November 01, 2007 10:15 ET

Chief Legal Officers Putting High Priority on Records and Information Management Compliance Programs for 2008

91% of Corporate Counsel View Records Management Compliance as Important, but 75% Still Lack Auditable Standards for E-Discovery Processes

WEST ORANGE, NJ--(Marketwire - November 1, 2007) - Since the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure took effect last year, organizations have been looking to outside resources for more assistance in managing information capture and production demands. But a recent survey of chief legal officers from over 100 organizations indicates disappointment with the quality of those services and marginal progress with improving records and information management practices.

"The professional services market is fixated on legal discovery response needs, but not nearly enough attention has being given to the root cause of the information management crisis. E-discovery is a symptom of a more serious problem. More concentration on policy development, business process improvement, and education will enable companies to reduce the overall volume of information subject to discovery in the first place. The costs will continue to mount until leaders decide to get proactive. This is a great opportunity to add value to the bottom line," says Lexakos founder Rick Wolf.

In its just-released "Chief Legal Officer 2008 Strategic Planning Survey," Lexakos asked law department leaders about plans to allocate resources to litigation support over the next year. The findings are telling. While 90% of companies expect their operating budget to increase or stay about the same in 2008, 86% do not plan to expand internal staff dedicated to litigation support. "These data suggest the trend of outsourced litigation support services will continue next year," says Wolf. "While this might appear to be a boon for the legal services industry, organizations want innovation and better service, and the competition to win business should be high in 2008."

The study shows that 86.5% rank as important the need for "controlling outside counsel legal spend and reducing the number of law firms who represent our organization." Only 21% "trust outside counsel to manage costs and choose the best alternatives for document review," while 54% "do not believe outside counsel has a vested interest in devising cost-effective document review strategies." This should serve as a wake-up call for law firms and e-discovery vendors.

Lexakos is a business advisory group serving both the professional services industry and corporate legal community on governance, compliance, and risk management.

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