Speaking of increased technology spend, in 2012, more than 40 law firms licensed kCura's Relativity document review system, widely regarded as a "best in breed" solution for large-scale document review. This is a significant investment for firms to be making, particularly in a climate where most are cutting costs, and it's not only relegated to large global firms. kCura reports that firms with as few as 40 lawyers licensed their product in 2012. The 40 firms in 2012 bring kCura's total to more than 75 law firms that have licensed Relativity (50 of the Am Law 200). In addition to kCura's sales statistics, there were installations of other review platforms within law firms: Recommind's Axcelerate, and Xerox's Viewpoint, to name a few, further demonstrating the trend that law firms are ramping up their in-house capabilities.
While the creation of a team of highly trained staff and the investment in technology may not be for some firms, the evidence clearly shows that many firms are not only continuing to in-source, but are ramping up their investments in technology and people. Of course every firm is different, but there are fundamental business benefits to having a litigation support department for any firm that handles large-scale and/or high-stakes litigation.
Bryon Bratcher (email@example.com) is a Senior Manager of the litigation support department at Reed Smith LLP, and Tom Baldwin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Chief Knowledge Officer at Reed Smith LLP. They are based in San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively.