Alternative Price Styles? Summer 2021 eDiscovery Pricing Survey Results

Based on the complexity of data and legal discovery, it is a continual challenge to fully understand what is representative of industry-standard pricing for the delivery of eDiscovery products and services. With this challenge in mind, the semi-annual eDiscovery Pricing Survey is designed to provide insight into eDiscovery pricing through the lens of 12 specific pricing questions answered by legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The summer 2021 survey was open from May 24, 2021, until June 4, 2021, and had 105 respondents share their understanding of current pricing for selected eDiscovery services.

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Content Assessment: Alternative Price Styles? Summer 2021 eDiscovery Pricing Survey Results

Information - 95%
Insight - 95%
Relevance - 100%
Objectivity - 100%
Authority - 95%

97%

Excellent

A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the semi-annual eDiscovery pricing survey summer 2021 results, as conducted and published by ComplexDiscovery.

Editor’s Note: Initiated in the winter of 2019 and conducted six times during the last three years with 518 individual responses, the semi-annual eDiscovery Pricing Survey provides a mechanism for legal, business, and information technology professionals in the eDiscovery ecosystem to share and understand current pricing trends on selected collection, processing, and review tasks.

The worldwide pandemic has influenced the eDiscovery ecosystem in areas such as the delivery of services, the pulse rate of investigations and litigation, and the frequency of mergers and acquisitions. The pandemic has also impacted the economics of eDiscovery pricing. This new survey may be useful for understanding that impact.

The eDiscovery Pricing Survey

The eDiscovery Pricing Survey is designed to provide insight into industry pricing through the lens of 12 pricing questions answered by legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The non-scientific and non-comprehensive survey questions are focused on general pricing for a specific selection of collection, processing, and review tasks. The survey is not designed to be all-inclusive but designed to provide a general overview of the pricing landscape for study, consideration, and use by individuals and organizations with both a direct and indirect interest in the economics of eDiscovery.

Summer 2021 Survey Results

The summer 2021 survey response period was initiated on May 24, 2021, and closed on June 4, 2021. This was the sixth eDiscovery pricing survey conducted by ComplexDiscovery, with this summer’s survey being generously highlighted and promoted by the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM).  The current survey had 105 respondents.

While individual respondent answers to the pricing survey are confidential, the anonymized aggregate results for the 12 pricing 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 2021.


eDiscovery Pricing Survey Questions 

n=105 Respondents ↑

Collection Pricing

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

  • Less than $250 per hour. 11.4% ↓
  • Between $250 and $350 per hour. 68.6% ↑
  • Greater than $350 per hour. 7.6% ↑
  • Do not know. 8.6% ↑
  • Alternative pricing model for per hour costs. 3.8% ∗
1 – Collection Pricing – Per Hour Cost for a Collection by a Forensic Examiner – Summer 2021

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

  • Less than $250 per device. 11.4% ↓
  • Between $250 and $350 per device. 25.7% ↓
  • Greater than  $350 per device. 44.8% ↓
  • Do not know. 7.6% =
  • Alternative pricing model for per device costs. 7.6% ∗
2 – Collection Pricing – Per Device Cost for a Collection by a Forensic Examiner – Summer 2021

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

  • Less than $350 per hour. 14.3% ↓
  • Between $350 and $550 per hour. 61.0% ↑
  • Greater than $550 per hour. 6.7% ↓
  • Do not know. 15.2% ↑
  • Alternative pricing model for per hour costs. 2.9% ∗
3 – Collection Pricing – Per Hour Cost for Analysis and Expert Witness Support from a Forensic Examiner – Summer 2021

 Processing Pricing

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

  • Less than $25 per GB. 21.9% ↓
  • Between $25 and $75 per GB. 39.0% ↓
  • Greater than $75 per GB. 9.5% ↑
  • Do not know. 7.6% ↑
  • Alternative pricing model for per GB costs. 21.9% ∗
4 – Processing Pricing – Per GB Cost to Process ESI Based on Volume at Ingestion – Summer 2021

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

  • Less than $100 per GB. 28.6% ↓
  • Between $100 and $150 per GB. 28.6% ↓
  • Greater than $150 per GB. 5.7% ↑
  • Do not know. 9.5% ↓
  • Alternative pricing model for per GB costs. 27.6% ∗
5 – Processing Pricing – Per GB Cost to Process ESI Based on Volume at Completion of Processing – Summer 2021

