The Six Pillars of a Successful Managed Services Relationship

6 min readNov 30, 2021

Whether your company is just beginning to consider a shift to a managed services ediscovery model or you are a managed services veteran, it is imperative to understand what makes this type of ediscovery program model successful. After all, if you don’t know how to measure success, it will be difficult to know what to look for when selecting a provider, and just as difficult to monitor the quality of services provided once you have selected one.

However, measuring success can be complex. There are many different metrics that could be used to measure success, and each can be of varying importance to different business stakeholders, as the priorities of these stakeholders will be determined by their particular roles and focus. However, a successful managed services partnership can be built on a foundation of six basic pillars. These pillars can be used as guides when evaluating whether a managed services partner will truly add value to a law firm’s discovery process.

Ediscovery Companies

Access to the best technology and teams of experts to help take advantage of it

A managed services association should always make a law firm (and its clients) feel like the best eDiscovery service is at their fingertips. But more than that, a successful managed services relationship should allow a law firm to remain technologically agile while reducing technology costs.

For example, if an eDiscovery tool or platform becomes outdated or out of date, the company’s managed services partner should be able to quickly move the business to better technology, with minimal cost to the business. In other words, in a successful managed services partnership, long gone are the days when a litigation support team was stuck using an outdated platform simply because the law firm purchased an enterprise license for that technology. Rather, the managed services partner must bear the cost burden of leveraging continuously evolving technology because the partner can easily spread that technology risk across its customer base. By assuming this burden,

In addition to simply providing access to get the best technology, a successful managed services partnership must also provide teams of experts who are fully dedicated to helping law firms harness that technology to optimal impact. These experts must continually examine new applications and technology updates, allowing

support teams to stay up-to-date on evolving applications and tools. These teams will also be able to create and test custom workflows that allow law firms to manage how data flows through technically sound collaborative platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Slack, as well as keeping firms informed of any updates to cloud-based platforms that may affect existing platforms. ediscovery workflows.

This type of dedicated technology guidance and expertise can provide companies with a significant competitive boost, as internal litigation support teams rarely have the resources available to dedicate staff solely to testing new technologies and creating custom workflows.

A more diversified and scalable eDiscovery team

Compared to a traditional law firm litigation support team that is naturally somewhat static in size, a successful managed services relationship enables law firm teams to scale up or down quickly and smoothly. , according to the needs of the case. For example, when a significant matter arises, a managed service provider must have the ability to quickly attract a project manager to help manage the case, while the law firm’s internal team still maintains day-to-day control of the matter.

A managed services partner’s workbench must also be deep, allowing a law firm to tap into a diverse pool of expertise. Whether the law firm needs a review workflow expert or a processing expert, an analytics expert, or a migration and standardization expert, a quality managed service provider should be able to quickly provide someone they know to the teams involved and have the qualifications and technology expertise to ensure that all stakeholders trust your expertise and guidance.

eDiscovery experience

Not only must a managed service provider provide law firms with a top-notch discovery experience, but they must also provide access to that experience. when necessary. Unfortunately, most litigation support teams are very familiar with the fact that ediscovery is almost never a 9 to 5 job. The nature of current litigation means that a judge can distribute a Monday production deadline that involves a terabyte of data on a Friday morning, or data for rush production can arrive by 9:00 pm The list of after-hours eDiscovery emergencies is endless.

Unfortunately, most of the internal litigation support teams at law firms are located in a geographic area (and therefore time zone), which means that even when internal teams have the necessary expertise, they may not have those resources available. When they are needed.

However, a quality managed services partner will be able to provide resources whenever they are needed because they can structure their recruitment and team assignments with team members located in multiple time zones. Access to full-time ediscovery experience and coverage enables law firms to quickly handle any ediscovery task with ease, without ever-increasing staffing overhead.

Pillar 4: Lower risk of talent acquisition

A successful managed services relationship should also significantly reduce the law firm’s risk related to talent acquisition and training. While hiring in today’s work climate may seem like a simple task, the cost of sufficiently vetting candidates and then providing the appropriate training can be time-consuming and expensive.

If a law firm’s background investigation does not detect a red flag from a candidate, or even if a candidate just needs more training than expected, personnel and time costs can skyrocket even more. For example, the task of having to substantially retrain a new employee from scratch can consume the valuable time of other internal experts. In this way, even the most routine hiring can often slow down productivity and lower the morale of the entire internal team (at least in the short term) until hiring can be fully integrated into the daily workflow of the department.

However, in a successful managed services relationship, the law firm can transfer those types of hiring and training risks directly to the provider. The managed service provider is already continually evaluating, researching, and training talents in different geographies to hire the best experts in educational discovery. Law firms can simply reap the benefits of this process by partnering with the service provider and leveraging that talent once the research and training process has been completed.

Pillar 5: Lower Personnel Overhead

Simply put, all of the above means that moving to a managed service model should allow a law firm to significantly reduce its overhead costs related to staffing and administration. In addition to assuming the hiring risks, a managed service provider should also bear much of the overhead related to staff maintenance. From payroll to benefits to overtime costs, a quality managed service provider handles those costs and time expenses for its own experts on staff, leaving the law firm free to reap the benefits of the On-demand expertise without the overhead costs of staff.

Pillar 6: Better billing mechanics

Most law firms are not set up to bill eDiscovery services efficiently. EDiscovery billing has evolved in recent years, and quality managed ediscovery service providers should follow suit and offer simplified and predictable cost models for law firms to convey that predictability to their clients. This kind of simplified pricing allows all parties to understand exactly how much they are going to spend on the eDiscovery services provided. However, this billing structure differs significantly from the way traditional legal work is billed,

This is where a quality managed service provider can provide another benefit, investing heavily of its own resources in creating automated reporting, ticketing, and billing systems that can generate forms and integrate into the company’s existing billing systems.

If a managed service provider can handle these billing tasks, law firm teams can spend more time promoting client work, rather than devoting resources to eDiscovery billing metrics and workarounds.


Access to and expertise in relevant technology, flexible staffing models, lower overheads, and simplified pricing are the six pillars of a successful managed services partnership in an ediscovery company environment. When these six pillars are in place, the managed services partnership will result in more satisfied internal and external law firm clients and increased caseload year over year.




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