FTI Technology announced its official entry into Switzerland in late 2022. Shortly after establishing the new presence, Iliana Jaeger joined as a Managing Director, focusing on disputes and investigations. In this Q&A, Iliana discusses the outlook for her practice and what issues she’s watching that may impact clients in the DACH region.
Iliana, can you speak to your background and how that will come into play as you help establish and grow FTI Technology in Switzerland?
I am a lawyer by background but was always interested in forensic technology. From the beginning of my career, I saw an opportunity to act as a “translator” between the tech and legal worlds, and - most of my experience centres around that concept. I’m very committed to ensuring that our clients understand how we can leverage technology in investigations, litigations and e-disclosures throughout the lifecycle. When the right tools are applied to the correct use cases and workflows, technology is very powerful in providing insights faster, allowing informed decisions and ensuring that every action in a matter meets the client’s unique needs.
Your view of technology closely aligns with that of our experts across all practice areas, so joining the team in Switzerland must have felt like a natural fit. Can you talk about that and additional details about why you joined FTI Technology?
When I started looking into my next career move, I learned that the Technology segment had opened an office in Switzerland. I found the idea of working for a truly international company with digital forensics and investigations in its DNA very appealing. The firm’s expert-led position was also attractive to me. Some of the high-profile cases FTI worked on in the 1980s were some of the first-ever matters in which electronic evidence was admitted — that’s a very impressive track record and compelling to someone with my professional focus.
Having technology as a standalone practice also showed me that FTI is truly committed to investing in technology, such as in solutions to deal with emerging data sources and increasing data volumes. This allows us to help clients mitigate a broad range of digital risks and find insights as quickly as possible across jurisdictions.
How does that extend to FTI Technology’s unique position in the market?
Those qualities that I found appealing from a career perspective are many of the same things that make us stand out to clients. We have the top digital forensics, e-discovery and technology expertise, combined with a global footprint that allows us to serve clients anywhere.
Going back to your background and experience, can you share an example of a recent interesting project you worked on?
I recently worked on a large investigation for a global retail client. A significant portion of the potentially relevant communication was within WhatsApp and WeChat, and also in Chinese language. Therefore, we needed to develop a smart approach to properly collect the data and make it available for review and quickly analyze foreign language communications.
Our team used the latest collection technology and developed a plug-in into Relativity to review the WhatsApp and WeChat messages in a format that emulated a chat message on the phone. In addition, we used a translation engine to translate into English and followed that with review by Chinese native speakers for quality assurance. In addition, we used concept clustering and analytics to identify potentially relevant keywords.
This expert-led, tech-forward approach saved a significant amount of time and money for the client. It supported the legal team in conducting informed investigative interviews early on in the matter. Ultimately, the results were provided to the relevant prosecutor, who was satisfied with the approach and its findings and did not open further investigation.
In your view, what are the biggest challenges facing clients right now?
The case I just spoke about perfectly illustrates the challenges clients face with emerging data sources like chat applications and collaboration tools. Emerging data sources are a major issue right now, as they are increasingly divergent, increasingly used in business and increasingly called into scope in investigations. They also complicate a number of digital risks, such as privacy, protection of trade secrets and information governance. This is an example of how an intelligent, technology-driven approach (such as sophisticated analytics) can help solve modern data challenges.
Is there anything you’d like to share about your life outside of work?
I’m very active and participate in many sports outside of work, including skiing, running, diving, cycling and strength training. I also coach a strength training workout weekly at a gym in Zurich. In addition, I love travelling, exploring different cultures, new food and wine and making time for family and friends.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.