BigLaw Wary As Discovery In-Housing Trend Grows


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While Milberg LLP’s recent appointment of a former legal services vendor to the seemingly unprecedented position of chief discovery officer may offer further legitimacy to those advocating for the in-housing of law firm discovery work, experts warn there are downsides to disrupting the existing lawyer-driven model.

The high costs of electronic discovery have driven the growth of a lucrative third-party vendor outsourcing market for years, but experts say some firms are looking to trim their cost margins by investing in IT infrastructure in order to bring discovery operations in-house.

Joshua Gold discusses why it is important to establish a central point of oversight for e-discovery matters:

“It makes sense because the laws on e-discovery obligations and data security are in flux and changing all the time,” says Anderson Kill PC shareholder Joshua Gold. “This approach allows you to have a core group within any law firm of a big size that lets you play to your strengths, while designating someone within the organization to keep abreast of these evolving issues.”
The C-suite title also carries an element of credibility with it that may prove valuable in winning over older firm members who may otherwise be reluctant to take orders, according to Gold.
“In many instances there is a generational divide, where people my age have a higher comfort level with technology and its implications than someone who never had a PC until they were entering the latter stages of their career,” Gold says. “Just by virtue of having that position, a person might be much more able to get the resources and attention necessary in this area. It’s helpful to have that kind of clout.”

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