Implementing a Programmatic Approach to Discovery
A global Fortune 10 company sought to rein in discovery costs and improve defensibility, consistency and efficiency in responding to litigation. The company needed to design and implement a best-in-class discovery operation including defined processes, supporting documentation, leading technology, external vendors, tailored pricing models, change management at all levels and a dedicated in-house team to govern the function and manage results. The pivotal shift was moving away from a model where decision making on process, tools, vendors and costs was performed on a discrete, case-by-case basis and replacing it with a programmatic approach.
- Assessed the present-day discovery operations in parallel with providing direct support across active legal matters to learn- and assess-by-doing.
- Documented the areas for improvement and reviewed with project leadership to align on priorities vis-à-vis the law department’s vision for the future.
- Compiled recommendations across process, technology, vendors, staffing, spend and reporting and co-developed an implementation plan to guide the transformation of discovery operations.
- Recommended legal hold technology and two preferred discovery service providers by identifying requirements, completing a time-sensitive and expert-driven selection process, conducting structured demos (pilots) and performing deployment planning, sizing and pricing.
- Implemented legal hold technology, tailored a data collections protocol using industry standard tools, created a dedicated collection specialist role, on-boarded the two preferred discovery service providers (for data culling and managed review) and standardized document production and quality control procedures.
- Interviewed and trained resources to serve as dedicated in-house case managers and provided change management and training to 65 attorneys and paralegals.
The company realized discovery cost savings of 30-40 percent compared to industry peers with similar litigation portfolios. Furthermore, as a result of performing the assessment and development work while simultaneously supporting active legal matters, the company was able to minimize impact on the law department’s special projects budget by allocating a portion of the costs to the case-level budgets.