Managed Review FAQ

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I get asked a lot of questions about managed review — the processes, costs, and realities — and I look forward to every opportunity to talk about how DISCO transforms the painful process and nebulous costs associated with ediscovery.

But I also know that time is not cheap, that the managed review market is loud and noisy, and that even starting a conversation might feel like an impossible luxury. But, it’s precisely because time is at a premium, that a managed review service can help. 

To clear up any misconceptions, this list of FAQs can inform your approach to managed review, no matter if you’re a first-timer or veteran client. 

1. Why would you partner with a managed review service to complete document review? 

The simple answer is that managed review is a cost and resource saver. 

DISCO Review is so confident in that fact, that we offer an on-time and on-budget guarantee. If you’re curious as to how we can do that, it’s a combination of a few ingredients: the expertise of our network of reviewers; our AI-powered edisclosure workflows; our reviewers and review managers’ proficiency in that AI-powered technology and analytics; the priority we place on hiring DISCO certified reviewers (so we know they know how to get the most out of our platform); and the fact that our reviewers are not splitting their knowledge across multiple ediscovery platforms and are spending their day(s) focussing on your review and the associated review tasks to ensure your team has more time to focus on clients and case strategy. 

2. Every managed review provider is the same, it’s just a bidding war for the same reviewers. Why would I change? 

It’s important to recognise your power as a buyer in the managed review market — your ability to compare costs, reviewer CVs, and edisclosure technology being used. If you take a look at your current or prospective provider’s operation, and then compare it to ours, you may be pleasantly surprised by the savings for the review expertise being touted elsewhere for more cost, the AI-powered cloud-based tech, and the wealth of professional services talent on offer. 

Using DISCO, our AI-driven processes are so strong that we know exactly how long and how much your review will cost. Working with DISCO Review is like having an ediscovery crystal ball, and that’s a huge differentiator.

3. Is managed review only for small/large cases? 

This question often comes in multiple forms — everything from “what’s the ideal review size?” to “is 1,000 documents too small for a review solution?”.

However, I would advise you to think about the question in a different way. Think about your emotional response to the size of a matter. Are you worried about reviewing 10 million documents — or even 100 very complex files? After all, pain is relative, and no matter the size of your firm or the size of an individual matter, we can still work with you to alleviate the pain associated with document review.

Tech-powered workflows have flattened bumps previously caused by questions of scale. If you have concerns about document review, then we can craft workflows that are optimised for the specific size of your matter — early case assessment (ECA) or filtering and culling by filetype or email domain, for example, mid-generation review techniques that can still legitimately transform your approach to edisclosure. 

4. How does a review work with our lawyers — isn’t it just more bodies to manage? 

The answer to this is in the solution itself — we do the management so you can focus on the outcome. 

A good managed review provider offers specialist people for specialist problems. We’ll monitor the pace of the review and the overall throughput, set up in-house quality control (QC), and provide the technical platform training and support to guarantee your review starts and finishes on time.

I often think this question comes out of a bad experience with a review provider. Lawyers might get justifiably nervous if they’re not 100% sure their review managers have their hands on the wheel. So how do you know whether they do? The simple answer is to ask whether your review managers do a few things: whether they plan and communicate that plan; talk to you transparently; and, fundamentally, report — not just screenshots, but full costs, dates, prior day responsiveness rates, work schedules, hours worked, estimated completion dates, query logs, etc. If your review managers aren’t doing all those things and you’re feeling in the dark about what’s happening at the frontlines of the review, then talk to us!  

5. Will I stay in control of my matter? 

Simply put, you will remain in control by relinquishing some control. If that sounds tautologous, it’s because managed review does take control of the performance of the more mundane and inefficient tasks associated with document review, but in doing so, gives you back the capacity and the data to better control the overarching case strategy. 

For example, as the first level review ramps up, your case team will have more time to consider the emerging facts and evidence. Is there a dearth of evidence in respect of claim X? Should we modify our witness interview questions based on the contents of document Z? The efficiency with which we power through your review ends up giving you more control to make evidence-based decisions earlier in a case and, thereby, positively influence outcomes.  

Speed to evidence is of course an advantage, but at all times you should be made to feel that your review provider has sufficient control over their domain, namely the escalation of queries, dissemination of feedback to the review team, QC checks, and general timeline and budget awareness

6. What if I already have edisclosure technology and/or a managed review provider — how easy is switching? Would I have to wait until the conclusion of a matter? 

I get asked this question a lot when people see our demos and want to know if it’s possible to engage us mid-matter. Good news: it’s easy to switch review providers.

Of course, there’s a technical element to switching — database export and import for example — but it’s possible to lift data from one repository and drop it into another without losing work product. Of course, you’ll likely be charged a professional services fee and will have to account for different data hosting fee structures, but the process itself is straightforward and the costs might be worth it. 

When it comes to review teams, if you’ve also outsourced the review work, then the process of changing review providers and teams is also straightforward. At a minimum you can expect to have to re-brief the new review team once they have been onboarded. All training materials and decision logs can be provided to the new team.

Moreover, with DISCO, as soon as you’ve switched you can immediately leverage the benefit of the technology you’ve bought into — a seamless operational switch, for an immense technological benefit. 

7. My clients aren’t all based in one jurisdiction, how does that affect your service?

If you have an ediscovery need where the custodians are citizens of the UK or European Union (EU), then the provisions of the GDPR will apply and will determine where the data hosting and review takes place. In that scenario, you will need a review provider who can staff a project from the UK and/or the EU. Data privacy regimes outside of these locations differ, and while data transfers to non UK/EU locations are possible, additional DPA agreements and custodian consents are required.

Most ediscovery and managed review providers can accommodate multi-jurisdictional engagements for both hosting and the geographical location of review teams.

On a related note, DISCO Review tracks the country of qualification and language capabilities of all our reviewers. It’s important to ensure we build that level of expertise into a project. Legal professional privilege, for instance, is very different in French law than it is in the UK and U.S. systems — a French client may thus prefer French reviewers on their matters. It may sound obvious, but the detail is important to DISCO because we know it’s essential to our clients and their clients.

8. What happens when a review finishes?

When the managed review phase is finished, the overall edisclosure remit is handed back to the project manager (your point of contact for the whole process) who will lead you through production and disclosure. The review manager takes an operational step back from the project, though remains available for follow-up questions.

Provided the documents are reviewed and properly coded, the reviewers are also usually released from the project at this point. A good review manager will have kept the review team engaged and informed about the project duration, and reviewers can generally be released from their engagements as soon as confirmation is given that the final documents have been properly tagged.

One thing to bear in mind: If you haven’t done simultaneous second level review, then you may have questions or feedback to share regarding the work done by the contract reviewers and find that they are no longer available to rejoin the project. It’s usually possible to re-engage at least a portion of a disbanded team, provided not too much time has passed. Our recommendation is always to conduct whatever second level review is needed while the first level reviewers are still engaged on the matter. 

Talk to DISCO 

If any of these FAQs has sparked your interest in DISCO Review, then please do get in touch! Every question has value, and one of our experts will happily take the time to answer any you may have.

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Richard English

Richard English is Director of Review Operations, EMEA at DISCO. With over 13 years experience in the field of compliance, discovery and document review, coupled with a background in the legal sector as a South African attorney, Richard is a veteran in the field with extensive insight into how to run and manage successful and significant review projects.