New Report Shows Majority of Work Moving In-House for Legal Departments of All Sizes

The 2018 In-House Legal Benchmarking Report conducted by ACEDS & Exterro shows a 19% jump in organizations conducting work in-house compared to last year

PORTLAND, Ore., November 7, 2018 – Exterro® Inc., the preferred provider of software specifically designed for in-house legal and IT teams at Global 2000 and AmLaw 200 organizations, along with the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) today announced the release of the 3rd Annual In-House Legal Benchmarking Report, based on a survey of 110 respondents including attorneys, paralegals, general counsel, legal directors, and IT professionals.

Key findings in the report are:

  • Legal team size doesn’t affect amount of work done in-house:
    • 57% of survey respondents have few than 50 new legal matters per year.
    • 78% of respondents are in legal departments of 50 or fewer staff.
    • 69% of legal teams conduct more than half of their organizations’ litigation services (e.g., legal holds, matter intake, document review, depositions, etc.) internally, compared to 50% in 2017.
    • 84% are very or somewhat satisfied with their in-house legal team’s performance.
  • Legal departments are embracing legal project management (LPM).
    • 65% of legal departments consider themselves structured, managed, or optimized in terms of LPM maturity.
    • 34% of respondents rely on attorneys to manage e-discovery activities, down 8% from last year, more often giving project management duties to dedicated project managers or paralegals.
  • Legal teams are leveraging technology to increase their efficiency.
    • In-house legal departments use an average of 3.5 dedicated legal software tools
    • According to survey respondents, the best technologies for reducing costs and creating efficiencies are:
      • E-Billing
      • Matter Management
      • E-Discovery Data Collection and Processing
    • Legal teams are still thinking old school when it comes to preservation.
      • 86% of legal teams feel some level of confidence that employees will preserve ESI in response to a legal hold, but nonetheless, 43% still collect to preserve.
      • Only 29% of legal teams collect mobile data most or all of the time and only 14% collect social media.

“As we conducted the research for the In-House Legal Benchmarking Report, it is promising to see that most legal departments are maturing when it comes to the use of technology and legal project management principles. But, it is also exciting to think about the opportunities for these and other less mature organizations to optimize their legal processes,” said Bill Piwonka, CMO at Exterro.

“ACEDS is excited to partner with Exterro on this survey of in-house legal professionals. The message reflected from respondents is clear ‘you don’t need a large team to provide litigation services effectively’. With the combination of technology and legal project management principles legal teams are showing they can be more efficient, no matter what their size,” said Mary Mack, CEDS, CISSP, Executive Director of ACEDS.

The In-House Legal Benchmarking Report is based on a survey was conducted in September of 2018 with 110 respondents.

About Exterro

Exterro®, Inc. is the leading provider of e-discovery and information governance software specifically designed for in-house legal, privacy and IT teams at Global 2000 and Am Law 200 organizations. Built on a simple concept of process optimization, Exterro helps organizations address their regulatory, compliance, and litigation risks more effectively and at lower costs. For more information, visit

Kristin Kolasinki 
Marketing Events and PR Manager