Our customer is a global corporation with over $9 billion in annual revenue, with over 66,000 employees across more than 140 countries. The corporation had no centralized approach to ediscovery, with every team within each country operating without a cohesive and long-term strategy, making it difficult to manage costs. Initially, the corporation was looking for a solution for small-scale litigation, but once they learned about Everlaw, they realized they could transform all of their most critical workflows — complex litigation, investigations, Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs), and contract review — all with one centralized platform.
The result: More control over data and workflows, an empowered team with established best practices, and an estimated $4 million in annual savings.
The multinational corporation lacked a centralized ediscovery approach and strategy, which led to a lack of consistency in results, high third-party costs, time-consuming workflows, and treating problems — such as litigation taking up most of their budget — reactively instead of proactively. The corporation’s Head of Ediscovery & Forensics noted that managing the growing costs became the top priority: “Everything was outsourced; there was a global spend of millions, so we essentially needed to set up that internal function to bring in the tools, technology, the team, to stop that external spend.”
Additionally, the corporation worked in various regions with rigorous data security, protection, and privacy regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These privacy regulations have made it that much more imperative to build out a new centralized and holistic ediscovery approach.
The corporation’s Head of Ediscovery & Forensics was tasked with building out ediscovery practices and was looking for a platform that would help address the following challenges:
Increasing third-party costs. The corporation was paying an inordinate amount to third-party vendors for data hosting and processing fees. Nearly the entirety of their operation was outsourced, meaning that they would work with multiple outside counsels in different regions who either had their own processes that they charged a premium for or would send out the corporation’s data to another vendor. This situation made managing their budget incredibly difficult.
Laborious and time-consuming workflows. The corporation found themselves handling most aspects of the ediscovery process manually (e.g., conducting reviews, redactions, and exporting). For example, the corporation’s data protection officer would print documents, redact them by hand, scan them, and ship them out. Even handling smaller tasks would take hours to complete. These manual processes made it challenging for the corporation to scale their operations as they grew as an organization.
Managing highly-sensitive data during complex litigation. With a foothold in multiple continents, the corporation has had to put measures in place to maintain compliance with all data privacy, protection, and security regulations in the jurisdictions they operate in. Complex matters require strict information governance and adherence to compliance guidelines, making it difficult to decide whether and what data to delete over time. The need to ensure that data was isolated and access was restricted was a top priority.
The Everlaw Solution
After struggling to tame their costs, the corporation’s Head of Ediscovery & Forensics knew they needed to make a change. Once they began sifting through previous invoices for data processing and hosting, support, and analytics, it became clear that adopting an in-house ediscovery solution was the best path forward.
Even before COVID, investing internally was more affordable. We were able to even grow the [Ediscovery & Forensics] team during a hiring freeze because we could show that it would save us 3x by handling things internally.
— Head of Ediscovery & Forensics for the corporation
The executive leadership gave the Head of Ediscovery & Forensics the go-ahead to find an in-house ediscovery solution. They reached out to various vendors and found Everlaw’s value proposition to be the strongest. After sitting down with the Everlaw sales team, the Head of Ediscovery & Forensics was thoroughly impressed by the sales reps throughout the proof of concept stage and drawn to Everlaw’s scalability and ease-of-use, particularly the all-inclusive, consumption-based pricing, including unlimited users and free training, which made it easier to work within multiple regions.
For nearly three years, the corporation has worked with Everlaw to find solutions as the scope of their work and challenges evolved. In the first year, they focused on developing best practices and managing their workload; in the second year, they shifted to growing the ediscovery team and expanding responsibilities; in the third year, they had earned a reputation as the team that had revolutionized ediscovery, investigations and privacy work, expanding their footprint even more.
The Ediscovery and Forensics team expanded from just one member to four and continues their plans to grow because of the efficiency and value delivered. Everlaw’s Customer Success team has worked hand in hand to enable their organization to take a more proactive approach to ediscovery globally.
The corporation found both commercial and technical benefits in many of Everlaw’s capabilities, including:
Efficient and remote investigations. With team members working from various locations, the corporation needed to find a solution that enabled remote collaboration and expedited the investigation and litigation process. Everlaw empowered the corporation to rapidly respond to investigations with features that automate manual tasks, enabling contextual review of diverse document types with support for multiple data formats and helping to reduce the number of documents that require human scrutiny during the review process.
Simple project administration. The corporation took complete control of their projects from the onset. With Everlaw, they have been able to create, rename, suspend and delete projects on-demand. Additionally, they have anticipated their monthly costs more accurately by having clear visibility into all of their projects’ billable sizes with Everlaw’s straightforward organizational administration dashboard.
Seamless review management. Before Everlaw, the Ediscovery & Forensics team at the corporation found themselves wasting countless hours handling reviews and manually redacting documents. By partnering with Everlaw, the corporation uploads documents quickly, applies batch redactions with a few keystrokes, reviews documents efficiently, and works collaboratively with outside counsel. Additionally, Everlaw’s powerful search functionality significantly boosted the team’s efficiency, enabling them to tailor their review experience by identifying documents for review through search term reports.
In-platform security and regulatory compliance. Everlaw’s high-security standards were a selling point during the initial evaluation process and continue to be a critical factor, in particular with additions such as ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus to Everlaw’s stable of accreditations. Everlaw’s internal messaging enables legal teams to communicate with each other in-platform without sharing data outside via less secure channels (e.g., email). Additionally, granular permissions allow user administrators to invite outside counsel and other collaborators into the platform without compromising data security and tailoring permissions to a particular individual or group.
Our review process is chalk and cheese compared to before [Everlaw]. The ability to search and review on a single platform is a game-changer.
— Head of Ediscovery & Forensics for the corporation
With the help of Everlaw, they were able to develop a proactive approach to ediscovery, and as a result, built workflows, established best practices, and created a playbook on how to manage matters. By investing in an innovative ediscovery solution early on, they were well prepared to handle remote collaboration even with an increased workload (in 2020 alone, the corporation worked on 182 cases). Implementing Everlaw’s cloud-native platform set the multinational corporation up for success during the height of the global pandemic. Furthermore, with the influx of increasingly complex litigation, the corporation, by their own calculation, saved $4 million in 2020 in potential outsourcing. As the corporation gears up for further expansion, they can trust that the best ediscovery partner to scale effectively as their needs grow.