eDiscovery Leaders Live: Jonathan Marshall of Alvarez & Marsal

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: Jonathan Marshall of Alvarez & Marsal


Jonathan Marshall, Managing Director at Alvarez & Marsal, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive.

Jonathan Marshall is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal Disputes and Investigations in Washington, D.C, and is the North America Forensic Technology Services Practice Leader. He specializes in legal technology solutions, including electronic discovery, data analytics, digital forensics, and data strategy. With more than 15 years of forensic technology experience, Jonathan regularly serves as an expert on eDiscovery-related issues and has advised on data-driven events in litigation, investigations and regulatory actions. He is skilled in managing identification and preservation, data analytics, and discovery in complex cross-border disputes and investigations.

Jonathan focused on three areas during our discussion: the impact of SAAS on eDiscovery, dealing with emerging data, and helping enterprises bring new technology into their organizations.

Key Highlights

  • [1:12] Introducing Jonathan.
  • [1:37] How Jonathan got involved in eDiscovery and his ascent in the industry.
  • [4:56] His role at Alvarez & Marsal, leading their forensic technology practice.
  • [5:44] SAAS-driven changes in the eDiscovery landscape.
  • [7:31] Has SAAS has changed eDiscovery economies-of-scale calculations.
  • [8:16] Impacts for clients: a better chance to get the eDiscovery person they know and like.
  • [9:57] Competitive advantages offered by the shift to SAAS.
  • [11:38] Emerging data sources such as Teams: early days with a lot still to do be done.
  • [13:35] The rabbit hole of rogue versions of software.
  • [14:44] Getting and working with data from mobile devices: the client side.
  • [17:30] Getting and working with data from mobile devices: the law firm side.
  • [18:46] Getting access to the mobile devices of senior corporate personnel.
  • [19:44] Helping enterprises bring on new technology.
  • [22:52] Using a bespoke approach to guide clients.
  • [24:57] How to help companies improve adoption of new technologies.
  • [26:54] Calculating return on investment with new technologies.
  • [29:03] Bringing tech inhouse: key takeaways.

Key Quotes 

  • “As any market matures, you get consolidation and then you get breakups. I think eDiscovery is going through that second wing where firms had merged and now the leaders of those firms are spinning off….”
  • “Clients that are embroiled in cases, what they want probably more than anything is the people that have delivered for them for years to be there with them, to be an extension of their team, to be able to trust that when they pick up the phone they’re not going to get an 800 or get put into a ticketing queue but they get the person they know and like.”
  • “[The shift to SAAS] allows practitioners to consult more and think less about the volume side of things.”
  • “By moving to SAAS,] you’re in a position where you can be strategic about what data you push through, try to find the right data as quickly as you can, and then use different technologies to get through it quicker – things like AI and other mechanisms to cull the data faster – and then that becomes the competitive advantage rather than the speed to ingest.”
  • “I think we are starting to see [companies’ bringing of eDiscovery technology in-house] expand now to more of the general market where more companies are seeing that there is an advantage to having some legal technology inhouse.”
  • “[Initial adoption of new technology] usually is the biggest barrier. Once you get people working in it, they get, it makes sense, they understand how to do it.”

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