in the Netherlands and Belgium. Keep an eye on our event overview and connect via LinkedIn for the latest updates.

Tags:  ediscovery  regulatory requests 

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Register for the eDiscovery Best Practices for Internal Investigations Panel

Posted By Annelore van der Lint, CEDS, Friday, October 11, 2019

On November 14, the Benelux Chapter of the Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists (ACEDS) organizes a unique panel discussion on eDiscovery best-practices for internal investigations.

As the number of regulators grows, so does the amount of requests for information. Consequently, corporations, but also law firms and service providers do more internal investigations than ever before.

To answer regulatory requests accurately, internal fact-finding is essential. The pressure to comply with regulations and guidelines related to competition, money laundering, bribery, privacy and many other matters increases the burden for internal investigation and audit departments.

In the panel regulators, corporate counsel, lawyers and service and technology providers will lead the audience through best practices for internal investigations and audits. They will explain how eDiscovery technology can best be used to mutual benefit of all parties. 

The event will be in Dutch and is organized in Amsterdam. Reserve your seat now! 

Tags:  eDiscovery  event  ZyLAB 

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How AI and Data Science changed the handling of regulatory requests

Posted By Annelore van der Lint, CEDS, Thursday, May 16, 2019

Another unique panel discussion about the use of the latest AI and Data Science technology to deal with regulatory requests and investigations. Listen to and talk with Michiel Crombeen (Autoriteit Financiële Markten), Manon Bovens (VodafoneZiggo), Vincent de Bruijn (Nauta Dutilh), Marcel Westerhoud (Ebben Partners), Thom Eijken (KPMG Forensic) and Jan Scholtes (University Maastricht & ACEDS). More information and registration here

Tags:  E-Discovery 

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eDiscovery professional in Belgium?

Posted By Annelore van der Lint, CEDS, Thursday, May 16, 2019

Do not miss this unique panel discussion about the use of the latest AI and Data Science technology to deal with regulatory requests and investigations. Listen to and talk with Eline de Borger (FOD Finance), Daniel Colgan (DLA Piper), Evert-Jan Lammers (Ebben Partners), Olivier Aelterman (Epiq) and Johannes Scholtes (ACEDS & University of Maastricht). More information and registration at

Tags:  ediscovery 

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ACEDS Benelux Chapter celebrates 1 year of GDPR and eDiscovery

Posted By Annelore van der Lint, CEDS, Thursday, May 16, 2019

The ACEDS Benelux Chapter celebrates 1 year of GDPR and eDiscovery Join us for a meet and greet with ACEDS ’Executive Director, Mary Mack and Vice President, Kaylee Walstad. If you are interested in eDiscovery, this is the best event to catch up with colleagues!

Tags:  eDiscovery  GDPR 

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Beer, Snacks and eDiscovery in Amsterdam

Posted By Johannes (Jan) C. Scholtes, CEDS, Thursday, December 20, 2018
December 18, 2018, ACEDS Benelux Chapter organized its annual Christmas meeting in Cafe Wildschut in Amsterdam: Beer, Snacks and eDiscovery! The meeting was very well attended by several eDiscovery professionals from corporations, law firms, investigators and service providers. Happy to blow of some steam after a very busy 2018! Thank you very much ZyLAB for sponsoring this ACEDS event!

Tags:  eDiscovery  ZyLAB 

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Posted By Annelore van der Lint, CEDS, Thursday, July 26, 2018
As the number of regulators grows, so does the amount of requests for information. There can be questions asked related to fiscal, environmental, privacy, finances, or health matters; you’re expected to answer all inquiries in a timely fashion.

Requests for information can be tricky, but they are relatively innocent. However, a regulator can also decide to pay an unannounced visit. Such visits are a lot more disruptive for your organization. Regulators are, in principle, allowed to view and make copies of any (digital) document they need for their investigation.  In both cases, panic ensues whenever a regulator shows up and the second they do, the race against the clock starts.

All parties involved want to have a clear picture of the true nature of events as soon as possible. For you, it’s important to cooperate and get it over with in order to avoid damage to your reputation. The key questions in these types of situations is what do regulators seek, and how do they go about finding it?

