26 May 2015

German companies rapidly adopting new legal technologies, finds new market study from Kroll Ontrack

Böblingen –26 May 2015 – Kroll Ontrack, the leading global provider of ediscovery technologies and services to companies involved in litigation and investigations, today announced the launch of a new market study into the adoption of ediscovery technology

Kroll Ontrack’s study reveals that a high percentage of companies interviewed in Germany (nearly 60%) have needed to carry out ediscovery projects and a third think their departments will face an ediscovery incident in the next twelve months.  According to the companies and law firms interviewed there are a wide range of legal scenarios that require companies and their law firms to undertake ediscovery exercises. Although litigation or arbitration arising outside of Germany is the number one driver for adopting ediscovery and was cited by 86% of companies approached, two thirds said that ediscovery is already used in domestic litigation cases.

The study shows that even in countries like Germany where there is no formal discovery  duty in litigation (as there is in the U.K. and U.S.) it appears there is still a significant role for ediscovery technologies to support the review of company data such as emails and other electronic documents in legal proceedings.  The need arises in many different legal contexts ranging from internal investigations to extensive investigations demanded by regulatory authorities and also in domestic and international litigation.

Tim Phillips, Managing Director of Kroll Ontrack International Legal Technologies, explained: “The demand for ediscovery solutions and services in Germany has been comparatively slower to build than in the U.K. and U.S., mainly because it is not required under Germany’s legal framework.   This has changed partly because German companies have faced an increased level of litigation and arbitration cases from outside Germany where ediscovery is a recognised procedure. Now, however, in investigating certain aspects of the market in Germany we have found that 66% of the German companies interviewed in our study use ediscovery technologies in domestic litigation cases even where there is no formal discovery requirement. This is very encouraging and highlights the real value that technology brings to the legal process, helping focus lawyers on the key documents to build their cases and reduce legal costs.”

Top reasons for undertaking ediscovery projects by German corporates and law firms

  • Litigation or arbitration arising outside Germany
  • Domestic litigation and arbitration
  • Internal investigations
  • Regulatory investigations by German authorities
  • Regulatory investigations by European authorities

Source: Kroll Ontrack German Ediscovery Market Study 2015

According to Helmut Sauro, a Senior Consultant at Kroll Ontrack in Germany: “Our study found that the number of ediscovery projects those interviewed have personally been involved with has increased every year over the past five years.  For the majority of companies who participated in the study ediscovery is something that is likely to occur and is on the rise.  Ediscovery has taken root in German legal proceedings naturally and the structures to support it properly internally are developing in both companies and law firms.  Yet only a fifth of the companies we spoke to have a plan in place.  It is important for this “preparedness gap” to be addressed.”

The market study also shows that companies interviewed in Germany are heavily reliant on external experts to process company data (collect, filter and provide review platforms) and they prefer to use experts based in Germany.

Sauro points out: “Because of Data Protection requirements in Germany our clients prefer to process data in legal cases locally.  We have therefore invested in a local data centre in Frankfurt where law firms and corporates can entrust their ediscovery work without having to send data across borders.  Since opening our German data centre in May 2014 we have copied 16,000 gigabytes of data for processing and delivered more than 156 million pages into document review databases hosted in Germany for review by legal teams.  This signifies for us that ediscovery is alive and well in Germany and a phenomenon that all legal professionals operating in Germany need to be aware of”.

Indications from the study are that levels of knowledge about newer technologies (such as Technology Assisted Review which automates the review process and brings more efficiency to the legal process) are high, especially at law firms where 56% of those interviewed say they have used them.  Phillips concludes: “We could very well see the leapfrog effect happen in Germany, with local companies and lawyers who may be relatively new adopters of legal technologies moving rapidly to adopt the latest technologies available.

For a copy of Kroll Ontrack’s market study “The State of Ediscovery in Germany, please click here http://www.ediscovery.com/uk/kroll-ontrack-german-ediscovery-study-2015/

For more information on Kroll Ontrack and its products and services, visit http://www.ediscovery.com/uk

About Kroll Ontrack Inc.

Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers manage, recover, search, analyse, and produce data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, data destruction, electronic discovery and document review services. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit: www/ediscovery.com/uk and follow @KrollOntrackEU on Twitter.

Media Contacts:
Citigate Dewe Rogerson contact details:
Charlotte Pascal/Judith Massey/Camilla Medd
Tel: +44 20 7282 1021 / 2987 / 2846
Email: charlotte.pascal@citigate.co.uk / judith.massey@citigatedr.co.uk / camilla.medd@citigatedr.co.uk


  • This market study was conducted independently for Kroll Ontrack by Jeffrey Forbes, Publishing Director of TalklLawGlobal and Executive Director of the Forbes Institute.
  • The study investigates key issues relating to the handling of electronically stored information in legal proceedings in Germany.  It targets a relevant audience with pertinent questions and uses in-depth interviews to investigate and uncover insights and trends in ediscovery in Germany
  • A detailed and extensive set of 35 questions was developed in consultation with a focus group of inhouse counsel to ensure validity and clarity.  These were used to conduct in-depth interviews with senior in-house counsel from a range of companies operating in Germany representing a cross-section of industries.
  • The questions were adapted in order to interview lawyers in private practice in collaboration with a focus group and used to interview lawyers who represent clients involved in investigations and litigation.
  • The questionnaires mirror each other which enables this study to provide a unique perspective of the same issues from both the client and legal advisor’s perspective.