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

  • Less than $10 per GB per month. 27.6% ↓
  • Between $10 and $20 per GB per month. 48.6% ↓
  • Greater than $20 per GB per month. 5.7% ↓
  • Do not know. 5.7% ↑
  • Alternative pricing model for per GB costs. 12.4% ∗
6 – Processing Pricing – Per GB Cost Per Month to Host ESI without Analytics – Summer 2021

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

  • Less than $15 per GB per month. 26.7% ↓
  • Between $15 and $25 per GB per month. 33.3% ↓
  • Greater than $25 per GB per month. 8.6% ↓
  • Do not know. 9.5% ↑
  • Alternative pricing model for per GB costs. 21.9% ∗
7 – Processing Pricing – Per GB Cost Per Month to Host ESI with Analytics – Summer 2021

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

  • Less than $50 per user per month. 17.1% ↓
  • Between $50 and $100 per user per month. 54.3% ↓
  • Greater than $100 per user per month. 8.6% ↑
  • Do not know. 4.8% ↓
  • Alternative pricing model for user license costs. 15.2% ∗
8 – Processing Pricing – User License Fee Per Month for Access to Hosted Data – Summer 2021

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

  • Less than $100 per hour. 4.8% ↑
  • Between $100 and $200 per hour. 56.2% ↓
  • Greater than $200 per hour. 26.7% ↑
  • Do not know. 2.9% ↑
  • Alternative pricing model for per hour costs. 9.5% ∗
9 – Processing Pricing – Per Hour Cost of Project Management Support for eDiscovery – Summer 2021

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. 21.0% ↓
  • Between $75 and $150 per GB. 13.3% ↓
  • Greater than $150 per GB. 2.9% ↑
  • Do not know. 22.9% ↑
  • Alternative pricing model for per GB costs. 40.0% ∗
10 – Review Pricing – Per GB Cost to Conduct Predictive Coding in a Technology-Assisted Review – Summer 2021

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% ↑
  • Between $25 and $40 per hour. 40.0% ↓
  • Greater than $40 per hour. 39.0% ↓
  • Do not know. 13.3% ↑
  • Alternative pricing model for per hour costs. 4.8% ∗
11 – Review Pricing – Per Hour Cost for Document Review Attorneys to Review Documents – Summer 2021

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. 2.9% ↓
  • Between $0.50 and $1.00 per document. 33.3% ↓
  • Greater than $1.00 per document. 19.0% ↓
  • Do not know. 35.2% ↑
  • Alternative pricing model for per document costs. 9.5% ∗
12 – Review Pricing – Per Document Cost for Document Review Attorneys to Review Documents – Summer 2021

Background Information

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

  • North America – United States. 87.6% ↑
  • North America – Canada. 4.8% ↓
  • Asia/Asia Pacific. 2.9% ↓
  • Europe – United Kingdom. 1.9% ↓
  • Europe – Non-UK. 1.0% ↓
  • Middle East/Africa. 1.0% ↑
  • Central/South America. 1.0% ↑
13 – Survey Respondents by Geographic Region – Summer 2021

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

  • Law Firm. 43.8% ↑
  • Software and/or Services Provider. 26.7% ↓
  • Consultancy. 13.3% ↓
  • Corporation. 12.4% ↑
  • Media/Research Organization/Educational Association. 2.9% ↓
  • Government Entity. 1.0% ↓
14 – Survey Respondents by Organizational Segment – Summer 2021

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

  • Legal/Litigation Support. 73.3% ↑
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions). 21.0% ↓
  • IT/Product Development. 5.7% ↑
15 – Survey Respondents by Primary Function – Summer 2021

Trend Notes

  • ↑ Increase from last survey.
  • ↓ Decrease from last survey.
  • = No change from last survey.
  • ∗ New response option for summer 2021 survey.

Past eDiscovery Pricing Surveys

Additional Research

Source: ComplexDiscovery

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ComplexDiscovery is an online publication that highlights data and legal discovery insight and intelligence ranging from original research to aggregated news for use by business, information technology, and legal professionals. The highly targeted publication seeks to increase the collective understanding of readers regarding data and legal discovery information and issues and to provide an objective resource for considering trends, technologies, and services related to electronically stored information.

ComplexDiscovery OÜ is a technology marketing firm providing strategic planning and tactical execution expertise in support of data and legal discovery organizations. Registered as a private limited company in the European Union country of Estonia, one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world, ComplexDiscovery OÜ operates virtually worldwide to deliver marketing consulting and services.

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