Balancing Relevance and Reality? Winter 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, security, and information professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The winter 2021 survey was open from November 21, 2020, until December 3, 2020, and had 79 respondents share their understanding of current pricing for selected eDiscovery services.

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Content Assessment: Balancing Relevance and Reality? Winter 2021 eDiscovery Pricing Survey Results

Information - 95%
Insight - 95%
Relevance - 90%
Objectivity - 95%
Authority - 95%

94%

Excellent

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

Editor’s Note: First administered in December of 2018 and conducted five times during the last two years with 413 individual responses, the semi-annual eDiscovery Pricing Survey seeks to provide 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 current pandemic has 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 endeavoring to understand how the pandemic is impacting the pricing economics of eDiscovery. With the need for this understanding in mind, the winter eDiscovery Pricing Survey may be helpful for discovery professionals as they consider current pricing sentiment.

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.

Winter 2021 Survey Results

The winter 2021 survey response period was initiated on November 21, 2020, and closed on December 3, 2020. This was the fifth eDiscovery pricing survey conducted by ComplexDiscovery, the initial survey being conducted in December of 2018.  This survey had 79 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 winter of 2021.


eDiscovery Pricing Survey Questions (Required)

n=79 Respondents

Collection Pricing

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

  • Less than $250 per hour. 21.5% (Down from 23.8%)
  • Between $250 and $350 per hour. 65.8% (Up from 61.0%)
  • Greater than $350 per hour. 6.3% (Down from 6.7%)
  • Do not know. 6.3% (Down from 8.6%)
1 – Collection Pricing – Per Hour Cost for a Collection by a Forensic Examiner – Winter 2021

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

  • Less than $250 per device. 15.2% (Up from 12.4%)
  • Between $250 and $350 per device. 26.6% (Down from 30.5%)
  • Greater than  $350 per device. 50.6% (Up from 43.8%)
  • Do not know. 7.6% (Down from 13.3%)
2 – Collection Pricing – Per Device Cost for a Collection by a Forensic Examiner – Winter 2021

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

  • Less than $350 per hour. 22.8% (Up from 15.2%)
  • Between $350 and $550 per hour. 51.9% (Down from 62.9%)
  • Greater than $550 per hour. 12.7% (Up from 7.6%)
  • Do not know. 12.7% (Down from 14.3%)
3 – Collection Pricing – Per Hour Cost for Analysis and Expert Witness Support from a Forensic Examiner – Winter 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. 35.4% (Up from 33.3%)
  • Between $25 and $75 per GB. 53.2% (Up from 45.7%)
  • Greater than $75 per GB. 6.3% (Down from 10.5%)
  • Do not know. 5.1% (Down from 10.5%)
4 – Processing Pricing – Per GB Cost to Process ESI Based on Volume at Ingestion – Winter 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. 51.9% (Up from 44.8%)
  • Between $100 and $150 per GB. 31.6% (Up from 31.4%)
  • Greater than $150 per GB. 1.3% (Down from 9.5%)
  • Do not know. 15.2% (Up from 14.3%)
5 – Processing Pricing – Per GB Cost to Process ESI Based on Volume at Completion of Processing – Winter 2021

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

  • Less than $10 per GB per month. 34.2% (Up from 30.5%)
  • Between $10 and $20 per GB per month. 54.4% (Up from 50.5%)
  • Greater than $20 per GB per month. 6.3% (Down from 10.5%)
  • Do not know. 5.1% (Down from 8.6%)
6 – Processing Pricing – Per GB Cost Per Month to Host ESI without Analytics – Winter 2021

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

  • Less than $15 per GB per month. 38.0% (Up from 37.1%)
  • Between $15 and $25 per GB per month. 38.0% (Up from 32.4%)
  • Greater than $25 per GB per month. 16.5% (Up from 16.2%)
  • Do not know. 7.6% (Down from 14.3%)
7 – Processing Pricing – Per GB Cost Per Month to Host ESI with Analytics – Winter 2021

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

  • Less than $50 per user per month. 25.3% (Up from 21.0%)
  • Between $50 and $100 per user per month. 63.3% (Up from 60.0%)
  • Greater than $100 per user per month. 6.3% (Down from 12.4%)
  • Do not know. 5.1% (Down from 6.7%)
8 – Processing Pricing – User License Fee Per Month for Access to Hosted Data – Winter 2021

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

  • Less than $100 per hour. 2.5% (Down from 6.7%)
  • Between $100 and $200 per hour. 68.4% (Up from 65.7%)
  • Greater than $200 per hour. 26.6% (Up from 22.9%)
  • Do not know. 2.5% (Down from 4.8%)
9 – Processing Pricing – Per Hour Cost of Project Management Support for eDiscovery – Winter 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. 53.2% (Up from 49.5%)
  • Between $75 and $150 per GB. 21.5% (Up from 13.3%)
  • Greater than $150 per GB. 2.5% (Down from 8.6%)
  • Do not know. 22.8% (Down from 28.6%)
10 – Review Pricing – Per GB Cost to Conduct Predictive Coding in a Technology-Assisted Review – Winter 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. 0.0% (Down from 2.9%)
  • Between $25 and $40 per hour. 50.6% (Up from 42.9%)
  • Greater than $40 per hour. 43.0% (Up from 42.9%)
  • Do not know. 6.3% (Down from 11.4%)
11 – Review Pricing – Per Hour Cost for Document Review Attorneys to Review Documents – Winter 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. 6.3% (Up from 4.8%)
  • Between $0.50 and $1.00 per document. 48.1% (Up from 31.4%)
  • Greater than $1.00 per document. 21.5% (Down from 36.2%)
  • Do not know. 24.1% (Down from 27.4%)
12 – Review Pricing – Per Document Cost for Document Review Attorneys to Review Documents – Winter 2021

Background Information

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

  • North America – United States. 81.0% (Down from 86.7%)
  • North America – Canada. 7.6% (Up from 2.9%)
  • Europe – United Kingdom. 5.1% (Up from 2.9%)
  • Asia/Asia Pacific. 5.1% (Up from 2.9%)
  • Europe – Non-UK. 1.3% (Down from 2.9%)
  • Middle East/Africa. 0.0% (Down from 1.9%)
  • Central/South America. 0.0% (No Change)
13 – Survey Respondents by Geographic Region – Winter 2021

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

  • Law Firm. 36.7% (Down from 40.0%)
  • Software and/or Services Provider. 36.7% (Down from 37.1%)
  • Consultancy. 15.2% (Up from 11.4%)
  • Corporation. 6.3% (Down from 8.6%)
  • Media/Research Organization/Educational Association. 3.8% (Up from 1.0%)
  • Government Entity. 1.3% (Down from 1.9%)
14 – Survey Respondents by Organizational Segment – Winter 2021

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

  • Legal/Litigation Support. 70.9% (Down from 71.4%)
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions). 26.6% (Up from 22.9%)
  • IT/Product Development. 2.5% (Down from 5.7%)
15 – Survey Respondents by Primary Function – Winter 2021

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.

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