The Best Service Delivery Model for Litigation Support

by Stephen Cole

An article we recently posted,  “Selling the Value of Litigation Support” resonated with many law firms now grappling with the piece’s core question: “What is the best service delivery model for litigation support?”

While there is no consensus answer to this complicated question, as delivery models will vary by firm and strategic roadmap, there are specific templates for how firms can deliver litigation support.

Regardless of size, some firms strategically invested in the technology and skill sets to provide in-house service delivery of litigation support capabilities. The prospect of recouping the costs of those services was often the key factor in launching those initiatives. The ability to offer an end-to-end solution, completely under firm control, adds to the service and marketing toolbox at the disposal of a firm’s attorneys.

Other firms may already possess the know-how and staff skills, but lack the financial resources or willingness to make the capital expenditures necessary to create the robust infrastructure required to support market-leading tools. That infrastructure must also withstand client scrutiny and audits, and firms would rather shift that burden to industry experts. In this scenario, the firm may lift-and-shift the data center and software components of the litigation support offering, while retaining control over the environment with its own staff.

Lastly, a firm may opt for a complete managed service that includes subject matter expertise and infrastructure. Often, this helps smaller firms level the playing field and offer clients the same market-leading solutions in a secure environment. The entire litigation support department is essentially outsourced to a third party, sometimes with the service providers’ staff remaining on-site in support of the attorneys.

Service delivery models for litigation support aren’t “one size fits all.” They’re the result of decisions personalized by each firm to reach the most effective method of delivering a service that’s aligned with the firm’s strategic blueprint. Since these strategic blueprints vary, firms should examine the range of mix-and-match models from which to choose.