Operationalizing e-discovery—two different approaches

How to determine whether a piecemeal or holistic model is right for your company

As the legal community continues to confront e-discovery, corporate legal departments are beginning to develop different methodologies to strategically manage the process. This operationalizing of e-discovery offers corporations and in-house counsel a number of benefits, including cost and time efficiencies. By creating some structure around the e-discovery process and proactively negotiating with vendors, in-house counsel can move away from unpredictable per-unit pricing models in exchange for more transparent fee structures.

Why operationalize?

The piecemeal approach

The first method is the piecemeal approach. This requires in-house counsel, and increasingly the IT department, to separately scrutinize each component of the e-discovery process, from collection to processing to review. They select the best legal technology vendor in each step and negotiate the best price. The end result is an e-discovery process where each component functions at maximum efficiency for its particular phase and each vendor involved charges a competitive rate.

Steps to operationalizing

Operationalizing e-discovery may seem like a daunting process. But there are some clearly defined steps you can take to begin understanding which approach may best work for your legal department:

Contributing Author

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Sophie Ross

Sophie Ross is a senior managing director within FTI Consulting and oversees Acuity, the company’s managed document review service. She can be reached at

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