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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:-
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:
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:
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.
FORENSIC AI & TECHNOLOGY
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.
FORENSIC AI & TECHNOLOGY
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:
Our development team, in conjunction with our software partners, have experience with numerous areas of artificial intelligence and software, including the following: –