eDiscovery Daily Blog

eDiscovery Trends: Economy Woes Not Slowing eDiscovery Industry Growth


Despite the recent economic recession resulting in “crashing” corporate profitability, eDiscovery is still growing as an industry, according to a Market Research Report now available from IBISWorld.

As revealed in a press release announcing the report, revenue in the eDiscovery industry is growing at an annual rate of 5.6% over the last five years to an estimated $786.5 million in 2011.  In line with a rebound in corporate profitability last year, eDiscovery industry revenue jumped 9.1% then and is anticipated to exceed the five-year average growth rate again this year, with an increase of 7.6%.  As the press release notes, “[t]he copious amount of electronically stored information (ESI) has made e-discovery services resilient in the face of tough economic conditions”.  In addition, 60% of law firms are planning on increasing their eDiscovery staff in the next 6 months, according to a survey of 45 AmLaw 200 firms conducted by The Cowen Group.

The IBISWorld press release also notes that while eDiscovery revenue has grown, the number of participants in the industry has declined as the industry has continued to consolidate, with major acquisitions including Symantec Corporation’s acquisition of Clearwell and Hewlett-Packard’s acquisition of Autonomy in 2011 alone.  As a result, the number of industry participants has dropped an estimated average annual rate of 2.0% over the five years to 2011, to 612 businesses.

With corporate profit expected to grow at a rate of 7.3% annually over the next five years (to 2016), continued spiraling growth of ESI volumes and growing demand from the legal market, IBISWorld expects eDiscovery industry revenue to continue to rise at an average annual rate of 6.1% over those five years, to reach $1.1 billion by the end of 2016.  Considerable growth in ESI and the rise of social networks is expected to continue to fuel the demand for new and advanced eDiscovery products like:

  • Processing and Analysis Software,
  • Collection Software,
  • Review Software,
  • Legal Hold Software, and
  • Consulting Services.

The full Market Research report from IBISWorld is available for purchase and download here.

I guess it’s true: People do continue to sue each other as much (and even more) during tough economic times as they do during prosperous times!  And, they certainly continue to have more data.

So, what do you think?  Do these numbers surprise you?  Are you as busy (or even busier) than you were five years ago?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.