Sitting with the C-Suite: Ian Wilson of Servient

On July 21, I sat down with Ian Wilson, the founder and chief executive officer of Servient, via WebEx.  A former lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, Ian discussed a wide range of topics from the relationship of machine learning and searching, information governance implementation and what’s next on the horizon for Servient. 

Ian handled complex commercial litigation in private practice.  He founded technology-based company DiscSense in the early 1990s, which was later sold to West Publishing Company in 1998.  Ian then went on to found Servient in 2013.

Trial Teams – Narrowing Data through Centric Search

Ian explains having an integrated ECA workspace that supports machine learning over the document population before migration to the review platform, facilitating new iterative workflows that Ian calls “technology-assisted culling.”

In-House Counsel – Leveraging Information Governance (IG)

Ian discusses priming an IG implementation by targeting a particular and isolated issue that can be quickly and immediately implemented, discussing a particular client that effectively used this approach for international trade compliance IG.

In-House Counsel – Measuring ROI on an eDiscovery Program

Ian discusses measuring the ROI of any new technology, including changing to a machine learning workflow, and the importance of measuring the effectiveness of the accuracy of the initial manual process as compared to the machine learning output.  He also notes the need to identify the ROI that is being considered, including ROIs that are focused on financial, risk, and/or efficiency.

Servient – What’s Next?

Ian discusses “the wave of the future” being Servient’s “Cloud Connect,” which directly connects the eDiscovery applications through APIs to cloud-based applications such as Office 360 and Slack.

Ian described Servient as “primarily a software company” that “takes you from processing all the way through production” as an “end-to-end solution.”  He reported that Servient has ten years of research and development focused on machine learning, which is part of “the fabric of the underlying solution as opposed to just a plug-in.”  Servient provides services for various Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and law firms and has a global presence.

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