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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

New, New Thing: ComplianSeek

Today my firm Reed Smith announced what looks to be a very cool, and I think it's safe to say groundbreaking, joint project with DolphinSearch. Working together, Reed Smith and DolphinSearch have created something called ComplianSeek, "designed specifically to help meet the regulatory compliance needs of investment advisers within the financial services community. . . . as required by the Investment Advisers Act." ComplianSeek was unveiled today at the ICI 2005 General Membership meeting in Washington, DC. As I understand it, the current iteration of the project is aimed at helping investment advisors effectively search their email — which, like it or not, has become a de facto record repository for these and all modern businesses — to help identify and keep track of items that constitute "books and records" under the Investment Advisors Act. There's a nifty flash animation you can check out that explains things better than I can.

I'm excited about the project on several fronts. Like the 50 State HIPAA Privacy Study Reed Smith is also involved in, ComplianSeek recognizes that lawyers and technologists together can develop tools that help address and manage onerous regulatory compliance burdens. While the first iteration of ComplianSeek is aimed at investment advisors, I'm told modules can be built to address the requirements of any number of statutes. It seems to me these kinds of projects have the two-pronged beneficial effect of helping businesses tackle compliance in a cost-effective way, and helping lawyers carry out their businesses in ways that begin to depart from the much maligned billable hour.

As I said, this project is brand new and I'm sure more information will be available as time goes on. But I thought Bag and Baggage readers would enjoy being among the first to know about ComplianSeek and give it some thought.

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