Eight Things Every eDiscovery Managed Services Contract Should Include

Law firms and corporate legal departments with any regular amount of eDiscovery can benefit from partnering with an eDiscovery managed services provider. When you contract with a managed service provider, you are gaining an invaluable partnership that will prove its worth in cost predictability, superior technology, and dedicated expertise from eDiscovery professionals. With a managed services provider, law firms and legal departments will no longer be burdened by the costs of staff and infrastructure to support eDiscovery.

As your firm or department begins the process of evaluating and selecting an eDiscovery MSP, there are a few key items that should be part of any contract you consider.

Contracts should include:

  1. Expectations of security – Your MSP contract should stipulate: user security including role-based, two-factor authentication, certificate-based, and token-based; infrastructure and system security that includes compliance and certification; disaster recovery; and backup policies.
  2. Innovative technology – Your contract should include access to the latest technology available, including features that improve the eDiscovery process like AI and analytics.
  3. Fixed price – Your contract should include a fixed, monthly per-GB fee that covers processing, promotions from ECA to review and productions.
  4. Technical support – Your contract should state what qualifies as technical support. Does it include 24/7 availability? Limited support during set hours? The contract should outline what the expected response time is when requesting support.
  5. Project management (or consulting) support – Project management should be bundled into your contract’s user licenses.
  6. Processing – Your contract should include language as to how processing is handled. Do you have unlimited processing? Do you have a monthly allotment? Or will you be charged on a per-unit basis for processing?
  7. Storage – You should know how your MSP calculates storage. Are there supporting files included in your storage totals? If so, what supporting files are included and excluded? How does your vendor track storage totals? Is there “free” storage offered as part of your contract?
  8. Reporting – With your MSP contract, you should know whether you have access to self-report on your managed environment. What information is presented via the self-reporting option? What information do you need sent to you on a set schedule, such as user reports (sent monthly to verify user status) or storage reports (to verify if any project data should be removed before the end of the current billing cycle)?

Usually, MSP contracts do not include data collection or review services. These services are usually priced on a project-by-project basis based on the scope of collection and the type of review.

An MSP contract allows you to focus on practicing law and serving clients, and not on the logistics of eDiscovery. MSPs are an extension of your legal team and the best MSPS will be deeply invested in the long-term success of your cases. The MSP you choose should be able to deliver a contract that addresses your specific needs and meets your cost expectations.

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