BDO Releases Inside E-Discovery & Beyond Survey

Chicago-based BDO USA (FY17 net revenue of $1.4 billion) released a survey, Inside E-Discovery & Beyond.

BDO’s Inside E-Discovery & Beyond survey examines the opinions and insights of more than 100 senior in-house counsel about how the evolving digital landscape is spurring changes in their approaches to e-discovery, information governance, compliance and cybersecurity.

“Ultimately, today’s corporate counsel must take a holistic view of their organization’s digital risk profile – assessing risk based on data flows, cross-functional interdependencies and global operations – and play a proactive, rather than reactive, role in risk-based strategic planning,” says Stephanie Giammarco, partner and technology and business transformation services practice leader.”

Nearly half (47%) of senior counsel list Big Data among their top three e-discovery-related issues, a substantial increase from just 28% a year ago. Almost half (48%) of survey respondents are currently using technology-assisted review, an increase of eight percentage points from last year. In addition, 31% report using analytics across the electronic discovery reference model, and 23% leverage mobile document review.

“Implementing a data retention and disposition strategy as part of the ordinary course of business prior to the preservation duty kicking in is a great way to control the amount of data subject to discovery. This simultaneously enhances the ability to quickly develop an early understanding of what information is available and to begin to contain the likely scope and ultimate cost of the entire e-discovery process,” says George Socha, EDRM co-founder and managing director in BDO’s technology and business transformation services.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) could take legal by surprise: 48% of survey respondents claim GDPR is not applicable to their organization. Chances are high that many of these companies are wrong.

“It behooves every organization – whether they touch EU personal data or not – to regularly review how information is used and managed to maximize its value and minimize risk. GDPR is just the catalyst for a higher standard of data privacy and protection to which every company should aspire,” says Karen Schuler, BDO national information governance practice leader.