CEDS Spotlight – South Africa

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Danny Myburgh, CEDS
Litigation Support
Cyanre – The Digital Forensic Lab (Pty) Ltd

Please share your thoughts on the certification training, how long it took you to prepare for the exam, thoughts on the exam and how it has benefitted you- both the knowledge gained from training and certification and being part of the ACEDS community as a whole. (Whole experience).

Being from South Africa, our court rules does not require e-discovery to the extent to which it is required in the US. The accreditation is therefore not a requirement for us. As the MD of one of the leading Digital Forensic firms in SA- Cyanre The Digital Forensic Lab, as well as the leading Litigation Support Company, LexTrado, I felt it prudent that our key managers and myself qualify ourselves in international e-discovery processes so that we can assist our local and international clients.  I think the key advantage which I gained from this was the fact that, while we were handling e-discovery to the best of ourknowledge, the CEDS has given us a more structured approach and also the confirmation that the current processes we follow is based on international best practice. I have been pushing e-discovery since 2006, when I was a manager at Deloitte SA and after returning to SA after a trip to the Deloitte lab in Boston. Unfortunately, it was (and still is) a hard and long battle since clients did not want to recognize the benefits of e-discovery and was put off due to extremely high costs – mostly due to our Rand/dollar exchange rate. It is only in the past 2-4 years that we are seeing an interest in this field in SA.

To be totally honest ito how long it took me to prepare, I have been preparing for the past few years ito beating the E-discovery drum in SA, but in practical preparation, I crammed last week. I did find that, even though English is my second language, the language barrier was difficult to complete the test within the given time frame.

Why did you decide to get certified? Do you have any other certifications?

I think the certification could benefit our firm to provide a world class service to our local and international Clients.

I am an EnCe, SCERS and hold an Honors degree in Information Systems and a Masters degree in Forensic Accounting.

Please share your background of eDiscovery experience:

I started and was the commanding officer the South African Police Services’ National Computer Crime Investigation Unit and was responsible for developing the Standing Operating Procedures on how law enforcement collect, analyze and testify on digital evidence in SA. During a visit to the US in 2006 I learnt about e-discovery and tried to promote it in SA. The interest was unfortunately lacking. When I started my own firm, we initially only specialized in digital forensics, but we realized that our clients, mainly the major law firms here in SA, was not geared to handle the volume of data which we presented to them. We therefor started a litigation support firm, LexTrado with our own data hosting centre from where we are able to assist clients as an e-discovery vendor.

Would you recommend our CEDS training/certification to other?

Definitely, although I would have liked to keep it as a “best kept secret” from our local competitors.

Advice to others looking to take the exam?

I think that the biggest advantage is if you are practically active in the field. Practical experience is one of the best means of being prepared. I did however have difficulty in relation to the practical understanding of some aspects as the US processes are different from ours.


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