Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Editor’s Note: Originally published in June 2019 and updated annually, this report on eDiscovery review task, spending, and cost information contains new data points based on recent refreshes of industry research from ComplexDiscovery OÜ. This update includes information from the 2023-2028 eDiscovery Market Size Mashup for Worldwide Software and Services and the most recent eDiscovery pricing survey conducted in November 2023. This update may be beneficial for legal, business, and IT professionals considering the business of eDiscovery and, specifically, the economics of eDiscovery review. 


Content Assessment: A Current Look at eDiscovery Review: Task, Spend, and Cost Data Points

Information - 96%
Insight - 94%
Relevance - 95%
Objectivity - 95%
Authority - 96%

95%

Excellent

A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the post highlighting ComplexDiscovery OÜ research on the eDiscovery task of reviewing electronically stored information.


Industry Research – Markets

A Current Look at eDiscovery Review: Task, Spend, and Cost Data Points

ComplexDiscovery Staff

Within the context of data discovery and legal discovery, the task of review consists of the evaluation of digital information to identify relevant and responsive documents to produce, and privileged documents or confidential or sensitive information to withhold. It is one of three tasks, that along with collection and processing, make up the core tasks typically associated with the process of eDiscovery.

In considering the relative costs of the three core eDiscovery tasks of collection, processing, and review, in 2012, the task of review represented approximately 73% of the total expenditure for eDiscovery tasks, with processing representing 19% of expenditures and collection representing 8% of expenditures. (1) Based on market modeling since 2012, the relative cost of the eDiscovery task of review in 2023, as published in November 2023, decreased and was estimated to be 65% of expenditures. Additionally, in 2023, the core eDiscovery task of processing was estimated to represent 20% of expenditures, and the core eDiscovery task of collection was estimated to represent 15% of expenditures. (2) This shift indicates an evolving emphasis on the initial stages of eDiscovery, likely due to the growing complexity and volume of data sources.

Chart 1: Relative Task Expenditures for eDiscovery

Relative Task Expenditures for Core eDiscovery Tasks - 2023 Overview

Market Opportunity for Review: The Spend

In evaluating the market spend for the eDiscovery task of review through the lens of relative task expenditures and modeled market estimations, the review task commands the largest share of eDiscovery spending, although its percentage is forecasted to decrease from 65% in 2023 to 60% by 2028. In terms of dollar value, however, the spending on review is expected to see a significant rise from $9.81 billion to $13.59 billion. This indicates that while technology and efficiencies may be reducing the relative cost of review as part of the total eDiscovery spend, the absolute cost is growing due to the increasing volume and complexity of data needing review. This trend underscores the ongoing challenge of sifting through vast amounts of data to find relevant information and the importance of investing in sophisticated review tools and technologies. (3)

Chart 2: eDiscovery Market for Review

eDiscovery Market for Review (2023-2028)


Review Pricing Data Points: The Cost

While many individual elements contribute to the cost of review, results from semi-annual eDiscovery Pricing Surveys (4) may provide insight into key costs and cost trends related to the eDiscovery task of review. These costs include the per GB cost to conduct predictive coding as part of technology-assisted review during the document review phase of eDiscovery, the cost per hour for document review attorneys to review documents during the review phase of eDiscovery, and the cost per document for document review attorneys to review documents during the review phase of eDiscovery.

Responses from the most recent semi-annual eDiscovery pricing survey regarding these review-related cost questions posed to cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery professionals are provided below for your consideration.


Chart 3: What is the per GB cost to conduct predictive coding as part of a technology-assisted review for 250 GB or less?

Review Pricing – Per GB Cost for Predictive Coding in a Technology-Assisted Review for 250 GB or Less – Winter 2024 Pricing

Chart 4: What is the per GB cost to conduct predictive coding as part of a technology-assisted review for 251 GB or more?

Review Pricing – Per GB Cost for Predictive Coding in a Technology-Assisted Review for 251 GB or More – Winter 2024 Pricing

Chart 5: What is the cost per hour for document review attorneys to review documents for an onsite managed review?

Review Pricing – Per Hour Cost for Document Review Attorneys to Review Documents Onsite – Winter 2024 Pricing

Chart 6: What is the cost per hour for document review attorneys to review documents for a remote managed review?

Review Pricing – Per Hour Cost for Document Review Attorneys to Review Documents Remote – Winter 2024 Pricing

Char 7: What is the cost per document for document review attorneys to review documents for an onsite managed review?

Review Pricing – Per Document Cost for Document Review Attorneys to Review Documents Onsite – Winter 2024 Pricing

Chart 8: What is the cost per document for document review attorneys to review documents for a remote managed review?

Review Pricing – Per Document Cost for Document Review Attorneys to Review Documents Remote – Winter 2024 Pricing

References

(1) Pace, N., & Zakaras, L. (2012). Where the Money Goes: Understanding Litigant Expenditures for Producing Electronic Discovery (p. xiv, xv). RAND Institute for Civil Justice.

(2) Robinson, R. (2023). The Next Five Years in eDiscovery: Market Size Forecast for 2023-28. Retrieved from https://complexdiscovery.com/the-next-five-years-in-ediscovery-market-size-forecast-for-2023-2028/

(3) Ibid.

(4) Robinson, R. (2023). Shaping eDiscovery Strategies: Winter 2024 Pricing Report. Retrieved from https://complexdiscovery.com/shaping-ediscovery-strategies-winter-2024-pricing-report/.

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Source: ComplexDiscovery OÜ

 

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