Editor’s Note: During the last month the task of legal document review has been magnified in eDiscovery circles by the geographical restrictions and social distancing requirements driven by the unfortunate outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This magnification of the task of review has led to a proliferation of announcements regarding the availability of secure remote review services. These announcements, ranging from reminders of previously released offerings to the introduction of new services, validate the importance and necessity of secure remote review services in today’s new remote-centric workplace. The announcements also highlight the need for decision-makers in the eDiscovery ecosystem to carefully consider experience when evaluating secure remote review providers.
The Race to the Starting Line? Recent Secure Remote Review Announcements
Three Models of eDiscovery Review (1, 2)
Within the context of data and legal eDiscovery, 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. This important eDiscovery task represents a significant portion of the total worldwide spend on eDiscovery and is projected to consume approximately 68% ($8.61B) of all worldwide eDiscovery software and services spending in 2020.
There are generally three models for the delivery of eDiscovery review services including:
- Remote Review Model (Diversification of Reviewers)
- On-Premise Review Model (Diversification of Review Centers)
- Hybrid On-Premise and Remote Review Model (Distributed Diversification)
Each model may be appropriate for different eDiscovery business continuity situations, with the best balance of safety, security, effectiveness, and economic value appearing to be the remote review model when implemented through a secure remote review infrastructure.
A Short Definition and Description of Secure Remote Review (3, 4)
A secure remote review is the conduct of a legal document review project with virtual teams operating from remote locations and supported by a secure infrastructure. When properly implemented by a proven and experienced provider, this approach to review may increase the quality and speed of reviews while removing many of the safety risks associated with group gatherings. It also, in many cases, can be delivered at lower costs than traditional on-premise reviews.
Not all secure remote review offerings are equal as the apparent experience a provider has in delivering and supporting secure remote review services, when viewed through the veil of branding or the halo effect of other eDiscovery offerings, may vary greatly from the reality of actual provider experience. Said differently, just because a provider has had success in delivering legal document review services and now has introduced a secure remote review capability, it does not mean the provider is experienced in providing secure remote review services. This point is incredibly salient as remote technology and connectivity infrastructure can be scaled almost immediately by eDiscovery providers. However, eDiscovery providers cannot instantly scale their experience in delivering secure remote review services. As data and legal discovery professionals consider recent announcements regarding secure remote review services, they may benefit from a structured evaluation of a provider’s experience before selecting a provider to support important legal document review projects.
A Structured Evaluation of Provider Experience (5)
General questions that may help clarify a provider’s experience and expertise with remote secure review services include but are not limited to:
- How long have you offered secure remote review services?
- How many secure remote review projects have you completed?
- How many of your reviewers and review managers have participated in a secure remote review project?
- How many of your reviewers and review managers have participated in a training and certification program for secure remote review projects?
- Is the secure remote review service you are offering organic to the organization or delivered through a partnership?
Areas of experience that should be evaluated when selecting secure remote review service providers include:
- Experience with remote technology
- Experience with remote security
- Experience with remote teams
- Experience with remote processes
- Experience with remote communications
- Experience with remote troubleshooting
Additionally, in looking through the lens of the six aforementioned areas of experience, it is essential to understand and evaluate a provider’s collective level of experience in delivering secure remote review services, including:
- Experience of the organization with remote services
- Experience of management teams with remote services
- Experience of individuals with remote services
A provider’s collective level of secure remote review experience may be a key indicator of the true depth and breadth of their complete secure remote review capability. The deeper the collective experience, the higher the probability of integrated, optimized, and proven processes and procedures for supporting core tasks (e.g., review, review management, and review metrics), as well as enabling tasks (e.g., staffing, training, certification, billing, continuing education).
Careful and courteous questioning of secure remote review service providers on their specific areas and levels of experience may mean the difference between streamlined success or subsidized learning (by the secure remote review provider) during the implementation and execution of secure remote reviews.
