September 2021 - Tips for Selecting a Document Review Provider

September 07, 2021

September 2021 - Tips for Selecting a Document Review Provider

Whether for a litigation, compliance, investigation or other type of matter, several factors should be taken into consideration when choosing the right document review provider. While each of the factors are related to one another, determine where a provider particularly excels and prioritize each of the factors to help evaluate options and make a final selection.


Five considerations for selecting a document review provider:

  1. Quality

Is the vendor’s demonstrated quality sufficient for the matter? Determining this may require weighing the risk inherent in the matter and what associated level of quality will mitigate that risk. For instance, in an internal investigation, there is little risk that privileged information will be sent to an adverse party, so the quality control procedures around privilege may factor less in your selection process and will not need to be as robust as if you were dealing with a contentious litigation.

In evaluating a given provider, consider not only the matter-specific quality control processes, but also the institutional quality controls.

  1. Data Security

Today, data security is more important than ever as competitor companies, foreign governments and rogue hackers engage in corporate espionage. Managed review providers must harden operations and stress test measures relentlessly against such risks. To be effective, data security must be concretely defined, properly implemented and audited to ensure that an infrastructure and systems are secure from end to end.

  1. Personnel/Training

How secure your organization’s data may be with a given document review provider could depend on the type of review model they use.

  • In a staffing model, resources are typically provided on a project basis, leveraging hourly-paid contract employees hired only for the length of the specific project with permanent employees on the project limited to supervisory or more senior roles. In this model, training can vary but is generally minimal and project-specific.
  • A managed review model typically involves more permanent employees and staff is trained not only for each project, but also at an organizational level. While a provider’s investment and cost for this type of model are high, the provider is then able to gain a true understanding of employees’ abilities. The managed review provider also can nurture those abilities and the experience of employees over time. This model also offers scalability, as a permanent employee base allows a provider the flexibility to ramp up or down on a project and reallocate team members where they are needed.
  1. Expertise

There are three areas of expertise to evaluate when considering a review provider: technological, legal matter and industry.

  • Technological expertise across review platforms and types of technology is key to ensuring not only an efficient, thorough, cost-effective review, but also data security.
  • Different types of matters bring different challenges, so consider how much experience a vendor has in the matter at issue.
  • Industry experience can be key when understanding jargon and technical language is important. A vendor without that experience will face a steep learning curve in grasping the underlying concepts.
  1. Cost

Is the provider’s pricing per document or flat rate? There are pros and cons to each, so get as much clarity as possible regardless of which model is proposed to ensure understanding of what is included, what assumptions are involved and whether there is flexibility to make adjustments as the review progresses and changes may be required.

Get more insight about these considerations in this article authored by Briana Hulet and Robert Coppola of QuisLex, published recently by Attorney @ Work.

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