On September 11th the ACEDS Benelux Chapter is bringing together a panel of specialists that can answer that question. Five expert investigators join us to explain how regulators go about answering questions such as: what persons are relevant to their investigation? Is management involved? What happened exactly? When did these events occur and how did they unfold?

Regulators use eDiscovery technology to help them get the answers they need. During the panel, you’ll learn from the experts how this is done, and how you can optimally prepare for questions you’re bound to get, allowing you to provide the answers quickly and completely when the need arises.

Bart Bruin is a co-founder and director of the forensic investigative bureau Integris. Bart is an experienced forensic accountant, who has performed a broad range of integrity and security investigations for a litany of clients.

Robin Fiolet, criminologist and forensic investigator of law firm Loyens and Loeff. Robin is a member of the Litigation & Risk Management practice group. He specializes in advising on and executing (internal) forensic investigations into corporate fraud. Robin is a member of the Corporate Investigations team.

Marc Wiggers is a lawyer at Loyens & Loeff.  Marc is a member of the Competition & Regulatory practice group. He specialises in EU (Dutch and European) competition and healthcare law. Marc has broad experience litigating in this area, for instance in cartel (damages) proceedings. He gives advice on the application of competition rules (cartel prohibition, ban on abuse of dominance, prohibition on state aid and merger control) and the regulatory framework for the Dutch healthcare sector. His other areas of expertise include supervision of competition and healthcare authorities, corporate investigations and compliance.

Ronald van Vliet is a digital forensic researcher for the Dutch Healthcare Authority. He’s also been attached to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment Opportunities as a forensic ICT specialist. Ronald is very experienced in using a variety of technical tools to assist with big data investigations by regulators.

Jan Scholtes is a professor at the University of Maastricht and leads the Data Science and Artificial Intelligence team at ZyLAB. Jan was a lieutenant with the intelligence service of the Royal Dutch Navy, and has been involved with the application of eDiscovery software during the UN War Crime Tribunals, the FBI’s Enron investigations and the White House, as well as many other investigations world wide.

Register now for this unique panel discussion on September 11th. It goes without saying that there will be ample opportunity for you to partake in the discussion, ask questions and network with other eDiscovery specialists. For registration, please use this link: 

Tags:  eDiscovery  event  regulator 

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Posted By Annelore van der Lint, CEDS, Thursday, July 26, 2018

Last February, the ACEDS Benelux Chapter screened the exciting documentary “AlphaGo” in Pathé Tuschinski, in Amsterdam. This award-winning film shows Artificial Intelligence’s greatest victory to date: the triumph of Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo over Lee Sedol, the world champion in Go. On May 16, the Benelux Chapter will show the documentary in Cinema Palace in Brussels.

Go is seen as the hardest game in the world. The number of possible moves in the ancient Chinese board game Go is larger than the number of molecules in the universe. Playing Go is very intuitive and for long, it was deemed impossible to teach to a computer. By analyzing thousands of games, supported by human experts, AlphaGo learned to play the game.

In March 2016, it came to an ultimate meeting between Go and AI in South Korea. Millions of people around the world watched as the legendary Go Master Lee Sedol faced an unproven AI-challenger in a “best-of-five” competition for the very first time in history.

AI for the legal market

The successes of AI travel beyond the world of games. Companies rely on AI-techniques to accelerate business processes and make them more efficient. In the legal world AI is already being used to great extend in investigations related to competition & anti-truct investigations, Mergers & Acquisitions, bribery or financial fraud investigations, or international arbitrations and litigation.

In the judiciary, self-learning computers quickly search and analyze large amounts of textual data. By “reading”, analyzing and organizing case files or jurisprudence, a computer can extract the core data and start to reasoning with it. In theory, a computer is perfectly capable to predict the verdict in certain legal cases, select the best lawyer and, according to Professor Jaap van den Herik, a intelligent computer program will soon be able to replace a judge in easy cases.

Too much data and cognitive limitations

We can no longer deny that there simply is too much data in various legal applications. Every search, no matter how good, generates too many documents to view. You never know exactly what you get or what you miss. You do not know exactly what to look for and make mistakes or deviate. And searching data is time-consuming, boring and tedious work.

