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E-Discovery Technology Media and Telecom

*BREAKING NEWS* Consilio Acquires E-Discovery Solutions Provider DiscoverReady

Continuing its run of recent M&A activity, Consilio CEO Andy Macdonald said DiscoverReady has been on his radar for managed review he called “head and shoulders” above the competition.

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Consilio has been an active player in the e-discovery M&A market over the past several years, with Advanced Discovery and Huron Legal among the deals the company has recently engaged. And today, Consilio announced what may be one of its largest deals yet: the acquisition of DiscoverReady.

The acquisition means that DiscoverReady, an e-discovery, document review, and compliance solutions provider will become a part of Consilio’s expansive e-discovery portfolio. Consilio now boasts more than 70 offices, review centers and data centers around the world in 11 countries following the deal. The deal has officially closed, and the combined company will now have “an integration of several quarters” to align systems and processes, according to a press release announcing the acquisition. No financial details about the deal have been publicly announced.

Consilio CEO Andy Macdonald told Cybersecurity Law & Strategy‘s ALM sibling Legaltech News in an interview before the official announcement that DiscoverReady had been on his radar as a potential target for four years, since former owner Dolan Media went into bankruptcy in 2014. When the opportunity finally arose during this past summer, he said the acquisition moved quickly.

Macdonald added that making a deal for Consilio was a no-brainer, saying that he has long viewed DiscoverReady and fellow Consilio-acquired company Huron as “head and shoulders” above competitors in managed e-discovery review. DiscoverReady’s original founding team, he said, “built a business that from my perspective was delivering some of the highest quality services in the e-discovery marketplace, particularly when capturing not just the processing and hosting, but the managed review aspect of it. I thought they were a pioneer in how to design and craft workflows around managed reviews.”

He noted that the companies do not have a large overlap in clients — around 10% in estimated figures — and was excited that DiscoverReady’s customer base includes “blue chip, name brand, well-known organizations” that have largely used them for U.S.-based e-discovery. With Consilio’s international team, he said, “We have an opportunity to talk to some of the largest brands in the world about expanding their offering through DiscoverReady across the Consilio platform.”

James Schellhase, chief executive officer of DiscoverReady, noted this expansion in his own statement, saying in a press release, “With Consilio’s considerable worldwide operations and 24-7-365 follow-the-sun services delivery model, we know our clients will enjoy the benefits of a more robust infrastructure, an extended solutions portfolio, expanded geographic coverage, and an even deeper bench of expert advisors.”

Consilio said it expects no immediate changes for DiscoverReady customers, especially as the company plans to keep DiscoverReady’s entire management team in place. For the future, the only main changes Macdonald said he expects are an opportunity to expand those relationships into a global scope.

He added that an increased scope is something that a lot of customers are increasingly expecting of their e-discovery companies. That’s why Macdonald believes e-discovery consolidation will continue into the future — it’s just good business.

“The clients expect a level of investment in human capital, in infrastructure, in security, in compliance. It in many ways forces companies to get bigger to be able to deliver on that investment requirement,” he explained. “So I think it’s going to continue; I don’t think much has changed.”

For now, the main goal for Consilio is to integrate DiscoverReady into its pre-existing workflow. Especially coming on the heels of the spring Advanced Discovery deal, Macdonald said the DiscoverReady acquisition “probably happened a little quicker than we would have preferred” for ease of integration, and as such the company plans to focus more on internal systems than external M&A.

But of course, if a deal is right, he noted, plans can always change. For Consilio, it’s all about a push towards high quality and an enhanced client experience. “That’s where we’re placing our bets right now—finding the companies that are the best run and enjoy a level of client satisfaction that outpaces the market,” Macdonald said. “That’s what we’ve picked up here; that’s what we’re trying to build at Consilio.”

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Zach Warren is the editor-in-chief of Legaltech News, an ALM sibling of Cybersecurity Law & Strategy. He can be reached at zwarren@alm.com.

The views expressed in the article are those of the authors and not necessarily the views of their clients or other attorneys in their firm.

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