The Emails You Send at Work Could Be Worth Millions of Dollars — to Lawyers

© MarketWatch
© MarketWatch

While Hillary Clinton is in the hot seat for using personal email for official state matters and Amy Pascal has been ousted from Sony Corp. in a separate email controversy — lawyers and software companies are making a killing.

The business of e-discovery, or the process of collecting digital data like email when a company is being sued or investigated, is quickly turning into a billion-dollar industry, with attorneys and software companies raking in the vast majority of the proceeds, and companies shelling out millions of dollars every year.

“The sheer volume of data companies need to sift through for e-discovery” is a problem, said Ben Cole, editor of TechTarget’s  SearchCIO.com and SearchCompliance.com.

Add in instant messages and information stores in the cloud, and it quickly becomes very expensive.

“I think instant messaging can be much more dangerous than email,” said Josh Broaded, ACA Compliance Group.

Revenue related to e-discovery is expected to grow 8.1% in 2015, and by an average annual rate of 5.7% through 2019, according to an IBISWorld report. That puts it on track to reach $1.8 billion in four years, said the report.

The majority of Fortune 1000 corporations now spend in the ballpark of $5 million to $10 million annually on e-discovery, with several companies reporting costs as high as $30 million in 2014. A full 70% of the costs were tied directly to the physical review of documents, according to a study from FTI Consulting.

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Source: MarketWatch | Jennifer Booton

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