Barrier for Contract Companies to Enter E-Discovery Isn’t Tech, But Inertia and Culture
Contract management and eDiscovery teams share some underlying technology and processes, and the use cases and environmental factors are radically different.
Frank Ready of Legaltech News looks at the landscape to inquire about how easy it may or may not be for contract management companies to enter the eDiscovery space, hypothesizing that “contract tech vendors may have trouble replicating the wide breadth of institutional knowledge that e-discovery thrives upon.”
Luminance is one contract tech company that has crossed the eDiscovery and eDisclosure threshold, seeing a “65% increase in adoption over the last six months,” according to Jack Brennan, CEO of Luminance.
Institutional relationships could also play an important role in the life of a contract management vendor attempting to move into e-discovery. Mary Mack, CEO and chief legal technologist at EDRM, pointed out that many of the same personnel who handle contracts inside of law firms or legal departments also have a hand in e-discovery, which could serve as a foot in the door for contract-centric legal tech companies.
Still, she doesn’t believe that success is necessarily a slam-dunk. While Mack said that the tech used in contract management and e-discovery is similar, the culture and overall demands are not. Contract management, for instance, typically isn’t subject to the same kind of harsh, unforgiving deadlines that rule e-discovery. Along those same lines, incumbent e-discovery providers typically also have staff accustomed to the type of rapid-fire prioritization the work demands.
“I think it’s easier [for a provider] to go from e-discovery to contract than contract to e-discovery,” Mack said.
Leading legal technology consultant, Zach Abramowitz said, “I think that e-discovery has given more to contract review than contract review has given e-discovery in terms of technology.”