We humans have cognitive limitations when processing large amounts of data. We are simply not equipped to successfully synthesize large volumes of data. AI-technology is needed for the analysis and interpretation of facts in these large data sets. This is the only way to manage and reduce the workload and continue to deliver the quality expected of a lawyer or counsel. Success always starts with an understandable presentation of the facts. Even if those facts are hidden in that huge mountain of data.

Automation offers a solution

You can learn a machine to discover patterns and connections in large datasets. A classification system is trained on so-called training data. New pieces of data are then classified based on (latent) patterns that have been discovered in the training data. After enough training, it will eventually be possible to predict the behavior of new data. This way, you can train a computer to organize and analyze documents.

Especially in eDiscovery, AI techniques have proven themselves. Here, scientific research consistently shows that AI is not only faster than human review, but also more cost-effective. They are also much better, so it also makes sense for legal professionals to use this technology to offer better quality service and make more strategic decisions.

We would like to achieve this with as little manually labelled training data as possible, as was the case with AlphaGo. This is exactly why the LegalTech industry has such interest in intelligent search and machine learning!

Tags:  AI  eDiscovery  LegalTech 

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Posted By Annelore van der Lint, CEDS, Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) soon launches its Benelux Chapter, the first professional eDiscovery Community in the region.

ACEDS is the member organization for professionals in the private and public sectors who work in the field of eDiscovery. Although the term “eDiscovery” in the Benelux is less common than in the US, the process of eDiscovery forms the basis of every large or international data investigation for compliance, M&A, fraud or regulatory cases.

Increasing importance of eDiscovery in the Benelux

The launch of an ACEDS Chapter in the Benelux marks the growing importance of eDiscovery in Dutch and Belgium corporate business practices. Initially, eDiscovery (the search of large quantities of electronic data for a specific purpose) was mainly used in legal investigations or litigation.

Today, eDiscovery is also used for other purposes. For example, in mergers and acquisitions or in due diligence investigations to check the accuracy of financial, tax and legal data.

The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg together are large players in heavily regulated industries such as the financial and energy and utilities sector. The Benelux has a large number of important multinationals. Cross-border disputes and the handling of regulatory requests are important reasons to use eDiscovery.

At the same time, eDiscovery gets a more proactive character. Since regulators become increasingly strict and the legislation on the protection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and other sensitive data is getting serious, companies are preparing better. The time is right for a real professional community.

First professional eDiscovery Community in the Benelux

The objective of the ACEDS community is to offer eDiscovery specialists a platform for the exchange of ideas, guidance, training and best practices. ACEDS has established the field’s first certification exam. Qualified candidates who pass a rigorous examination will earn the right to use the Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS™) certification.

Membership: “Networking, Education, Career”

To become a chapter member, you must be a member of ACEDS. Annual membership costs $205. The benefits are numerous.

Local Networking

Joining an ACEDS Chapter enables you to build your professional network by attending meetings and making connections with people in your area. Our goal is to bring together those from the practitioner and provider side in a single community where you can identify and address the unique local and regional issues of the e-discovery profession.


In addition to attending conferences and webinars offered at the national level, it is important to gather for regional education. ACEDS Chapters gives members the benefit of in-person educational opportunities and address issues and considerations that are unique to the jurisdiction of the chapter.

Career Advancement and Support

Local chapters often are the best places to find talent and to share information about open positions in your region. Also, whether you want to get feedback on a unique issue you’re facing or are interested in learning new ways to enhance your own skills, you’ll have access to a network of industry professionals who you can go to for support.

On top of that, the Chapter provides access to an entire group of people that potentially need the product or service you offer. And they can introduce you to their contacts that do. More leads, sales and revenue is often a benefit of being an active member of a community.

More information

For more information about the ACEDS Benelux Chapter, please contact Annelore van der Lint ( / T: +31 6 290 73 879).

On Thursday January 25, the Benelux Chapter organizes its informal Launch Party from 5:00 PM CEST in Café Wildschut in Amsterda

Tags:  eDiscovery 

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