Reviewing a potential array of new national laws while tackling current and upcoming EU regulations is leaving many U.K. attorneys without moment’s rest. So it’s little surprise that managed legal technology services companies are expanding their support offerings to help U.K. legal and compliance professionals navigate an increasingly complex regulatory environment.

To that end, Morae Global Corp. recently announced the launch of Relativity’s RelativityOne cloud-based managed e-discovery service in the U.K. The company hopes that the service will give U.K. clients the agility to process overseas data quickly, as well as mature a still nascent cloud e-discovery market.

Here’s a look at the launch:

Why go cloud? The offering of the cloud-based RelativityOne service is an expansion of Morae’s 2016 launch of on-premise Relativity hosting for its U.K. clients. James Neath, Morae Global president of Clutch information management and discovery, said the expansion was necessary because “corporate clients have been steadily and swiftly transitioning their IT infrastructure into the cloud, and we believe the future of e-discovery will follow this trend.”

Jeffrey Seymour, chief technology officer at Morae Global, added that despite many U.K. organizations’ desire to bring e-discovery in-house, the task may be far too challenging for some to achieve. In addition to financial concerns, obstacles may include a lack of expertise and issues stemming from “an episodic and unpredictable workload.”

Seymour said that e-discovery cloud deployments will therefore likely be an attractive prospect, because they allow companies to keep some functions, such as data storage and collection, in-house while outsourcing more labor-intensive work like review and processing.

GDPR Woes: When deploying e-discovery solutions, companies doing business in the EU need to ensure their processes abide by the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). But how does a cloud-based service impact organizations in meeting these demands?

Neath explained that with cloud deployments, data can be accessed and processed without ever leaving its local servers. “Processing data and performing much of the e-discovery process locally, and thus transporting only what must be produced, is consistent with leading practices to address data security and privacy requirements,” he said.

It is not yet certain, however, how the GDPR will apply to processing data for e-discovery. The applicability of GDPR regulations may depend on the type of data being processed and the extent to which regulators iron out enforcement specifics.

The UK E-Discovery Market: Morae is one of many legal tech companies expanding into the U.K. Among the managed e-discovery service providers, for example, is Fronteo, who in October 2016 announced the launch of a new subsidiary and e-discovery review center based in London.

James MacGregor, vice president of European e-disclosure services at Fronteo, told Legaltech News that the company expanded overseas because it saw the U.K. and Europe as underserved markets.

“With respect to managed services in the EU, there are fewer occurrences of managed services contracts as compared to the U.S.,” MacGregor said. “As the market continues to build in the U.K., there will be an increasing appetite for managed services.”

Seymour agreed, noting that Morae is “convinced that the U.K. market will continue to grow.”

“But the opportunities we see are not just based on an increase in market demand,” he added. “Our client base is concentrated in heavily regulated verticals, and those clients are seeking a modernized approach, especially as litigation, internal investigations and regulatory enforcement rapidly globalizes.”

The race to capitalize on this growth, therefore, is underway. But Morae believes it has a head start given that it set up shop in London in 2011 and already has an established U.K. presence. Whether that will help its prospects remains to be seen, but at the very least, it has an anchor in what will likely be a fast-growing market.

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