electronic discovery services

EDiscovery and Digital Forensics: Alternative Charge Preparations

June 11, 2013
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Certainly one of the biggest problems with the electronic data discovery market is the increasing costs of performing the service. Sanctions and costs are rising year after year while consumers are becoming more sensitive for the all costs that hit-the P&L. This setting has started to produce backlash within the e-discovery market as firms and lawyers have started to toy with the notion of going the service in-house o-r abroad to diminish expenses. Yet another possibility that’s not materialized could be the notion of alternative payment agreements instead of the typical billable hours.

The billable time is the de-facto revenue stream for e-discovery and digital forensic companies due to the uncertainty of performing the service. Historically, the only type of “bundled” price is based on a GB charge. Realistically this sort of pricing is practical because of the many unknowns associated with computer forensics. There is really not a sense for how many keyword hits o-r open information a tough drive can get, and it could be firm suicide to field a in at a set price with so many variables at play.

However, industry may dictate that firms move towards more alternative payment agreements to rein in costs. Openness is the key demands in almost any company, and end users may possibly demand that type of awareness from e-discovery sellers in the near future. Whether this change moves at a glacial pace or happens overnight with a number of large vendors, each e-discovery and digital forensic organization must be prepared. Listed below are a few ideas to plan alternative payment arrangements:

Variable Staff Settlement

Yet another solution to get ready for alternative payment arrangements will be to move personnel into a variable payment model. Proven firms with high fixed wage fees will probably struggle with AFA because it will almost certainly result in a reduced total of earnings. If employees follow the eat-what-you-kill philosophy, it will make it easier for an organization to consider a new revenue model in-the short-term.

Remain Versatile and Benefit from New Technology

Over all, it’s uncertain if the e-discovery industry will move entirely to your fixed pricing routine or remain competitive under the current billable time type. However, given the rising prices of e-discovery and the pushback from corporations, it is almost sure that the notion of fixed pricing will at-least be investigated in the near future.

As previously mentioned, fixed expenses may result in a temporary reduction in revenue. In order to compensate for this paradigm shift, electronic discovery litigation suppliers need to remain flexible and take advantage of new technologies. Technologies such as the cloud make operating cheaper. Outsourcing main systems instead of creating a pricey in-house process make operating cheaper. This mentality increases a firm’s flexibility and allows it to adjust to fixed fees.

Increase Openness Together With Your Customers

Early case assessment (ECA) is essential for alternative fee agreements. The e-discovery seller must work hand-in-hand using its client and opposing counsel to have the necessary information quickly. While that is easier said than done, requiring a thorough ECA should really be arranged in return for a fixed billable price.

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