Finding Providers: Recent Remote Secure Review Announcements
Within the last month, there has been a proliferation of secure remote review offerings announced to the eDiscovery ecosystem. These announcements range from reminders of previously announced offerings to the introduction of new offerings. Presented below are extracts from recent press releases that highlight secure remote review services and providers, and that also present some indication of the provider’s experience with secure remote reviews.
Releases Presented in Reverse Chronological Order
XDD Levers Esquify Powered Managed Review Services to Seamlessly Convert Clients to Remote
[March 31, 2020] Xact Data Discovery (XDD), a leading international provider of eDiscovery, data management and managed review services for law firms and corporations, announces as of Monday last week [March 23, 2020] the migration of 100% of its Esquify Powered Managed Review staff and operations to provide services remotely as a safety precaution for staff and clients during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Acquired by the company in late 2019, XDD’s Esquify Workforce Management Platform enabled XDD to quickly convert all existing and new Managed Review projects within a 24-hour timeframe last week with no disruption to client matters. XDD’s Esquify Powered Managed Review Services will continue to operate and function adhering to XDD’s standard configurations, processes and security protocols.
Compliance Proudly Offers Distributed Review, a Remote Document Review Service with Strong Focus on Security
[March 31, 2020] Compliance Discovery Solutions, an integrated eDiscovery services and managed review provider, recently announced their new remote document review service, Distributed Review. With workforce distribution rapidly expanding due to COVID-19’s many ‘stay at home’ orders, Compliance successfully created and implemented a way to accommodate their legal clients in their ongoing document review efforts.
“Distributed Review has been in the works since 2019, and we expedited our roll-out due to the current environment. During a time of workplace decentralization, we are proud to offer a solution that keeps our legal professionals working and productive,” said Marc Zamsky, COO of Compliance Discovery Solutions.
Epiq Launches Secure, Scalable, Remote Review in Response to COVID-19
[March 27, 2020] The legal industry is quickly adapting to new work procedures to adhere to evolving COVID-19 prevention measures while continuing to get work done. To assist in this process, Epiq has mobilized rapidly to create a secure and legally defensible remote document review and project management solution to meet this need.
Epiq’s remote review solution transforms legal workflows by providing a highly-secure, scalable, and flexible remote review program. The program, available globally since March 20, allows for access to any eDiscovery, incident response, or contracts review platform. The solution allows Epiq to rapidly scale up teams of reviewers across locations, in a highly agile way, to respond to the needs of clients.
KLDiscovery Announces Successful Launch of Remote Document Review Capabilities with a Focus on Security and Connectivity
[March 23, 2020] KLDiscovery today announced its complete and successful transition to remote document review, which enables review attorneys to continue working securely from home in light of the global disruption to in-office work caused by COVID-19. As of March 20, the company has hundreds of reviewers globally working concurrently from home with more coming online each day. This transition is the culmination of the company’s weeks-long preparations and has been extended to the entirety of KLDiscovery’s document review workforce.
“The KLD team has risen to the challenges of 2020 with proactive and swift preparations to offer secure remote access to our document reviewers,” said Chris Weiler, CEO of KLDiscovery.
Consilio Successfully Completes Rapid Transition to Fully Remote Infrastructure, Including Secure Virtual Review for 99% of Clients’ Document Review Projects
[March 23, 2020] The rapid growth of COVID-19 has compounded uncertainty on an unprecedented global scale. Responding quickly, Consilio, a global leader in eDiscovery, document review, risk management, and legal consulting services, announced today that the company has successfully migrated all of its operations from on-premise to remote work to ensure the health and safety, of its clients, employees, and communities.
“By choosing to strengthen our existing virtual capabilities versus launching unproven solutions, we avoid troubleshooting on live projects and provide clients with greater confidence during these uncertain times,” said Macdonald. “With rapidly changing health and regulatory guidance, we decided to act quickly, and our teams worked non-stop to make this transition happen without compromising on data security or client experience. While this is a big shift in a short amount of time, it is helping keep our teams safe, employed, and positively contributing to both client success and the global economy.”
