2012 Study of Global 250 General Counsel on eDiscovery

| June 7, 2012
In its ongoing mission to evaluate and report on the current status and thoughts of the stakeholders from the eDiscovery, Information Governance and Cloud Computing market, eDiscovery Solutions Group (eDSG), conducted a blind survey of the General Counsel from the Global 250 on various aspects of eDiscovery.We sent out the survey on February 6, 2012 and closed submission on May 31, 2012.  During that time, we received 127 responses for a 51% participation rate.  Please note that we believe that many of the surveys were filled out and submitted by Associate General Counsel and possibly other staff members.For a more detailed view of the results, please go to: http://www.ediscoverysolutionsgroup.com/2012GeneralCounselSurveyoneDiscovery.html
Following is an overview of the results of this survey:

Lawsuits per Year
In order to gauge the potential requirement to engage in eDiscovery, eDSG asked how many lawsuits the enterprise was a party to in the last 12 months that required eDiscovery processing such as collections, ECA and Document Review.
  • Less than 10 = 28%
  • 11 to 25 = 59%
  • More than 25 = 13%
eDiscovery Collections
eDSG asked if eDiscovery collections were done internally, by a third party forensics group or by outside counsel.
  • Outside Counsel = 51%
  • Third Party Forensics Group = 35%
  • Internal = 13%
I wasn’t surprised that 86% of the respondents indicated that they outsourced collections to either a third party forensics group or outside counsel.  However, over the next 24 months as eDiscovery moves away from service providers and outside counsel to the enterprise, I predict that internal collection will increase significantly.

Early Case Assessment (ECA)
eDSG asked if Early Case Assessment (ECA) was done internally, by a third party Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) group or by outside counsel.
  • Outside Counsel = 51%
  • LPO = 29%
  • Internal =  20%
I was surprised that 51% of the respondents indicated the Early Case Assessment (ECA) was done by outside counsel. It is possible that there was some confusion with the term LPO, even though I provided an explanation that LPO included litigation service providers.  Over the next 24 months as eDiscovery moves away from LPOs and outside counsel to the enterprise, I predict that internal ECA will increase significantly.

Document Review
eDSG asked if Document Review was done internally, by a third party Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) group or by outside counsel.
  • Outside Counsel = 43%
  • LPO = 43%
  • Internal = 13%
Top Concerns Over the Next 12 Months
eDSG asked the respondents to indicate the top concerns were over the next 12 months.  Please note that respondents were able to check more than one top concern.
  • Overwhelmed with ESI = 51%
  • Managing the Cost of eDiscovery = 100%
  • Understanding the Impact of Social Media = 75%
  • Understanding and Leveraging New Technology = 59%
  • Education and Training of Staff  = 79%
  • Outside Counsel Not Providing Adequate Support for eDiscovery Requirements = 63%
  • Collaboration between internal stakeholders = 91%
This question revealed the most significant results.  100% of the respondents indicated that they were concerned about managing the cost of eDiscovery.  91% indicated that they were concerned about collaboration between internal stakeholders.  79% were concerned about education and training of staff and 75% were concerned about understanding the impact of social media.  51% were overwhelmed with ESI.

Top Frustrations Over the Past 12 Months

eDSG asked the respondents to indicate the top frustrations over the past 12 months.  Please note that respondents were able to check more than one frustration.
  • Cost of eDiscovery not declining as rapidly as expected = 95%
  • Outside Counsel Not Providing Adequate Support for eDiscovery Requirements = 75%
  • Dealing with eDiscovery Software Vendors = 80%
  • Rapidly Changing Technology = 81%
  • Increase in the Amount of ESI = 90%
  • Legacy LPOs Not Providing Adequate Support for eDiscovery Requirements = 75%
  • Lack of Understanding of Internal eDiscovery Requirements = 65%

Top Pet Peeves Over the Past 12 Months
eDSG asked the respondents to indicate the top pet peeves over the past 12 months.  Please note that respondents were able to check more than one pet peeve.

  • Annoying eDiscovery Vendor sales people = 65%
  • Outside Counsel’s refusal to take responsibility on eDiscovery = 50%
  • Lack of Support from Information Technology (IT) group = 50%
  • Anyone that states that litigation in now all about technology = 75%
  • Outside Counsel and LPOs Knowingly Low Balling Cost Estimates = 85%
  • LPOs dropping the ball on eDiscovery Projects = 75%
  • eDiscovery Cost Overruns = 75%
  • Small Suits that Cost More to Process than Settle = 50%

Top pet peeves is my favorite category as it provides some very interesting insight into what is really going on within these organizations.  And, it provides great feedback for LPOs and outside counsel.

85% of the respondents indicated that a top pet peeve was outside counsel and LPOs knowingly “low balling” cost estimates.  75% indicated LPOs dropping the ball on eDiscovery projects, eDiscovery cost overruns and anyone that states litigation is now all about technology.  65% indicated annoying eDiscovery vendor sales people.

Next week I will post the results of Global 250 General Counsel plans for eDiscovery over the next 12 months.For a more detailed view of the results, please go to: http://www.ediscoverysolutionsgroup.com/2012GeneralCounselSurveyoneDiscovery.html

Tags:

Category: Collections, Document Review, Early Case Assessment, eDiscovery, LPO, Outside Counsel

About the Author ()

Charles Skamser is an internationally recognized technology sales and marketing leader with over 25 years of experience in Information Governance, eDiscovery, computer assisted analytics, cloud computing, Big Data analytics and IT Automation. Charles is the founder and Senior Analyst for eDiscovery Solutions Group, a global provider of information management consulting, market intelligence and advisory services specializing in information governance, eDiscovery, Big Data analytics and cloud computing solutions. Previously, Charles served in various executive roles with disruptive technology start ups and well know industry technology providers. Charles is a prolific author and a regular speaker on the technology that the Global 2000 require to management the accelerating increase in Electronically Stored Information (ESI). Charles holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from Macalester College.

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