The e-discovery services market in the U.S. is estimated to exceed $3 billion this year. In the face of tectonic shifts in in-house e-discovery technologies and fierce price competition, many outside law firms and e-discovery vendors are anxious to maintain these revenues and provide many arguments on why companies should continue to outsource their discovery. The problem is that some of these arguments are either misleading or simply not true. (Full disclosure: Contoural does not provide matter-specific e-discovery services; it is sometimes hired to evaluate these providers on behalf of our clients.)
The e-discovery market is seeing some significant changes. Corporations are increasingly scrutinizing litigation costs. Some discovery is moving offshore, providing additional downward price pressure on all providers. Perhaps most important, discovery technologies that were once customized systems only available to outside vendors are now commercially available and finding their way in-house, which is cutting into e-discovery services revenue streams. All of these changes are pushing some vendors’ backs against the wall.