Forensic technology


Over the course of recent years, technology has slowly worked its way into the South African legal system (i.e. the recent digitisation of the judicial system and the operations of our Courts being a prime example), and the development and use of legal technology has become a fundamental concern of all legal firms.

Schindlers Forensics believes that the use, integration and creation of functional legal technology holds immense benefits for both our attorneys and clients. We have a track record of finding unique solutions to our clients’ specific problems. By developing and utilising technology, we strive to continually improve our clients’ experience.

Schindlers Forensics has always been at the forefront of challenging and changing the legal landscape of South Africa and we have adopted this approach with the development and use of legal technology and artificial intelligence.

We have formulated a strategy that incorporates the 3 pillars of recent AI advances:-

  • Automation;
  • Cognitive Services; and
  • Machine Learning.

These developments will enable a technological revolution, aiming to create an augmented workforce that interacts with customised micro helpers (bots), developed to help people with specific tasks and processes across their daily activities.

These services focus on the following additional value offerings:

  • Increased accuracy across data inputs;
  • Decreased time spent extracting information;
  • Automated Reporting;
  • Automated Document Analysis and Validations; and
  • Data enrichment.

The traditional forensic landscape requires a lot of painstaking hours spent performing manual tasks, toiling through large inordinate amounts of data to find the key pieces to the puzzle.

To minimise the impact on our resources, we have turned our attention to understanding the root cause of this expense and augmenting our work force to successfully combat this problem.

Our focus has turned to simulating large scale data enrichment activities that enable us to scale vertically all the way up the value chain of each project and create new sources of additional value, internally and to our clients.

Through developing our own micro helpers, depending on where the greatest value lies, we can jump in at any of these stages and strategically use the value that we unearth to enrich the next phase of development and investigation. Schindlers has always encouraged the use of electronic resources to minimise our impact on the environment and our staff are fully-equipped to render excellent services electronically from anywhere in the world.

During March 2020, after the announcement of the Nationwide Lockdown concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, Schindlers shifted all its operations electronically to what we termed ‘the Schindlers e-offices’.

With the sudden shift to staff working from home, we found that junior staff were not necessarily getting the practical exposure and mentorship to which they ordinarily would have been exposed in the office environment. Schindlers used this as an opportunity to upskill all staff (not just junior staff), encouraging learning environments through the use of electronic platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom in order to ensure the continuity of the training and development of our staff, as well as offering informative and interactive webinars for our clients, who were also working from home.

During the National Lockdown, we adopted innovative ways to use technology to ensure that we were always available to assist our existing clients, and to allow for us to immediately assist “walk in clients”. One of these initiatives was the introduction of the Schindlers virtual reception.  Our virtual reception allowed clients to “walk in” (click on the pop-up on our website) and discuss their legal matters with one of our highly trained staff, who would either assist with the legal queries immediately or for more complex queries, refer clients to a more senior attorney specialising in the relevant field of law. Owing to client demand, this feature has remained in place following our staff’s return to the physical office.

Schindlers has an IT support and technology department which consists of IT specialists, software developers and experienced attorneys. Our experienced professionals share their knowledge internally and externally and provide Schindlers with a unique offering which is not replicated elsewhere in the legal fraternity. The internal development team, in conjunction with our software partners, has experience in numerous areas of artificial intelligence and software, including the following:

  • Robotics Process Automation;
  • Document Verification and Validations;
  • Computer Vision;
  • Machine Learning;
  • Data Mining and Data Modelling;
  • Natural Language Processing;
  • Optical Character Recognition;
  • Cloud Native Solutions;
  • E-Discovery.

Schindlers Forensics has a strong working relationship with internationally renowned software development firms, who have track records of delivering customer-orientated solutions. Through these relationships, Schindlers is actively engaged in driving the development of legal technology.

One of the pain points across the industry has been the variations across document types and a lack of standardised measures to find suitable software stacks that enable the right kinds of document processing to extract the most valuable information and help employees having to search through millions of lines of information.

For this reason, at Schindlers Forensics, we are looking into the open-source communities and creating specific toolsets that are right for the unique-use cases and have enabled us to create document-specific validations and extractions.

Our progressive automation suite incorporates web automation, Excel spreadsheet analysis and investigations, data mining, PDF information extraction and natural language processing to enable our bots to fully investigate understand and format the data they are processing.

We have started creating an internal RPA centre of excellence in which we discuss the various processes that are taking up increased time and resources across the company. From these discussions, we can evaluate the individual process’s fit for automation and identify the amount of value add it provides. In doing so, we have started initiatives that we will slowly release into the ecosystem of micro helpers, stimulating innovation and creating new avenues of augmentation.

In keeping with our holistic approach, we aim to not only litigate and advise our clients on these developments, but also to actively participate in the development of technology and artificial intelligence in order to provide project-specific approaches.

Schindlers Forensics believes wholeheartedly in the ethical development and use of technology and that our investment into legal technology has only just begun to yield its fruits. We believe that such legal technology and innovation will continue to improve our service offering, making our unsurpassed legal knowledge, services and experience easy to navigate and accessible for our prospective and current clients.

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Rick Triweek Schindlers Forensics




Rick is a creative technologist with a huge passion for disruptive technologies and has been called “one of the smartest minds in XR”. He is the CTO of Eden, a company he co-founded that makes virtual reality easy to use in business, mainstream and art applications.

