Editor’s Note: According to the International Monetary Fund, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the world into a recession. Initial estimates are that for 2020, pandemic-driven economic conditions may be worse than the global financial crisis that stressed financial markets and banking systems between mid-2007 and early 2009. The current pandemic has already dramatically influenced the eDiscovery ecosystem in areas such as the delivery of services, the pulse rate of investigations and litigation, and the frequency of merger and acquisition activities. However, we are still in the early stages of understanding how the pandemic will directly impact the economics of eDiscovery. With the need for this understanding in mind, the summer 2020 eDiscovery Pricing Survey from ComplexDiscovery may be helpful for legal, business, and information technology professionals as they seek to comprehend current sentiment and certainty regarding the pricing of core eDiscovery tasks.

The eDiscovery Pricing Survey

The eDiscovery Pricing Survey is a non-scientific and non-comprehensive survey designed to provide general insight into eDiscovery pricing as shared by individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem.

The survey consists of 15 multiple choice questions focused on information and metrics related to eDiscovery pricing for collection, processing, and review tasks. The survey is open to legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem. Individuals are invited to participate semi-annually primarily by direct email invitation from ComplexDiscovery and leading industry educational partners to include the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS).

Summer Survey Results

The summer 2020 survey response period was initiated on May 11, 2020, and closed on May 20, 2020. This was the fourth eDiscovery pricing survey conducted by ComplexDiscovery, the initial survey being conducted in December of 2018.  This survey had 105 respondents.

While individual respondent answers to the pricing survey are confidential, the anonymized aggregate results for the 15 questions of the multiple-choice survey are published below without commentary. These results highlight eDiscovery pricing on selected collection, processing, and review tasks as seen by survey respondents in the summer of 2020.

eDiscovery Pricing Survey Questions (Required)

n=105 Respondents

Collection Pricing

1. What is the per hour cost for a collection by a forensic examiner?

  • Less than $250 per hour. 23.8% (Up from 18.8%)
  • Between $250 and $350 per hour. 61.0% (Down from 62.5%)
  • Greater than $350 per hour. 6.7% (Up from 2.5%)
  • Do not know. 8.6% (Down from 16.2%)

2. What is the per-device cost for a collection by a forensic examiner?

  • Less than $250 per device. 12.4% (Down from 12.5%)
  • Between $250 and $350 per device. 30.5% (Up from 16.2%)
  • Greater than  $350 per device. 43.8% (Down from 51.3%)
  • Do not know. 13.3% (Down from 20.0%)

3. What is the per hour cost for analysis and expert witness support by a forensic examiner?

  • Less than $350 per hour. 15.2% (Up from 15.0%)
  • Between $350 and $550 per hour. 62.9% (Up from 60.0%)
  • Greater than $550 per hour. 7.6% (Up from 5.0%)
  • Do not know. 14.3% (Down from 20.0%)

 Processing Pricing

4. What is the per GB cost to process electronically stored information based on volume at ingestion?

  • Less than $25 per GB. 33.3% (Up from 23.8%)
  • Between $25 and $75 per GB. 45.7% (Down from 52.5%)
  • Greater than $75 per GB. 10.5% (Down from 13.7%)
  • Do not know. 10.5% (Up from 10.0%)

5. What is the per GB cost to process electronically stored information based on volume at completion of processing?

  • Less than $100 per GB. 44.8% (Up from 32.5%)
  • Between $100 and $150 per GB. 31.4% (Down from 42.5%)
  • Greater than $150 per GB. 9.5% (Up from 8.8%)
  • Do not know. 14.3% (Down from 16.2%)

6. What is the per GB per month cost to host electronically stored information without analytics?

  • Less than $10 per GB per month. 30.5% (Down from 23.8%)
  • Between $10 and $20 per GB per month. 50.5% (Down from 62.5%)
  • Greater than $20 per GB per month. 10.5% (Up from 5.0%)
  • Do not know. 8.6% (Down from 8.7%)

