eDiscovery Daily Blog

eDiscovery Trends: Costs, Outside Counsel and Vendor Performance Chief Among GC Concerns


A survey was recently conducted by eDiscovery Solutions Group (eDSG) that of Global 250 General Counsel on various aspects of eDiscovery processes and concerns regarding eDiscovery.  The results were summed up in a post in the blog, The eDiscovery Paradigm Shift, written by Charles Skamser.  With a little over half (127 out of 250 organizations or 51%) responding, the post noted some interesting findings with regard to how organizations handle various eDiscovery tasks and their concerns regarding the process overall.

eDiscovery Services

According to the survey, organizations are (not surprisingly) still highly dependent on outside counsel for eDiscovery services, with over half of the organizations (51%) relying on them for eDiscovery collections and Early Case Assessment (ECA) services and 43% relying on them for document review services.  Organizations rely on third party forensics groups 35% of the time for eDiscovery collections and rely on Legal Process Outsource (LPO) providers 29% of the time for ECA services and 43% of the time for document review services.  Organizations handle ECA internally 20% of the time and handle collection and review 13% of the time each.

The author notes surprise that 51% of the respondents identified outside counsel for their ECA and wondered if there was confusion by respondents about the term “LPO” and whether it applied to litigation service providers.  It’s also possible that the term “ECA” might have been confusing as well – to many in the legal profession it means estimating risk (in terms of time and cost to proceed with the case instead of settling) and not analysis of the data.

Frustrations and Pet Peeves

eDSG also asked the respondents about their top frustrations and top pet peeves over the past 12 months (respondents could select more than one in each category).  Top frustrations were “Cost of eDiscovery not declining as rapidly as expected” (95%) and “Increase in the Amount of ESI” (90%).  Also notable are the respondents that are frustrated with “Dealing with eDiscovery Software Vendors” (80%) and “Outside Counsel Not Providing Adequate Support for eDiscovery Requirements” (75%).  Sounds like most of the respondents have multiple frustrations!

Top pet peeves were “Outside Counsel and LPOs Knowingly Low Balling Cost Estimates” (80%) and “eDiscovery Cost Overruns”, “LPOs dropping the ball on eDiscovery Projects” and “Anyone that states that litigation in now all about technology” (all at 75%).  Also, 65% of respondents find eDiscovery Vendor sales people “annoying”.  🙂


With regard to the next 12 months, eDSG asked the respondents about their top concerns going forward (again, respondents could select more than one in each category).  Top concerns were “Managing the Cost of eDiscovery” (a perfect 100%) and “Collaboration between internal stakeholders” (91%).  Other concerns included “Education and Training of Staff ” (79%) and “Understanding the Impact of Social Media” (75%).


A link to the blog post with more information and survey results is available here.  Based on the responses, most organizations outsource their eDiscovery activities to either outside counsel and litigation support vendors; yet, many of them don’t appear to be happy with the results their outsource providers are giving them.  It sounds like there’s lots of room for improvement.  The cost of eDiscovery appears to be the biggest frustration and the biggest concern of in-house counsel personnel going forward.

So, what do you think?  Did any of these survey results surprise you?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.