eDiscovery Reimagined: The Strategic Advantage of Managed Services
The field of eDiscovery has witnessed remarkable growth over the past decade, with increasing volumes of digital information requiring legal teams to efficiently manage and process data for legal proceedings. Managed services in eDiscovery offer a strategic approach to handling these challenges, providing organizations with cost-effective, scalable, and expert-driven solutions. This article explores the advantages of adopting managed services in the eDiscovery process, highlighting benefits such as cost efficiency, scalability, access to expertise, risk mitigation, and advanced technology adoption.
Introduction to eDiscovery
eDiscovery, refers to the process of identifying, collecting, and producing electronically stored information (ESI) as evidence in legal cases. With the proliferation of digital communication and data storage, eDiscovery has become a critical component of modern legal proceedings,
encompassing a wide range of data types, including emails, documents, databases, social media content, and more. The complexities involved in eDiscovery have led to the emergence of managed services as an effective approach to streamline and optimize the process.
The Rise of Managed Services in eDiscovery
Managed services in the context of eDiscovery involves outsourcing various stages of the discovery process to one or more specialized service providers. This can include data collection, processing, hosting, analysis, review, and production. The adoption of managed services has gained momentum due to the challenges organizations face in managing vast volumes of data, navigating intricate legal requirements, and ensuring
efficient project execution. Managed services providers (MSPs) bring together technology, expertise, and streamlined processes to deliver comprehensive eDiscovery solutions.
Here are some trends and statistics on managed services adoption in the legal industry from the last few years*:
- Cost-Efficiency: Firms that adopted managed services reported a decrease in their operational costs of up to 30-40%.
- Focus on Core Competencies: Law firms were able to redirect approximately 40-50% of their time towards core legal activities, enhancing productivity and client satisfaction.
- Access to Expert Resources: Over 70% of law firms highlighted access to expert resources and technologies as a key benefit of adopting a managed services model.
- Security and Compliance: About 60% of law firms indicated improved security and compliance as a notable advantage of leveraging managed services.
- Growth and Adoption: The global legal process outsourcing market reached a value of US$ 11.61 Billion in 2021. Looking forward, the publisher expects the market to reach US$ 61.71 Billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 30.50% during 2022-2027 according to a report by BusinessWire.1
- Client Satisfaction: Law firms leveraging managed services noted a spike in client satisfaction rates, with a retention rate hovering around 80-90%, thanks to improved service delivery and efficiency.
- Technological Advancement: More than half of the law firms were significantly more advanced technologically than those who acquired technology directly, thanks to the state-of-the-art solutions provided by managed services partners.
- Adoption Rate: 75% of large firms said they were using either captives only or a mix of direct ALSPs and captives for eDiscovery services according to Thomson Reuters.2
Advantages of Managed Services
Cost Efficiency: Managed services offer a predictable cost structure by replacing capital expenses with operational expenses. Organizations can avoid significant upfront investments in hardware, software, and infrastructure, reducing the financial strain associated with building and maintaining in-house eDiscovery capabilities.
Scalability and Flexibility: MSPs provide the ability to scale eDiscovery resources up or down based on the specific needs of each case. This dynamic scalability ensures that organizations pay only for the resources utilized, making it a cost-effective solution for both large-scale litigation and smaller matters.
Expertise and Skill Sets: Managed services grant access to specialized experts who possess deep knowledge of eDiscovery best practices, legal requirements, and technology trends. This expertise is particularly valuable in navigating the complex landscape of data privacy, data preservation, and data processing.
Focus on Core Competencies: By outsourcing eDiscovery tasks to MSPs, legal teams can focus on their core competencies, such as case strategy and legal analysis. This division of labor allows legal professionals to maximize their contributions to the case while leaving the technical aspects of eDiscovery to specialists.
Advanced Technology and Tools: MSPs invest in cutting-edge eDiscovery technologies and tools, providing access to advanced analytics, machine learning, and predictive coding. These technologies enhance the efficiency and accuracy of document review, enabling faster and more insightful insights.
Mitigation of Risk and Compliance: MSPs are well-versed in regulatory compliance and risk management, ensuring that eDiscovery processes align with legal and industry standards. This reduces the risk of errors, sanctions, and data breaches, safeguarding the organization’s reputation and financial stability.
Improved Project Management: Managed services bring a structured and organized approach to eDiscovery projects. MSPs use established project management methodologies to ensure tasks are completed within deadlines and budgets, reducing the likelihood of delays and cost overruns.
Selecting a Managed Services Provider
Choosing the right MSP is crucial to reaping the benefits of managed services in eDiscovery. Organizations should consider factors such as the provider’s track record, experience, expertise, technology stack, scalability, data security practices, future M&A events, and alignment with the organization’s specific requirements.
Because a managed services partner should work as an extension of your team, you want a team that feels like your own. The right partner will consult and work alongside you, listen to your goals and needs, and work with the technologies that are best for you. You never want to feel strong-armed into a decision, but you still want prescribed workflows and the confidence of having the best experts on your side.
Managed services have emerged as a strategic solution for organizations grappling with the complexities of eDiscovery. The advantages, ranging from cost efficiency and scalability to expertise and risk mitigation, make managed services a compelling option for legal teams seeking to optimize their eDiscovery processes.
By leveraging the capabilities of experienced MSPs, organizations can streamline their eDiscovery efforts
and enhance their overall legal strategies.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or endorsement of any specific
managed services provider. Organizations should conduct their own research and seek professional advice when considering managed
services for eDiscovery purposes.
Statistic citations: OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (August 3 Version) [Large language model]. https://chat.openai.com