5 Reasons Firms Are Spending Less On Records Management

January 18, 2023 | Elless Solutions Team

You’ve probably noticed that the price of everything seems to be going up pretty sharply. It’s no secret that the economy is in a sticky situation. Surprisingly, when it comes to archive storage suppliers, things are a little different. Although the major archive storage suppliers continue to increase their prices in line with the current RPI, our updated research has shown that the cost of archiving in the legal sector is falling!

To enable a true comparison of archiving costs in the legal sector, we have measured the annual archiving cost per fee earner in each practice. The chart below, highlights how this measure continues to fall over time, and provides some startling statistics:

What is causing this reduction in annual archiving cost?

In our opinion, the following 5 reasons have played a pivotal role…

1. Introduction of a Retention Policy

Many lawyers have always had a retention policy – even if it was as simple as “we do not destroy anything”! The introduction in 2016 by the European Union of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) put a spotlight on the risk of retaining documents longer than you were required to do. Since then, most legal firms have introduced a retention policy. The result? Storing everything forever is no longer the only option.

2. Robust policing of such a policy

While a Retention Policy is beneficial, it does not in itself help to reduce the cost of archiving. To be successful, the policy needs to be robustly policed with strict standards and rules. We suggest working alongside your archive supplier whose system will be able to inform you when a document can be destroyed.

Here’s a free Elless top tip – remember that it is not in your supplier’s interest to destroy your records and lose storage revenue. Every once and a while, they may need reminding that you should be alerted to pending destruction.

3. Two-tier storage solution

Two-tier storage solutions are another reason why legal firms are saving some cash on records management. Unfortunately, many suppliers are pretty reluctant to engage with this two-tier system, as it can cost them some serious cash.

Identifying inactive records that rarely move or can be delivered in 48 hours (as opposed to same or next-day delivery) could be a game changer. Once categorised and sorted, these records can then be transported to a cheaper, longer-term storage system, away from more expensive city centre locations. It might sound simple, but many of the best solutions often are!

4. Digital Workflows

Paper is so last century.

Software such as DocuSign and Adobe ensures that many documents are now born digital and stay digital – leaving little room for physical archiving. Clearly, this has played a big role in reducing the volume of physical documents being sent to off-site storage suppliers and therefore lowering a law firm’s archive storage costs. When combined with a 2 tiered storage system, there are some serious savings to be made.

The paperless office is becoming more and more inevitable and, if you haven’t already, it’s time to embrace it with open arms.


As with every other statistic on the planet, the decreasing amount spent on records management has clearly been impacted by the pandemic. After offices closed and staff set up workspaces at home, digital workflows were inevitably introduced at a faster rate in many practices. Many archive providers also promoted ‘scan on demand’ services to help businesses push through the worst of the pandemic. All in all, it’s obvious that this has accelerated the move from physical to digital workflows and storage.


So, there you go – our top 5 reasons for legal firms spending less on their records management. If one thing is clear, it’s that the digital revolution is here to stay. It’s time to take the bull by the horns and adapt.

Many of our legal clients, with our help, have worked through these 5 steps, which we call the journey to Smart Records Management or SmartRM. We’re happy to say that the vast majority of them have seen up to 50% savings on their archive storage costs – a genuinely transformative number. Get in touch with us today to discover how we can help you save money on your archive storage – there’s no time to lose.

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Contact us today to get started on the process. If you have any questions we will be more than happy to advise.

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Elless Solutions Team

Elless Solutions Team

In 2016, we created Elless to be the independent advisor that fills the gap and provides businesses with bespoke solutions, honest advice and cost-saving answers. Continue Reading...

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