Integreon Provides Enhanced Global Remote Work Solution During Coronavirus Pandemic, Leveraging SecureReview Data Security Platform
[March 19, 2020] The Coronavirus has drastically changed business on an international scale. In response, Integreon, a global alternative legal services and business managed services provider, announced today that the company has enhanced its ability to service clients remotely by offering a highly secure work from home (WFH) environment. This environment continues to provide all of the security, productivity, and quality Integreon clients have come to expect. As part of the WFH solution, Integreon has partnered with SecureReview, leveraging its data protection platform to globally enable employees to securely provide services while working from home or other remote locations.
Integreon’s services require employees to access sensitive and highly confidential data in connection with litigations, cybersecurity incidents, and compliance inquiries. Anticipating the potential impacts of the Coronavirus on its global workforce and the downstream effects on client service and delivery, Integreon mobilized to create a comprehensive WFH solution that meets its clients’ rigorous standards.
Trustpoint.One Recommends Virtual Review Initiative in Response to Coronavirus Challenges
[March 13, 2020] As the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, leading health organizations, including the WHO and CDC, have advised against unnecessary travel and avoidance of large group settings. In response, Trustpoint.One, a premier provider of integrated legal solutions in the U.S., today announced the expansion of its Trust.Review solution, a virtual document review platform. Traditionally, document review projects are conducted by groups of attorneys in close proximity. Trustpoint’s new platform eliminates this need for physical proximity and its related health risks.
HaystackID Emphasizes Remote Review Services for eDiscovery Business Continuity in Coronavirus-Challenged Times
[February 29, 2020] The unfortunate outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is impacting individuals and businesses worldwide as leading health and welfare authorities and organizations are cautioning against unnecessary travel and advising the avoidance of large group settings. During these coronavirus-challenged times, eDiscovery provider HaystackID is reminding the legal community of our ReviewRight remote review offerings as the safe, effective, and immediately available alternative to traditional onsite review. As the originator of integrated remote document review and the most experienced in the industry at delivering secure remote document review services, HaystackID and its ReviewRight services continue to be immediately available to support new and on-going document review projects in any language.
HaystackID has performed more than 425 remote review projects to date with the projects spanning the spectrum of vertical industry markets and supporting many of the world’s top companies and leading law firms in matters requiring up to hundreds of reviewers.
“As the leader in remote legal document review, HaystackID provides our clients with instant access to more than 16,000 certified review attorneys who are available for selection and integration into our remote managed review teams through our ReviewRight Virtual offering,” highlighted Seth Schechtman, Senior Managing Director of Review Services for HaystackID. “We also have more than 3,200 reviewers with experience conducting reviews with our ReviewRight Virtual infrastructure.
A New World. A New Focus on Secure Remote Reviews.
Secure remote reviews are a new necessity based on the requirements of our new remote world. eDiscovery leaders and decision-makers would do well to look beyond the veneer of provider announcements and into the specifics of demonstrated experience as they make critical secure remote review service choices. There may be many right choices for secure remote review services. However, given the criticality and cost of legal document reviews within the eDiscovery process, no organization can afford to knowingly make the wrong choice by not cogently considering the element of experience in their decisions on secure remote review service providers.
(1) Robinson, Rob. “A 2020 Look at eDiscovery Review: Task, Spend, and Cost Data Points”. ComplexDiscovery, 2020, https://complexdiscovery.com/a-2020-look-at-ediscovery-review-task-spend-and-cost-data-points/. Accessed 31 Mar 2020.
(2) “eDiscovery Business Continuity Planning With HaystackID”. HaystackID, 2020, https://haystackid.com/ediscovery-business-continuity-planning-with-haystackid/. Accessed 31 Mar 2020.
(4) Robinson, Rob. “Enabling Remote eDiscovery? A Snapshot of DaaS”. ComplexDiscovery, 2020, https://complexdiscovery.com/extending-the-reach-of-ediscovery-a-snapshot-of-daas/. Accessed 31 Mar 2020.
(5) Robinson, Rob. “Are You Experienced? Considering Remote Ediscovery Services”. ComplexDiscovery, 2020, https://complexdiscovery.com/are-you-experienced-considering-remote-ediscovery-services/. Accessed 31 Mar 2020.
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