The 5 Most Important Criteria For Choosing An eDiscovery Service Provider

4 min readApr 28, 2022

For companies facing this experience for the first time, choosing the right service provider can be complicated. Indeed, it involves putting the most confidential data of your company in the hands of a complete stranger. Also, inexperienced service providers may feel overwhelmed by the scale and complexity of the task. They then waste time on useless tasks, charge for superfluous services or mobilize an army of junior analysts that a more seasoned service provider would not need.

Ediscovery Services

1. Determine the scope of your case: start in the least intrusive way possible

One of the inexperienced ediscovery service providers will try to get as much of your company’s data as possible from as many people on your team as possible to make sure nothing is overlooked. This approach inflates costs upfront, but it can be avoided. The service provider can choose instead to have the necessary data entered and sealed, without processing or examining them. As far as we are concerned, we carry out a good preliminary analysis of the file to be the least intrusive possible. This allows us to focus our time and resources on real issues instead of trying to cover all angles.

2. Is the pricing model transparent and reasonable?

A good investor friend once told me, “If someone tries to sell you a financial product and you can’t figure out how it works in three minutes, don’t buy it!”

I think that applies to eDiscovery pricing as well. Try to get a detailed scale that works for you. It is legitimate for ediscovery providers to charge you for recovering deleted passwords and files, as these operations often require more skilled personnel. But why charge separately for necessary services such as imaging and optical character recognition? Above all, these require more processing time and the associated costs are negligible. I consider that it is not justified to apply a price per page. Moreover, these products are generally essential and certainly involve downstream hosting costs since they can significantly increase the volume of data.

So, if service providers offer you “creative” approaches, such as downloading the extracted text without the native files and the images at a lower cost, be sure to anticipate any unpleasant surprises if your documents are to be published afterward. You will then need the native files and images and recovering them afterward can be expensive.

Finally, it is important to flush out any hidden costs that may arise later and which have not been mentioned by the potential service provider. Quite often, a surprisingly affordable quote can hide a series of equally bewildering costs.

3. Is the quality control sufficiently sharp?

When dealing with millions of files, manual quality control is often completely ineffective.

Does the service provider you are considering hiring has advanced, automated quality control software to keep track of tasks?

At Proteus Discovery, we use proprietary software that can recognize good data and automatically identify any anomalies or corruptions in it. This allows us to focus staff on the files and data most likely to be problematic instead of fishing blindly in an ocean of hundreds of thousands of files.

4. What are the qualifications and references of the staff?

There are dozens of possible providers. I recommend that you choose a provider that invests in its staff by training them properly and providing them with the qualifications for the tools they use. This usually indicates that he is up to date with technology and knows how to use it properly.

I also advise you to examine the rates of the specialist who will be in charge of your file and to look at his experience. An experienced and competent specialist will certainly cost you more than a beginner. But, in the long run, the job will be done faster and will be of better quality. Therefore, It is an option worth considering. Beginners often learn on the job, at your expense. Are you prepared to finance the training of the people who are responsible for the most delicate tasks in your company?

5. Make sure your service provider meets and involves your IT team

Often, ediscovery companies only send sales people to sell their services. However, it is crucial that their IT staff and yours meet before entering into any agreement, to ensure that their approach will not cause inconvenience to your IT team. Recovering and preparing your data can be daunting. The main obstacles to overcome are technical. This is why it is desirable that the service provider’s IT team and yours get along. Your IT team knows your IT environment inside out. Therefore, Involving it is the best way to guarantee optimal data collection and smooth handling of problems.

Finally: demand clear answers to your questions

These five key points should give you a good idea of what to consider in an ediscovery company and allow you to question and understand your service provider. Demand clear, direct and logical answers from your service provider. You will be able to build transparent and lasting relationships with him and ultimately obtain better quality results at fair prices.

Read More — EDiscovery: The most growing law field




We are a legal services and consulting firm specializing in Information Governance, eDiscovery, and Document Review.