HBR Releases Results of Law Firm e-Discovery Strategy Survey

Finds Firms Offering Full Suite of e-Discovery Services, Investing in Technology, and Adding Advisory Services to Meet Clients’ e-Discovery Needs

CHICAGO--()--HBR Consulting released results of its Law Firm e-Discovery Strategy Survey which identifies trends in law department electronic discovery (e-discovery) operations and 2015 planning around staffing, technology, revenue, and strategy.

Key findings reveal that law firms are:

  • Offering the full lifecycle of e-discovery services via in-house operations.
  • Investing in technology assisted review (TAR) capabilities, with 78% of firms indicating that they have implemented the technology and the remaining firms adding it this year.
  • Providing perceived higher value advisory services, assisting clients with Information Governance challenges, advising in the defensible use of TAR, and managing the preservation/legal hold process.

“A law firm’s capability to provide e-discovery services has gone from a novelty to a business necessity,” says Bobbi Basile, HBR Managing Director and the survey’s editor. “Rapidly identifying relevant documents, and ultimately finding the key documents, are vital to developing an effective case strategy and providing timely and accurate counsel to clients.”

Adoption of internal e-discovery services is an area of opportunity with firms reporting an increasing trend in the volume of clients directing the procurement of service providers or the use of specific technology. Additionally, firms report the adoption by internal law firm partners remains a challenge.

Other findings include:

  • 93% of firms report revenue from e-discovery has exceeded expectations
  • 71% of firms report that spending on e-discovery remains a high, essential, or medium priority
  • One third of the firms are either currently in the process of upgrading or enhancing processing technology or plan to do so in 2015

“It all comes down to profit and risk in regards to law firms providing e-discovery capabilities,” says Basile. “Are the e-discovery services providing high value at an acceptance profit margin and is the firm doing a good job at managing risk? If the answer to either – or both – of those questions is no, law firms need to develop a strategy to address these issues.”

Challenges remain around satisfying clients concerns relating to e-discovery costs. Efforts to automate processes, reduce the rates of document reviewers, and apply process improvement disciplines have helped, but the problem persists: discovery costs too much and takes too long. Clients may be unwilling to bear the financial burden and take alternative measures when possible. Survey responses reflect that firms are embracing and investing in TAR capabilities as a way to reduce costs.

“Given client cost management concerns, law firms need to be innovative in the area of e-discovery,” says Basile. “Firms that orient the e-discovery offerings to address client needs to contain costs, manage risk, capitalize on reusability of data and work product, provide cross-matter reporting and analysis, and facilitate upstream data reduction will emerge as trusted advisors.”

To view the complete Law Firm e-Discovery Strategy Survey Report, visit http://www.hbrconsulting.com/downloads/HBR_LDC_Law%20Firm_EDiscovery_EXECUTIVE%20SUMMARY_Survey_Results_May_2015.pdf

About HBR Consulting

HBR Consulting (www.hbrconsulting.com), formerly Hildebrandt Baker Robbins, is globally recognized as the leading business operations and technology consulting firm with more than four decades of experience. We partner with law firms and corporations to increase efficiencies, improve profitability and navigate strategic changes.


HBR Consulting
Brian Lake, 312-201-8400

Release Summary

HBR Consulting has released the results of its 2015 Law Firm e-Discovery Strategy Survey Report. Conducted March 2015, the survey report shows e-discovery trends identified by Am Law 100 law firms.


HBR Consulting
Brian Lake, 312-201-8400