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07 June 2018 at 06:45 BST

In-house counsel shift e-discovery focus as industry set to double in size

E-discovery is a $9 billion industry and is expected to more than double in size to over $18 billion by 2022, data reveals.


The 2018 State of E-Discovery Report, published by legal software provider Exterro Inc, has quantified the growth of the industry, but also reveals in-house legal departments are recognizing that bringing e-discovery in-house provides more control, transparency, and efficiency across the e-discovery process.

Shifting focus
Legal departments are making shifts in their approach to e-discovery, including in-sourcing these processes, to reduce costs. In-house teams are cutting e-discovery spend by using single source providers or preferred provider programs, negotiating lower rates from providers, and, appointing a litigation executive to oversee the e-discovery process. The report says 51 percent of in-house teams are in-sourcing their litigation and 81 percent of in-house legal departments are in-sourcing at least one-third of their litigation work. Companies are now tending to outsource the processing, review, analysis and production parts of e-discovery. Comparatively, companies appear to be more likely to tackle the preservation and collection parts of e-discovery themselves.

However, concerns remain in regard to the e-discovery process. Companies appear to be most concerned with custodian spoliation of electronic information. Despite that fear, 22 percent of respondents in the 2017 Norton Rose Fulbright Litigation Trends Annual Survey, which is cited in the report, indicated that they use an outside custodian for their electronic information. Evolving technology, the changing legal landscape, and new international regulations pose the biggest challenges to e-discovery practitioners. Bill Piwonka, CMO at Exterro, said ‘it is clear from the data in this report that e-discovery practitioners are seeing significant progress in their ability to operate efficiently by approaching e-discovery as a business process and taking advantage of innovations in technology.’

Download the 2018 State of E-Discovery report here.


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