Sitting with the C-Suite: Dean Gonsowski of ActiveNav

On August 27, I sat down with Dean Gonsowki, the Chief Revenue Officer of ActiveNav, via WebEx. In part one of my two-part interview with Dean, we covered his extensive background in the eDiscovery industry, how the industry grew and developed, and how the eDiscovery in 2020 compares with its roots. This is a great time to stop and reflect on where eDiscovery has been, and use that context to help consider where it is likely going. 

Dean is a lawyer who has an almost 20-year history in the eDiscovery space, starting with the founding of S3 Partners in 2001. Dean’s experience spans from time at Fios, to Clearwell/Veritas, to Recommind/Opentext, to Relativity/kCura. Since 2018, Dean has been the Chief Revenue Officer of ActiveNav.

Litigation Readiness for In-House Counsel: Then vs. Now

Dean explains the differences in developing litigation readiness programs in the early-2000s, versus the challenges of doing so in the present day; Dean focuses on the deeper experience that current-day companies have, and the overall demystification of data and eDiscovery.

Consumption Gaps between Tools and Users  

Dean discusses “getting the Ferrari out of first gear” in terms of technology adoption among lawyers using eDiscovery tools, and avoiding the “nuclear proliferation” of features and functionality within the eDiscovery industry that are not being used.

The Importance of a Cohesive eDiscovery Team

Dean notes the evolution of various disciplines within information management and the need for a coalition of professionals – a multi-disciplinary team – to address the many facets of information governance.

In-House Counsel: Insourcing vs. Outsourcing for Your Organization

Dean discusses finding the right balance of building in-house eDiscovery capabilities to the actual needs of the corporation based on a combination of considerations, including the litigation profile, the in-house staffing mindset and the risk mitigation philosophy. 

ActiveNav, founded in 2008, is a company providing file analysis software for the discovery, transformation and ongoing control of unstructured data wherever it lies in the enterprise. Looking forward, in part two of the interview, we are going to look closely at ActiveNav, its focus, and many information governance questions. That will be posted later this year.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at I would love to hear from you.

LeanDiscovery: Sitting with the C-Suite is a series of interviews designed to provide in-house legal counsel with a birds-eye view of the eDiscovery marketplace, particularly its various technology and service providers. A key component of great eDiscovery management and execution is having a great supply chain. Sitting with the C-Suite is a forum to hear directly from the C-Suite of various eDiscovery providers about the marketplace history, current and future service offerings, and expectations of things to come. This is not an advertisement or endorsement of any of the speakers, or the companies, services and technology that they represent, by either the interviewer or Baker Donelson. The views expressed are those of the speaker. Baker Donelson’s eDiscovery team seeks to provide the best client value throughout the eDiscovery life cycle. If you have any companies or speakers that you would like to see featured, please feel free to reach out to us at