Law firms are defining success in e-discovery as a measure of cost-effectiveness and the use of predictive coding is becoming widespread in the industry according to the “Partnership Perspectives Survey” of 25 AmLaw 200 law firm partners conducted by Recommind and Ari Kaplan Advisors. However, the reluctance to cloud-based technology is still holding strong.

A majority of partners surveyed defined success in e-discovery along cost savings lines in 2016, with just under one-third (32 percent) linking success to controlling costs and another 32 percent saying it meant adhering to established budgets or leveraging e-discovery towards firm profitability. An additional 16 percent of respondents cited client satisfaction as the prime metric for success.

The survey also found that the vast majority of law firms did not manage their projects’ entire e-discovery lifecycle in-house, with 88 percent outsourcing at least some e-discovery processes to external vendors. But 44 percent also noted that their clients decided what tools and e-discovery vendors would be used for their projects.

How firms outsource e-discovery tasks, however, is not uniform across the industry. One-third of respondents noted they had specific project data size limits that trigger outsourcing. Almost a quarter (24 percent) said they outsource only up to one-third of their projects, while 30 percent said they outsource 75 percent or more of their e-discovery work. Only 12 percent of firms said they handled all aspects of e-discovery in-house.

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