Thought Leader Interview with Hal Brooks of HaystackID, Part Two: eDiscovery Trends and Best Practices

I recently interviewed Hal Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of HaystackID.  We covered so much with regard to eDiscovery trends that we couldn’t fit it all in a single blog post.  Part One of my interview was published Monday, here is part two.

Needless to say, the pandemic has forced much more discovery work to be conducted remotely and, of course, one of HaystackID’s acquisitions early on was for the remote review capability that is now marketed as your ReviewRight Services. How would you characterize the industry pivot to remote work over the last few months and what has the pivot meant for HaystackID?

Well, I would certainly hate to characterize any outcome from this tragic event that’s COVID as a positive one for us, but frankly, five years ago, we began to deliver managed review remotely via our ReviewRight platform. Since then, we’ve actually performed over a thousand managed reviews virtually and securely. When the pandemic struck, it allowed us to deliver business continuity to our clients, and for those prospects who had heard of our offering but had yet to engage with us. We immediately found ourselves getting calls to handle new work from these prospects. Competitors obviously began to add a remote component to their review services, and now everyone seems to offer some form of remote work from home managed review concept.


However, the difference for us is that we had already built out our database of over 20,000 tested, profiled, and experienced contract attorney reviewers, who had accumulated five years of performance metrics to work with. Instead of just moving a contract attorney’s seat from the downtown on-premise review center to the attorney’s home a few miles away, which is what most of the competitors are doing, our ReviewRight platform actually matches the proper attorneys to the requirements of the review matter, such as IP experience, foreign language, pharma, engineering, cyber data breach experience, and no matter where in the country they happen to live. This allows us to perform the reviews with the best possible reviewers who have experience and documented performance metrics we can actually present to the client before the review begins for their own personal assessment, and I challenge anyone to present proof that they have managed more secure virtual reviews than Haystack has over the past five years or so.

Another more recent HaystackID acquisition (which I covered) was the acquisition of NightOwl Global. Why was that acquisition attractive to HaystackID and what NightOwl offerings to clients have you found to complement those of HaystackID?

As I noted in my earlier comments, Doug, you have to find symbiotic opportunities when it comes to mergers and acquisitions. While Haystack had begun to move to a more direct contractual relationship, targeting the corporate buyer over the past three years, NightOwl had actually made that pivot seven years ago.  Andrea Wallack, who has been a foundational member of our community for many years (and with whom I have mutual respect and a long term friendship, as we’ve known each other since 1992), allowed us to find the right moment in time to bring these two fabulous entities together.  This enabled us to continue to offer an alternative solutions provider to the larger enterprise discovery services providers that had lost some of the importance of the high touch client services model that both NightOwl and HaystackID had built their culture on. This collaboration has also brought our ReviewRight managed review platform into the current NightOwl client base, which has allowed us to achieve some immediate accretive success from bringing these companies together.

Speaking of M&A from another perspective, HaystackID is increasingly highlighted as a leading vendor in the support of Hart-Scott-Rodino Second Requests. With the changes in the market over the previous year coupled with the acceleration of HSR filings in the third quarter, how is HaystackID supporting customers with this increasingly requested special type of discovery?

We’ve certainly seen a spike in these types of matters over the past two years under this administration. As we all know, these matters are highly deadline sensitive. Our ability to provide every aspect of the EDRM paradigm to our clients – from forensics collections, all the way through managed review and production – and our ability to ramp up review with any number of attorneys who are vetted and tested in these types of matters, we can literally guarantee that we’ll meet any of the critical deadlines associated with these types of matters, and quite frankly, that’s what’s has allowed us to continue to grow and proliferate with these types of very important and essential matters that we’ve been engaged in.

We’re not done yet!  The third and final part of my interview with Hal Brooks will be published on Friday.

So, what do you think?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclosure: HaystackID is an Educational Partner and sponsor of eDiscovery Today

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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