Although this is primarily US news, trends in American ediscovery are increasingly making their way into UK and European inhouse legal and corporate counsel circles. In partnership with Ari Kaplan*, FTI Technology has conducted its annual survey of Fortune 1000 general counsel to identify the most pressing concerns regarding ediscovery. The survey found that some companies are facing up to $20 million in annual ediscovery expenses. Further, the number of companies that handle more than 500 matters annually has grown substantially, and will continue to do so, indicating that the growing wave of litigation and investigations is not ebbing.

Key findings from the survey – Advice from Counsel: an inside look at streamlining ediscovery programs** – include:

• In 2011, 45% of the respondents handled more than 500 matters each year – up from only 7% in 2009, while 84%t handled more than 100

• Annual costs of ediscovery are spiking – a number of respondents claimed as high as $20 million annual expenditure, while $3-5million has become commonplace

• The ability to calculate cost savings has not markedly improved between 2009-2011 – 94% of respondents regarded cost as ‘important’

• Despite rising costs and the focus on cost reduction, defensibility was by far the highest priority among respondents

• Review has been deemed the most expensive phase of ediscovery by 90% of respondents and20% recommended focusing on review costs as a key area for cost control

• 81% of respondents are frustrated with the nature of judicial guidance on ediscovery

* Ari Kaplan is a well known US legal business strategist and author. He was most recently in London for the Bighand annual user conference. His latest book is Reinventing Professional Services – building your business in the digital marketplace (published by Wiley)

** Copy attached at PDF

Check out also +