Employee relationship management databases were one of the most common target for e-discovery-based information-gathering for litigation purposes last year, according to a report.
The online poll, undertaken by researcher IDC among 115 litigation support and legal technology operations professionals working in large US enterprises, found that the number of respondents experiencing more than 100 law suits over the last year rose to 46 per cent from 27% in 2008.
A huge 70% of those questioned were involved in international litigation, with the most popular disputes centring on employee termination and intellectual property, which tied for first place. Investigations under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and product liability claims were joint third, while insurance claims came in fifth.
The top three regions where enterprises needed to conduct investigations as well as preserve and collect data were European Union member states, followed by Canada and North Asia, which includes Japan, South Korea and China.
The average volume of data collected in each law suit was also on the up over the 12 months, while ediscovery-related budgets either remained flat – in 36% of cases – or fell in 42% of them.
Although the top two priorities in 2008 had been to develop best practice around identifying, preserving and collecting such information as well as implementing suitable enabling technology, most enterprises were still in the early stages last year.
E-records and document management applications, collaboration packages such as Microsoft’s SharePoint, legal hold automation and management and message archiving systems ranked as the top five investment priorities in this context over the next six to 12 months.
But only 29% of respondents had started to standardise on such tools, while 71% were still using a multitude of different search and analytics applications to help them retrieve information.
The report called ‘Corporate eDiscovery Technology Trends 2009’ was commissioned by ediscovery software provider FTI Technology.