Is there an ideal corporate model for e-discovery? One that can evolve as new challenges emerge, but still provide budget certainty and process efficiency? These are among the questions we explored with Fortune 1000 inside counsel for our annual Advice from Counsel study conducted in partnership with legal technology expert Ari Kaplan. The results are now in and they show, attorneys across the board moving toward a corporate ‘playbook’ that will guide e-discovery in the coming years.

This post discusses the first two ‘plays’ that emerged from the study.

Overwhelmingly, respondents are handling the e-discovery processes considered routine –namely preservation and collection - in-house. Ninety percent said that internal teams handle preservation through collection in-house, with only three percent stating they outsource the entire e-discovery process, including preservation, identification and collection. The remaining seven percent take a hybrid approach, where depending on the particulars of the case, in-house or outsourced teams will be used. This may be unsurprising considering the move toward in-house control of e-discovery in recent years, however the 90% number is startling – an overwhelming affirmation that corporations consider at least part of the e-discovery process can be a repeatable in-house process.

Just as collection and preservation are well-suited to be managed in-house, corporations are mostly outsourcing review and production, with 80 percent of respondents confirming the same. Interestingly, two-thirds of that group outsources directly to a service provider and the remaining third relies on the outside firms they work with to manage those processes. Respondents noted that the outsourced model was the most efficient and cost-effective approach to review and production. While we expected to hear that companies outsourced these processes, the fact that the majority bring review and production to service providers was worth noting.

Just two plays in and we’ve already uncovered some highly interesting information! Check back soon for the second installment, which will discuss general counsel’s recommendations for predictive coding and data reuse. Or just download the full Advice From Counsel report here.