7. What is the per GB per month cost to host electronically stored information with analytics?

  • Less than $15 per GB per month. 37.1% (Up from 28.7%)
  • Between $15 and $25 per GB per month. 32.4% (Down from 45.0%)
  • Greater than $25 per GB per month. 16.2% (Down from 15.0%)
  • Do not know. 14.3% (Up from 11.3%)

8. What is the user license fee per month for access to hosted data?

  • Less than $50 per user per month. 21.0% (Up from 13.8%)
  • Between $50 and $100 per user per month. 60.0% (Down from 66.3%)
  • Greater than $100 per user per month. 12.4% (Down from 13.8%)
  • Do not know. 6.7% (Up from 6.1%)

9. What is the per hour cost of project management support for eDiscovery?

  • Less than $100 per hour. 6.7% (Up from 2.5%)
  • Between $100 and $200 per hour. 65.7% (Down from 73.8%)
  • Greater than $200 per hour. 22.9% (Up from 20.0%)
  • Do not know. 4.8% (Up from 3.7%)

Review Pricing

10.  What is the per GB cost to conduct predictive coding as part of a technology-assisted review during the document review phase of eDiscovery?

  • Less than $75 per GB. 49.5% (Up from 40.0%)
  • Between $75 and $150 per GB. 13.3% (Down from 25.0%)
  • Greater than $150 per GB. 8.6% (Up from 5.0%)
  • Do not know. 28.6% (Down from 30.0%)

11. What is the cost per hour for document review attorneys to review documents during the review phase of eDiscovery?

  • Less than $25 per hour. 2.9% (Up from 1.3%)
  • Between $25 and $40 per hour. 42.9% (Up from 31.3%)
  • Greater than $40 per hour. 42.9% (Down from 52.5%)
  • Do not know. 11.4% (Down from 14.9%)
11-Review Pricing-Per-Hour-Cost-for-Document-Review-Attorneys-to-Review-Documents

12. What is the cost per document for document review attorneys to review documents during the review phase of eDiscovery?

  • Less than $0.50 per document. 4.8% (Down from 11.3%)
  • Between $0.50 and $1.00 per document. 31.4% (Down from 35.0%)
  • Greater than $1.00 per document. 36.2% (Up from 26.3%)
  • Do not know. 27.6% (Up from 27.4%)
12-Review Pricing-Per-Document-Cost-for-Document-Review-Attorneys-to-ReviewDocuments

Background Information

13. In which geographical region do you primarily conduct eDiscovery-related business?

  • North America – United States. 86.7% (Down from 87.5%)
  • North America – Canada. 2.9% (Down from 5.0%)
  • Europe – United Kingdom. 2.9% (Up from 2.5%)
  • Europe – Non-UK. 2.9% (Up from 1.2%)
  • Asia/Asia Pacific. 2.9% (Up from 0.0%)
  • Middle East/Africa. 1.9% (Down from 3.8%)
  • Central/South America. 0.0% (No Change)

14. Which of the following segments best describes your business in eDiscovery?

  • Law Firm. 40.0% (Down from 52.5%)
  • Software and/or Services Provider. 37.1% (Up from 27.5%)
  • Consultancy. 11.4% (Up from 10.0%)
  • Corporation. 8.6% (Up from 5.0%)
  • Government Entity. 1.9% (Down from 2.5%)
  • Media/Research Organization/Educational Association. 1.0% (Down from 2.5%)

15. What area best describes your primary function in the conduct of your organization’s eDiscovery business?

  • Legal/Litigation Support. 71.4% (Down from 78.7%)
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions). 22.9% (Down from 18.8%)
  • IT/Product Development. 5.7% (Up fro 2.5%)

Past eDiscovery Pricing Surveys

Additional Research

Source: ComplexDiscovery

* eDiscovery Pricing Index: A normalized average of price relative to a set of twelve eDiscovery offerings (eDiscovery Market Basket) for a given interval of time.



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