The cloud-based e-discovery and litigation company Everlaw today released the latest iteration of its platform — the largest release in the history of the company — which adds early case assessment capabilities, new automated quality assurance features, and a connector to Microsoft Office 365, among hundreds of improvements.

The company says these new features provide legal teams with sophisticated technology to improve efficiencies and substantially reduce discovery costs, giving legal professionals the time and resources to dedicate to case strategy and uncovering the data that matters most.

Given the increased use over the past year of digital technology and the corresponding rise in companies’ accumulation of digital data, there is a particular need by legal professionals for early case assessment (ECA) tools that cam help them quickly and economically get insights into large quantities of data in litigation and investigation matters.

Everlaw’s new ECA tool is intended to provide users with the ability to more quickly identify and eliminate irrelevant data, pinpoint potentially relevant insights, and determine risks and benefits of taking a case to trial or settling out of court.

Gregory Marliave, vice president of product at Everlaw, told me that the ECA tool enables customers to host data in a staging area at a significantly lower cost than if it were in the full review environment, where they can cull out junk and prioritize documents for review.

But even though the documents are in a staging area, they are fully processed, so users are not limited to text and metadata. In addition, users working in the staging area have full access to Everlaw’s search and data visualization tools, including its Data Visualizer.

One of the factors that can drive up costs in e-discovery matters is the processing and review of data that ultimately turns out to be non-responsive. By allowing earlier identification of non-responsive data, Everlaw says, its ECA tool will lower hosting costs and, in turn, decrease discovery costs, while also reducing the overall size of the data set to be reviewed.

Everlaw says that one law firm that used its ECA  for a large construction matter was able to reduce data volumes by over 70%.

Also part of today’s release is a major enhancement of Everlaw’s integrated pre-production quality assurance (QA) workflow. The QA feature identifies potential problems in a production and offers recommended fixes ahead of a production deadline.

Everlaw has automated several standard QA searches so documents slated for production are checked automatically. These automated searches including checking documents against your settings for redactions and privilege, checking attachment families and for broken families, checking for inconsistencies in coding, and checking for documents that have been previously produced.

Users can stay informed of potential quality assurance warnings and receive recommended fixes that they are then able to apply before making the production.

Additionally, Everlaw released a Microsoft Office 365 connector to make it easier for teams working remotely to collaborate and upload data directly into the Everlaw platform.

Marliave said Everlaw will be releasing several additional cloud connectors in the near future, including for Slack.

All of the new features are available to current customers immediately.

The release of the features comes just ahead of Everlaw’s first-ever conference, Illuminate, which will be held virtually on April 27 and 28 and focus on current and future trends in e-discovery and litigation.

“Product innovation has been a top priority this past year, especially as legal teams faced new and unprecedented challenges and demand for cloud-based collaboration tools surged,” AJ Shankar, Everlaw’s CEO, said of today’s release. “We’re constantly evolving to ensure that cooperation, organization and development of cases is cost-effective, seamless and streamlined in remote environments.”

[Disclosure: Everlaw is a paid advertiser on this blog and on the LawNext podcast that I host.]