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Corporate due diligence is at an exciting crossroads. The current model of high-cost corporate associates reviewing stacks of paper documents is woefully inefficient. According to a search of the ALM legal intelligence database, the number of associates in large firms, including corporate associates, has dwindled and hiring trends do not indicate that the numbers will return to pre-recession levels. This means law firms are often ill-equipped to staff up larger deals when time is of the essence and many documents need to be reviewed in a short window of time. Further, associate hourly billing rates continue to increase, making it difficult for some firms to staff transactions within a client’s budget expectations. However, there is a solution to this challenge. Using the litigation model of tackling large amounts of data by employing a well-qualified team of electronic discovery experts, corporate reviews can be managed in the same way that full-scale litigation reviews are tackled. There are three key factors involved in a prudent and efficient approach to corporate document review assignments: technology, personnel and strategic process.

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