With over 20 years of professional experience in the digital space, he has built a unique skill set across emerging technologies that makes him a leading expert in the field. Rick started his career creating one of the earliest platforms for online gaming, before smartphones and App Stores even launched.

Built for Nokia phones, the platform reached an international audience and amassed millions of app downloads. After this success, he extended his skill set into emerging technologies like 3D printing, robotics, mechatronics, volumetric video, as well as augmented and virtual reality – which is now his focus.




Trevor has spent his career on the forefront of technological advances in areas including computer vision, artificial intelligence and robotics process automation.

He has been responsible for nationwide financial sector automation and document validation and extraction solutions. He is an automation specialist who enjoys finding custom niche solutions to large scale problems and creates autonomous workflows to enhance manual areas across an organization’s forensic investigations.

Areas of expertise:

  • e-Discovery solutions;
  • Data-enrichment Services;
  • Document Data-extraction;
  • Natural Language Processing;
  • Scalable Document Validation;
  • Custom Cognitive Intelligence and Object Detection Services;
  • Custom File AnalysisSolutions; and
  • Custom Data Processing Solutions.
Trevor Coltman Schindlers Forensics
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Our development team, in conjunction with our software partners, have experience with numerous areas of artificial intelligence and software, including the following: –

  • Also referred to as: RPA.
  • At Schindlers Forensics we leverage all aspects of out RPA technology to help streamline data gathering and analysis. Our micro helpers form part of our extensive team that can perform specific, manual repetitive processes best suited to workers who do not get tired, sick, or bored. The benefits we receive from incorporating this area of technology include:
    • Decreased timeframes compared to normal development methods;
    • Improved accuracy of results;
    • Increased resource efficiency;
    • Faster processing times; and
    • Cost reduction.
  • The RPA suite is an overarching management tool that incorporates various other technologies and acts as a workflow tool to ensure that the right process is followed repetitively in the right sequence with logging to support a fully audit-compliant check. In turn, this ensures the digital footprint of the process is correct and complete.
  • Internally and through our partners, we can teach a computer to understand document types and train it to remember where particular elements are on the document to validate and verify these areas with particular actions. The area of software that is involved in this is computer vision.
  • Actions we can perform on documents: –
    • Check to see if an area contains user input such as a signature or text data;
    • Extract computer-generated text to validate information against system data;
    • Template detection;
    • Text Validation;
    • Keyword searches;
    • Check to see if signatures are present; and
    • Logo/image matching.
  • Our partners provide automated South African Identity Document and Generic Passport AI validations and information extraction. Document and Generic Passport AI validations and information extraction.
  • With these customised offerings, we can analyse large datasets to search for particular document types and extract data if needed.
  • Computer vision, as it sounds, is when a computer is trained to simulate the human’s ability to see a variety of objects while understanding.
  • Many of the technologies that augment the way that we work incorporate this element to enrich the amount of data that humans can access electronically by extracting that data from hard copy documents.
  • Also referred to as ML.
  • The approach of simulating a human’s ability to make informed decisions. In order to do this, models are created with algorithms to understand specific types of data and learn from this data without being specifically programmed to     do so.
  • Our partners have expertise in creating machine learning and deep learning models that range in complexity and range in data volumes necessary to train these networks and algorithms. We can work with clients to understand specific needs and create these models to allow for greater understanding of complexity in data structures and patterns.
  • Data mining is when we train the computer to examine large data sets from lots of various sources and extract new information from this data. New information is found by processing all of this data and finding patterns and sequences, thereby giving us a better understanding across the aggregated data set.
  • Data Modelling is when we create models from data and business artefacts which can then be used for high-level conceptual and physical models, depicting an organisation’s processes and entities. In doing this, we gather information across an organisation’s entities and define each of these entities’ attributes to create an understanding of them and how they interact with each other across the organisation.
  • We, along with our partners, can utilise this approach to create understanding from huge sets of organisational data. By processing all this new information, we can model this data and create data stories to elaborate on the moving parts of an investigation.
  • Referred to as NLP.
  • NLP incorporates machine learning and deep learning to create user value from reading written text and understanding what is written. This has numerous applications across any organisation as it allows us to “talk” to computers rather than simply creating predefined lists of instructions.
  • With this approach, we can quickly scan large data sets of text and through human-like understanding, extract valuable snippets of information, which would otherwise require a vast number of hours of human resources.
  • Also referred to as OCR.
  • AI that can decipher what text, numbers and symbols look like and parse the correct character back to the computer. This, performed repetitively across entire documents, can make eDiscovery possible across our enterprise and turn hard copy data and information into computer readable data that can be easily manipulated and utilised by the users.
  • This, along with NLP, is evident throughout the majority of our solutions, providing key components for us to translate hard copy data into digital data. We can use this in all manners across the organisation.
  • Cloud native solutions are designed with micro services in mind. By utilising serverless architecture, we can deploy containerised micro helpers that are managed using flexible infrastructure which is available to a selected group of users and other applications to interact with.
  • When developing small applications used to target specific-use cases, we use this approach to manage and control the process and allow a flexible environment around our software to grow it as and when required.
  • E-Discovery is a practice used in the legal sector to quickly extract information from large datasets of important information. This is a law-centric NLP and OCR collaboration of technologies, depending on the depth and range of the technology. This technology can be used by law professionals to process, tag, review, preserve and produce electronic versions of case-specific data.
  • Normally, this is an offline or organisation-specific service, as it entails sensitive data and requires unique techniques to extrapolate the most valuable information for the particular users.
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