A data mining tool originally developed for counter-terrorism and subsequently used to track funds lost by investors in the Madoff Ponzi scheme was unveiled this month in front of seven major law firms in the UK.
Dispute resolution lawyers and operational staff from Charles Russell, Field Fisher Waterhouse, Herbert Smith Freehills, Olswang, Travers Smith and Latham & Watkins were treated to a demonstration of K2 Analytics, a data intelligence offering from investigative consultancy K2 Intelligence.
The technology tracks emails, bank transfers and trades around the globe and was used extensively to assist recovery of the $20bn lost by investors in the Madoff Ponzi scheme.
K2 offers a solution designed to identify and link connections between significant amounts of data from multiple sources and produce supporting evidence during internal or external investigations. K2 can draw conclusions from data separated across different formats and disparate sources – such as email, bank transfers, trades, phone conversations and calendar entries – on both a vast or narrow scale. In addition, a secure, Web-based portal displays the data and conclusions in a penetrable manner, allowing clients to easily identify and locate the key findings, and in formats that are ready to file or present – hence complementing existing e-discovery systems.
“We’re very impressed with the K2 Analytics product. This solution could greatly improve efficiency by saving time and manpower at the discovery stage thereby allowing litigators to focus on litigating,” commented John Sykes, head of commercial dispute resolution at Charles Russell.
“K2 Analytics offers the opportunity for a party to build a more comprehensive case through analysis of complex datasets. A detailed review, which traditionally might have taken a legal team many hours or days to complete, can be undertaken by K2 in seconds once a dataset is loaded, through intelligent searching and presentation of the source materials” said Tony Lewis, bribery andcorruption partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse.
K2 Intelligence was engaged by US firm Baker Hostetler, which was appointed by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation to facilitate the clawback of funds from beneficiaries of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, to use K2 Analytics to identify and recover additional assets from net winners. To date, K2 has analysed 18 terabytes of data, or 20 million documents, and has assisted in the recovery of $9bn out of a total of $20bn that has been identified as real money within the Ponzi.
“It is great to see the excitement with which our solution has been received by UK law firms,” said Mitch Silber, executive managing director for intelligence and analytic solutions at K2 Intelligence and a former head of counter-terrorism at NYPD. “From our experience on the Madoff case, we believe our technology will revolutionize the interrogation of data on investigations and disputes. When combined with our traditional investigative techniques, the process delivers exceptional results,” Silber concluded.