May 31, 2018

Epiq Acquires Soliton Systems’ E-Discovery Business, Japanese Character Processing

The acquisition provides a direct answer to the East Asian language barrier problems many U.S.-based e-discovery providers face.

For the past several years, Asia has represented one of the largest growing markets for e-discovery services. The increase in demand, though, has led to some issues with e-discovery software providers, both in translating East Asian languages for e-discovery tools, as well as complying with local discovery and data protection regulations.

Legal services company Epiq, one of the largest e-discovery companies in the industry, is tackling this issue through a method that is becoming increasingly common: M&A. On June 1, Epiq announced its acquisition of Tokyo-based Soliton Systems’ e-discovery business, formerly known as Ji2. Financial details for the transaction have not been announced.

Soliton Systems is primarily known for its IT security, video communication, and eco-device businesses. In e-discovery, however, it is known for its patented, proprietary technology that optimizes Japanese character set processing. This provides a direct answer to the language barrier problems many U.S.-based e-discovery providers face, and the capability will likely be integrated into Epiq’s systems in due time.

In addition, Epiq will be bringing on board Soliton’s e-discovery experts within Japan, growing a stable of international e-discovery managers that has only grown since the company formerly known as Epiq Systems was purchased by fellow e-discovery company DTI in 2016.

“The acquisition of Soliton’s e-discovery business enhances our existing presence and expertise in Japan,” said Caroline Woodman, Epiq managing director, Asia, in a press release. “It will increase our flexibility to service both local Japanese companies as well as multinational companies doing business in Japan. Ji2 was a highly recognized name in Japanese e-discovery, and we look forward to bringing their expertise in-house.”

2018 has been a banner year for e-discovery M&A thus far. Among the deals in recent months are Catalyst’s acquisition of TotalDiscovery, CloudNine’s acquisition of the LexisNexis E-Discovery Suite, and the merger of Consilio and Advanced Discovery.