At Relativity Fest in London, I spoke to James MacGregor, Managing Director at Consilio in London, about Consilio’s ambitions in the worldwide market for eDiscovery and related services. There seems to be no end to Consilio’s global ambitions and every year bring at least one significant acquisition or extension of the Consilio empire.
James MacGregor said that the market is getting smaller in the sense that there are fewer companies doing what Consilio does, as a result of the consolidation in the market. The important thing to focus on was differentiation, meaning, in this context, why clients should choose Consilio from among the other big players.
As a specific example, James MacGregor pointed to Consilio’s data centre in France. That came with its own established business – a major client sensitive on the subject of data protection – but also brings in new business because Consilio faces little competition in that respect.
Growth has not just been across jurisdictions. The last couple of years have seen new uses for eDiscovery tools and skills – as James McGregor observed, Relativity Fest London itself had focused heavily on proactive compliance.
Consilio’s business goes well beyond eDiscovery. It has, for example, a large law department management team which covers all aspects of general counsel spending. This deals with anything which can be measured and reduced, as well as anything with a document review element. Contract management is an example of something which no one really applied their minds to until recently but which is now a major boon to corporations and one for which eDiscovery tools are well-suited.
I asked James McGregor what the term “managed services” means to Consilio. Its main application, he said, was for clients with many small matters (in addition, perhaps, to large ones), the cost of which is too great to manage by conventional means. Such organisations need regular services, and appreciate being able to spread the cost on an annual or monthly basis. This applied equally to law firms and corporations – the latter were better able to predict the flow of work.
Data Subject Access Requests are a new source of work, something which lends itself well to services by subscription on an annual or monthly basis. My own estimate, quite apart from what James MacGregor says in this interview, is that DSARs will prove to be a major driver towards the use of technology in discovery/disclosure and towards outsourcing of document review exercises.