Already commemorating its 10th anniversary, iDS recently received news worthy of further celebration. The Chambers and Partners USA 2018 guide recognized iDiscovery Solutions with two Band 1 rankings.
“iDS is thrilled and honored,” says Mr. Regard, President and CEO of iDS. “We have worked hard to be the very best at what we do, and this ranking is a testament to the years of effort and the many hundreds of cases we’ve worked.“
As for being personally recognized as a top eDiscovery consultant, he says, “It was a surprise and compliment on many levels.”
The rankings are a prestigious honor for iDS and Mr. Regard, but perhaps more importantly, they represent a momentous victory for eDiscovery consulting. This is the first time Chambers and Partners has ranked eDiscovery consultants, and it reflects the significant role they play in the resolution of issues. The prevalence of technology and data in cases has necessitated more frequent use of technologists with specialized expertise. The new ranking acknowledges that need.
It’s a move many in the eDiscovery community applaud, including Mike Lackey, who leads Mayer Brown’s global Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice. “Over the past 10 years, discovery has become increasingly complex due to the challenge, and value, of electronic evidence,” he says. “I applaud Chambers and Partners for recognizing the necessity for great eDiscovery competence in lawyers, firms, consultants and vendors.”
Tess Blair, leader of Morgan Lewis’ eData Practice Group, agrees. “Technology expertise and support has become a major part of many of our cases, and I applaud Chambers and Partners for including Litigation Support in their 2018 rankings,” says Ms. Blair, a 2018 Chambers and Partners-ranked eDiscovery attorney. “This is a sign of where the practice of law has come, and where we are going.”
While attorneys and consultants had previously been lumped together, Mr. Regard notes that recognizing the individual practices is an acknowledgement that the two are complementary pieces that can be used to produce favorable results. “A good lawyer and a good consultant make a great team,” he says.
An Honor Like Few Others
Chambers and Partners has published its legal guides since 1990, and it’s considered one of the definitive rankings of law firms and attorneys. Highly regarded, their rankings are the result of independent evaluations based on legal knowledge and experience, ability, effectiveness and client service. Firms and lawyers are ranked in bands from 1-6, with 1 being the highest honor.
“Band 1 recognition by Chambers and Partners is probably the most significant recognition that lawyers and firms can receive and is the result of a rigorous vetting process,” says Robert Owen of Eversheds Sutherland, who was ranked as a Band 1 eDiscovery attorney. “Dan Regard and iDS are at the very top of the eDiscovery litigation support universe and deserve the recognition.”
Mr. Lackey, also a Chambers and Partners-ranked attorney, echoes that sentiment. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dan Regard and iDS on a variety of eDiscovery thought leadership groups, including the original Sedona Conference Working Group on Electronic Document Retention & Production (WG1), and I wholeheartedly endorse the choice of iDS collectively, and Dan Regard individually, for Band 1,” he says.
“I am not surprised that Dan Regard and iDS were ranked Band 1 by Chambers and Partners,” says David Kessler, Head of Data and Information Risk at Norton Rose Fulbright, who was also honored with a Band 1 ranking. “They have been (and continue to be) the top eDiscovery consultants in the country.”
The admiration is mutual. “We feel privileged to be in the company of the people in these rankings,” says Mr. Regard.
Throughout the eDiscovery community, there’s a respect for the work everyone has done to advance the field. Many of those recognized by Chambers and Partners have had a hand in elevating eDiscovery, resulting in a strong kinship. Over the last decade, Mr. Regard and iDS have had the privilege of working with many of them closely.
As iDS celebrates its 10th anniversary and this recognition, it’s impossible not to reflect on the road that has led to these honors and the collective effort in achieving them.
“Every honor that iDS has received is a reflection of the great team that we have assembled, and the trust our clients have put into our work,” says Mr. Regard. “This is a tribute to their hard work, expertise and creativity. I feel honored to work with them.”