Predictions 2017.9 – Andrew Haslam

December 7, 2016

If I was actually any good at this, I would have a three way bet at ridiculous odds, on Brexit, President Trump and Leicester City winning the Premiership. However, let’s look instead at the world of legal IT.

Within the UK eDisclosure market I foresee a number of strands coming together that will accelerate the change in market composition and offering. 2016 saw continued consolidation within the ranks of the suppliers, for those that are left, the mantra of ‘Go big, Go Niche, Get out’ will apply, and I think a number of the smaller firms will struggle to survive. Margins on processing and hosting will evaporate faster than the proverbial ice lolly in the Sahara, that pressure being exacerbated by the Q1/Q2 launch of kCura’s cloud based Relativity One.

The litigation support companies with sufficient resources will up the provision of consultancy based offerings, exemplified by a rush towards ‘managed services’ of all shapes and sizes.
Microsoft’s Office 365 is quietly winning clients in all industry sectors, and we are starting to see disclosure emerging from that environment, ensuring that the majority of cloud eDisclosure offering will be in Microsoft’s Azure environment (based in the UK, not Dublin).

Finally the small green shoots, that are eDisclosure aware lawyers, will continue to sprout throughout law firms, as the use of the range of analytical tools, up to and including computer assisted review consolidates its hold within best practice.

In summary, law firms will form more formal partnerships with eDisclosure suppliers using cloud based review software, with a close collaboration between external consultants and increasingly competent eDisclosure lawyers.

My one success from last year was the whimsical suggestion that, fresh from their appalling performance at the Rugby World Cup, England would win a Grand Slam. Thanks to Eddie Jones that was not only achieved but has been the springboard for greater success. So, let’s hope for another Grand Slam, and an extension of the unbeaten run throughout 2017.

{b}{i}Andrew Haslam is the eDisclosure Project Manager at Squire Patton Boggs. These are his personal opinions and are not the opinion or policy of his employer.