The Cost of Doing Business? Winter 2020 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 15 specific questions answered by legal, business, security, and information professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The winter 2020 survey was open from November 19, 2019, until November 29, 2019, and had 80 respondents share their understanding of the pricing of eDiscovery services.

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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, security, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem and 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) and the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM).

Winter Survey Results

The winter 2020 survey response period was initiated on November 19, 2019, and closed on November 29, 2019. This was the third eDiscovery pricing survey conducted by ComplexDiscovery, the initial survey being conducted in December of 2018This survey had 80 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 winter of 2020.


eDiscovery Pricing Survey Questions (Required)

n=80 Respondents

Collection Pricing

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

  • Less than $250 per hour. 18.8%
  • Between $250 and $350 per hour. 62.5%
  • Greater than $350 per hour. 2.5%
  • Do not know. 16.2%
1 – Collection Pricing – Per Hour Cost for a Collection by a Forensic Examiner – Winter 2020

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

  • Less than $250 per device. 12.5%
  • Between $250 and $350 per device. 16.2%
  • Greater than  $350 per device. 51.3%
  • Do not know. 20.0%
2 – Collection Pricing – Per Device Cost for a Collection by a Forensic Examiner – Winter 2020

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

  • Less than $350 per hour. 15.0%
  • Between $350 and $550 per hour. 60.0%
  • Greater than $550 per hour. 5.0%
  • Do not know. 20.0%
3 – Collection Pricing – Per Hour for Analysis and Expert Witness Support from a Forensic Examiner – Winter 2020

 Processing Pricing

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

  • Less than $25 per GB. 23.8%
  • Between $25 and $75 per GB. 52.5%
  • Greater than $75 per GB. 13.7%
  • Do not know. 10.0%
4 – Processing Pricing – Per GB Cost to Process ESI Based on Volume at Ingestion – Winter 2020

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

  • Less than $100 per GB. 32.5%
  • Between $100 and $150 per GB. 42.5%
  • Greater than $150 per GB. 8.8%
  • Do not know. 16.2%
5 – Processing Pricing – Per GB Cost to Process ESI Based on Volume at Completion of Processing – Winter 2020

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

  • Less than $10 per GB per month. 23.8%
  • Between $10 and $20 per GB per month. 62.5%
  • Greater than $20 per GB per month. 5.0%
  • Do not know. 8.7%
6 – Processing Pricing – Per GB Cost Per Month to Host ESI without Analytics – Winter 2020

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

  • Less than $15 per GB per month. 28.7%
  • Between $15 and $25 per GB per month. 45.0%
  • Greater than $25 per GB per month. 15.0%
  • Do not know. 11.3%
7 – Processing Pricing – Per GB Cost Per Month to Host ESI with Analytics – Winter 2020

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

  • Less than $50 per user per month. 13.8%
  • Between $50 and $100 per user per month. 66.3%
  • Greater than $100 per user per month. 13.8%
  • Do not know. 6.1%
8 – Processing Pricing – User License Fee Per Month for Access to Hosted Data Winter 2020

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

  • Less than $100 per hour. 2.5%
  • Between $100 and $200 per hour. 73.8%
  • Greater than $200 per hour. 20.0%
  • Do not know. 3.7%
9 – Processing Pricing – Per Hour Cost of Project Management Support for eDiscovery – Winter 2020

Review Pricing

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

  • Less than $75 per GB. 40.0%
  • Between $75 and $150 per GB. 25.0%
  • Greater than $150 per GB. 5.0%
  • Do not know. 30.0%
10 – Review Pricing – Per GB Cost to Conduct Predictive Coding in a Technology-Assisted Review – Winter 2020

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. 1.3%
  • Between $25 and $40 per hour. 31.3%
  • Greater than $40 per hour. 52.5%
  • Do not know. 14.9%
11 – Review Pricing – Per Hour Cost for Document Review Attorneys to Review Documents – Winter 2020

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. 11.3%
  • Between $0.50 and $1.00 per document. 35.0%
  • Greater than $1.00 per document. 26.3%
  • Do not know. 27.4%
12 – Review Pricing – Per Document Cost for Document Review Attorneys to Review Documents – Winter 2020

Background Information

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

  • North America – United States. 87.5%
  • North America – Canada. 5.0%
  • Middle East/Africa. 3.8%
  • Europe – United Kingdom. 2.5%
  • Europe – Non-UK. 1.2%
  • Asia/Asia Pacific. 0.0%
  • Central/South America. 0.0%
13 – Survey Respondents by Geographic Region – Winter 2020

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

  • Law Firm. 52.5%
  • Software and/or Services Provider. 27.5%
  • Consultancy. 10.0%
  • Corporation. 5.0%
  • Government Entity. 2.5%
  • Media/Research Organization/Educational Association. 2.5%
14 – Survey Respondents by Organizational Segment – Winter 2020

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

  • Legal/Litigation Support. 78.7%
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions). 18.8%
  • IT/Product Development. 2.5%
15 – Survey Respondents by Primary Function – Winter 2020

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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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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