Irene Blasco recently joined the Technology team in Spain. With more than 14 years of experience in digital forensics, Irene is an expert in e-discovery and investigations, and has supported clients with a wide range of disputes, fraud matters and compliance issues. In this Q&A, Irene discusses her role at FTI Technology and the top challenges on the horizon that clients need to prepare for.
Irene, welcome to FTI Technology. Can you share some specifics about what you’re focusing on in your practice within FTI Technology, as well as why you chose to join this team?
I will be focused on what I believe I do best: advising our clients in e-discovery and digital forensic matters. My approach is centred on bringing excellence to every engagement, no matter the scale, size or severity.
In fact, that’s part of why I joined FTI Technology. The team here in Spain and globally is so dedicated to a high standard of excellence and always doing what’s best for the client. Moreover, the firm is truly engaged in attracting and keeping the most talented experts, which in turn attracts the most interesting and stimulating engagements.
Can you share an example of a recent interesting or particularly challenging project you’ve worked on?
I’ve always found very interesting to work on projects where regulators are involved, as these require the utmost attention to detail and best practices. I was recently part of a team working on a competition-related matter in the wake of a dawn raid at the client’s offices. In this case, the client didn’t know if the matter under investigation was legitimate or not. We were engaged to clarify the regulator’s suspicions and determine what, if any, information substantiated them. Our work allowed the client to take action early on in the investigation and respond accurately and defensibly to the authorities.
I’ve also been involved in numerous matters recently that involved leakage of confidential data or intellectual property. These types of matters are so interesting because the underlying causes for each are unique and often very complex. I’ve had the opportunity to be on both sides. In some instances, I’ve supported the company making accusations against another party for illegal theft or misappropriation of sensitive information, and in others, I’ve supported the company that has been accused of inappropriately receiving and/or using information belonging to other parties. It’s a fascinating experience on both sides, because the legal strategy and the investigations workflow changes significantly depending on the nature of the case. In each, I’ve been able to bring knowledge and experience with how to leverage technology to get to the facts that bring resolution.
In terms of IP investigations or other legal matters, what are the biggest challenges you think clients in Spain need to be aware of this year?
The vast amounts of data our clients generate and use in a daily basis is a massive challenge. That’s not unique to companies here in Spain — it’s a global issue that we’re seeing in matters in every geography. As data volumes grow, and the various types of emerging data sources continue to explode, it is becoming more and more difficult for legal and compliance teams to find key information (i.e., a smoking gun) when litigation or a regulatory investigation arises.
This makes it very important for clients to address information governance, and data remediation in particular. In addition to helping reduce a wide range of risks, such programs can have a significant material impact on controlling the size and the cost of e-discovery.
Do you have any predictions for what’s on the horizon?
I believe we’re going to see more disputes and arbitration projects due to the tension in the market caused by ongoing uncertainty and instability. Clients can brace for this by having information governance and investigations readiness programs in place.
Separately, on the technology side, I think this year will bring strides in the market traction for artificial intelligence to become a real, widespread option in document review.
Finally, is there anything you’d like to share about yourself?
I think kindness is important in the workplace, and I bring that to my collaboration with colleagues and clients. I read that Jacinda Ardern said, “Kindness, and not being afraid to be kind, or to focus on, or be really driven by empathy” is the centre of her leadership style, and that really resonates with me.
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.