- Forty percent of in-house teams are doing most of their eDiscovery themselves to save money, software company IPRO says based on its 2023 State of the Corporate Legal Industry survey of 126 in-house legal professionals.
- Fifty-three percent say budget issues are the biggest issue for them this year, suggesting they could be looking for more ways to save money.
- One way they’re trying to save is by shrinking the number of outside counsel they use. Twenty-five percent say they’re already planning to use fewer firms this year and another 41% say they’re considering it.
Two-thirds of legal leaders say they want to adopt AI-powered eDiscovery capabilities in-house and about a third say they’ve already done that.
Of those who have the capability, 35% say whether a project is done in-house or outsourced depends on the size of the case and the amount of liability.
“In-sourcing all eDiscovery projects is not a feasible task for many legal teams,” the report says.
Having the technology doesn’t mean it gets used to its fullest capacity, with 40% saying the complexity of this or any technology is a big problem for the team.
With eDiscovery, a third say they’re neither happy nor unhappy with it.
Nor are many in-house teams happy with their outside counsel. Forty-four percent rated fulfillment with their outside counsel as neutral compared with only 38% that say their outside counsel meets their needs and expectations.
“The downtick in client satisfaction with law firms has been apparent for some time now,” the report says.
Fifty-seven percent of teams use fewer than 10 outside firms while 19% use between 20 and 30 firms. The data isn’t broken down by company size, but most participants in the survey are from companies generating more than $500 million in annual revenue.
Most teams collect data from three to five sources on average per matter and about one in five collect from more than 10 sources per matter.
The relationship the legal team has with the organization’s IT department can play a role in how well the eDiscovery process goes.
Thirty-five percent are happy with the speed at which they receive data from IT, while 40% of them are neutral, neither happy nor unhappy.
“The results show that there is clearly room for improvement in relation to how data is governed and collected within the organization,” the report says.
Thirty-seven percent say they’re concerned they regularly overcollect data and almost half took a neutral position on the question.
“Clearly, overcollection of electronically stored data is a growing challenge within the corporate legal industry,” the report said.
The most common reasons for overcollection: fear of missing relevant data, poorly defined scope of the matter and an outdated or incomplete collection plan.