Alvarez & Marsal launches legal e-Discovery forensic tool for chat data

Alvarez and Marsal has unveiled a forensic technology tool, ChatView, with AI features. The chat data collection and analysis tool is aimed to help law firms and investigators with disputes in Asia.

Professional services firm Alvarez and Marsal (A&M) has launched its own forensic technology tool to the market. The tool helps facilitate collect and analyse chat data required during regulatory and legal disputes.

The global product, called ChatView, enables lawyers and investigators to conduct domestic and cross-border disputes and investigations leveraging large quantities of chat data.

The new tool helps extract and display chat data on its own platform in a clearer manner, which is compatible with various forms of communication, including text, audio, video and memes that are circulated via chat apps.

This replaces the traditional way of exporting chat data, when history chats are compiled in Excel sheets, with visual elements left in the form of coding, explained the A&M team.


E-Discovery is short for electronic discovery, which refers to a digital investigation process that attempts to acquire evidence from business communications such as emails and chats for the probable use in litigation or criminal proceedings.

In Hong Kong, for example, the statutory law requires an e-Discovery process for claims exceeding HK$8 million ($1 million) with more than 10,000 documents involved in a commercial dispute.

Davin Teo, co-head of disputes and investigations and head of forensic technology at A&M in Asia, explained that work-related instant chats via applications, such as Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, short message services (SMS), Instant Bloomberg and WeChat, are gaining popularity across the Asia Pacific (Apac) market, making it crucial supporting evidence in many cases.

“The handling of mobile and chat data now requires extra caution to ensure compliance with data security laws globally,” said Teo.

He explained to FinanceAsia that the existing methods for chat data collection and analysis, which can include screenshots or data dumps, are not forensically sound, less defensible in court and not comprehensive.

Teo added that staff at A&M have been using the forensic technology tool for around four to five years before the public launch.

“It provides improved visualisation to the chats collected, a higher level of security and enhanced features such as offline (isolated environment) translation and transcription to save time and costs,” said Teo.

ChatView also offers other artificial intelligence (AI) features. AI-powered transcription and translation are available for voice memo and video files to provide easier view of such messages in analytical processes.

To ensure confidentiality, such analysis is conducted offline instead of being processed via cloud storage. Meanwhile, human-led quality control processes are still needed to ensure the accuracy of transcription and contextual analysis. 

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