Avoiding Hidden eDiscovery Costs

We are in the era of cloud computing, where the terabyte is replacing the gigabyte as the standard data storage unit. Cloud technology is bringing big data into every part of our lives and this is causing the cost of the eDiscovery process to escalate.

In this digital age, it is time to adapt to a new cost-saving workflow. We must look at the methods we have been relying on for years and ask ourselves if this is the best approach, or are we guilty of incurring hidden costs?

Early Case Assessment (ECA)

  • Invest the time in initial analysis. If you understand your data well from the beginning, you will save time in processing and document review later.
  • Work collaboratively with your support team to take advantage of search tools, threading and de-duplication to narrow down the data for processing.
  • Do not process everything for convenience – run the searches and process what you need now. You will be surprised to know how much irrelevant information has been collected.


  • Choose native review for large matters. If your review platform cannot seamlessly handle native files, you might want to upgrade it - the cost of upgrading might be less compared to the cost of rendering all the documents to PDF in a large matter!
  • Keep clients actively involved in the processing phase
  • Be organised and render only the relevant documents to PDF when discovery or document production is upcoming.

Document Review

  • Identify exact and near duplicates to avoid reviewing the same document twice.
  • Use email threading – only inclusive end-point emails need to be reviewed. This can mean reviewing one document instead of 50 if you are dealing with a lot of threaded emails.
  • Don’t be afraid of predictive coding for document review prioritisation. Predictive coding has been judicially improved in many jurisdictions – it is as accurate as manual document review but more efficient. See for example the decision of the English High Court in Pyrrho Investments v MWB Property where it was used to avoid the ‘enormous’ expense of manually searching through the three million electronic documents.

Today’s technology brings us amazing tools that can save us days or even months of time. If we do not better utilize these technologies, law firms will continue to generate hidden costs - costs that can be turned into client savings.

Shengshi Zhao
Shengshi Zhao
Senior Consultant

Filed under: cloud, document review, ediscovery

The contents of this article are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions.

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