The December issue of the Legal Technology Insider newsletter (UK + EMEA edition) is out now. The print version should be hitting desktops from tomorrow and the digital issue is popping into email inboxes at this very moment. The next issue is out on 28th January.

Among other things, the December issue contains some interesting statistics on the potential wasted budgets spent on records management… According to new research carried out by records management specialists Legal RM, UK law firms could be paying seven times as much as they should on the off-site storage of their records. A sample of 21 top-50 firms revealed that between them they are currently spending a total of £7.7 million a year on off-site document storage. This figure only relates to actual storage, ‘ancillary costs’ (such as charges for registration, collection and delivery) are extra.

Currently the firms have over 3 million boxes of deeds in storage and between them are registering 608,000 new files each year. However, while the average price per box is just £2.52 a year (in London prices average nearer £3.30) Chris Giles of Legal RM says the important metric is how many files and boxes firms are paying to store unnecessarily. For example, the survey also found only 61% of firms had document retention and destruction policies – and that less than half of them had actually implemented those policies. The next result was the average time each file was retained was 11.23 years, whereas according to Giles, at least 50% of those could be destroyed immediately, with a further 10% disposed of in each subsequent year.

Giles calculates that if you multiply what firms are spending each year over the lifetime of their documents’ storage (in this sample £86 million) and compare what they could  pay with proper lifecycle management (£12.8 million) there is an overspend – or wastage – of 85%.

• Legal RM is holding its next Records Management Networking Event on 14th January (between 4:30pm-6:30pm) at the London offices of CMS Cameron McKenna. The session will be looking at the pricing policies of off-site storage vendors, including their ancillary charges. For details email Chris Giles on chris@legal-rm.com