Friday, August 24, 2012

Task based billing: A way forward

Are you a law firm looking for ways to drive out in-efficiency from your firm in order to be more competitive and profitable?

Do you as a firm find it difficult to measure the productivity of your firm?

Are you losing out on your fortune setting up the compliances and then ensuring that they have been adhered to by your employees?

If the answer to the above questions is yes then probably the time has come to look for the innovative ways in order to be the preferred choice of your clients in today’s competitive world. Though, innovation has no end and there can be umpteen numbers of things that a law firm can seriously consider to achieve the desired results. Today as always I would like to talk about outsourcing in this article.

Outsourcing in today’s time is synonymous with the curbing of local jobs in order to increase the profits of an organization.  However, the only reason why it has been so successful is because of the model that it is based on rather than just the lucrative profits that come along with it. The model that I want to highlight over here is the concept of task based billing which means that now you pay once you get the desired output from your vendor.

It is no secret that the legal industry is going through drastic changes all across the world. This is bringing in tougher times for legal professionals especially in the US and the UK. The fact that the number of sole practitioner law firms have suffered the steepest fall since the financial crisis, as the lack of bank lending continues, tells the entire story. As a result, almost every law firm today is looking for ways to increase their efficiency more than ever. Usually the increase in efficiency means the increase in the productivity with no compromise on the quality of the work. This can be done by identifying the areas in which there’s scope of improvement and removing the wastage of time at every level.
Since, it’s the people who are doing work and are the moving force for any organisation, it becomes imperative that a firm ensures that it’s getting the optimum output from its resources and this is where task-based billing can just be a ‘rabbit out of hat” kind of a thing for the struggling law practitioners.

The best part over here is you’re paying for the final work that is being done and not for the time consumed for doing that work. Even if you hire a fixed resource from your vendor, usually the efficiency of that person is decided in the contract itself which again gives you an assurance for the amount of work that will be done for you no matter what. Also requirement for the supervision is at its minimum as there’s a sense of ownership among people for whatever has been assigned to them. And last but not the least, it leads to the promotion of entrepreneurship among people who are associated with the organisation and therefore can make vital contribution to the growth of the firm.

In the end, I would say that not only law firms but companies should look at this aspect very carefully as it is the way forward in the present scenario.

Monday, August 13, 2012

If you were not an attorney...

Attorney, lawyer, solicitor, advocate, barrister or counsel - different names but same profession and similar personality traits as well. A person whose profession is to give legal advice and assistance to clients and represent them in court or in other legal matters. In different countries they are called by various names.  Clients demonstrate full trust in them and reveal all of their ins and outs to make their case stronger. An attorney's tasks as a spokesperson of clients, a representative of the legal system, and a public citizen are usually melodious. On the other hand conflicting responsibilities are also often encountered when there is a clash between lawyer's responsibility to a client and the lawyer's own sense of personal honour, including responsibility to society and the legal profession.

"If there were no bad people there would be no good lawyers" [Charles Dickens The Old Curiosity Shop]

"I'm trusting in the Lord and a good lawyer" [Oliver North]

"I don't want a lawyer to tell me what I cannot do; I hire him to tell me how to do what I want to do" [J. Pierpoint Morgan]

"A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns" [Mario Puzo The Godfather]

Attorneys possess very unique characteristics and it’s really hard to relate them to an alternative profession.  They are very task oriented and speak their mind and are often seen as the most argumentative personalities on the planet. Very high scorers on knowledge, they value education and take pleasure in academic activities. Attorneys are resistant to authority and sceptical of others. Wanting perfection in whatever they do, they normally become overly critical and tensed (excited) even on the misplacements of commas in a document. When it comes to lifestyle they prefer environments that are stylish, entertaining, and flexible.

It is very tough to think of a society where there are no attorneys because Law is the system of rules of conduct recognized by the government of a society to correct wrongs, uphold the solidity of political and social authority, and deliver justice.  Attorneys are the ambassadors of the legal system of any country and are experts in the way their country’s rules and government operate. If there were no attorneys, I think, there would not be any law because they are the actual caretaker of a country’s law and order. A common man does not know much about the laws and in the absence of proper guidance laws might be violated. In other words every citizen need a representative not only to get him justice but in every phase of life.

After discussing this with many attorneys and even those who are not into profession I reached a conclusion that most of them could not think themselves beyond this line of work.  I know most of the readers of this post would be attorneys and would really like to see their opinion if they ever thought of this. I am sure even those who complain about the profession never wish to think beyond law as the line of work.

About Draft n Craft

Established in 2008, Draft n Craft is a cut to the chase Legal Process Outsourcing Company with strong and dedicated work force of professionals. Having established a brilliant track record, Draft n Craft has been partners of growth to many of the law firms and corporations in the UK and US. Draft n Craft’s supreme focus has always been on helping lawyers deliver the best value to their clients by working on process and technology optimization, and by devising ways to rationalize client’s operational spending. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Draft n Craft: The Journey So Far..

Over four years in to its existence, Draft n Craft has made its special place in this ever growing legal outsourcing industry.  Starting out in the heart of the city of Delhi with a few people, Draft n Craft has grown 10 folds since 2008.

Draft n Craft team has always tried to share its knowledge and thoughts with the whole industry.  We made our first attempt at this by hosting a seminar in London in June 2009, which was attended by some of the prestigious law firms in England & Wales.  Since then, there has been no looking back.  We have been and continue host  numerous webcasts on different areas of interest ranging from service specific subjects like legal research, document review, contract outsourcing solutions and legal transcription to industry specific sessions.

Draft n Craft has continued to add value in to the legal outsourcing industry by representing itself at various domestic and international events.

Continuously trying to do something new and innovative, Draft n Craft, ensures a customized delivery model for each of its clients to suit their requirements.  Infact in 2010, we came out with a new and unique delivery model called AptCaptive®.  A change welcomed by many who were considering outsourcing their legal and paralegal services but had their apprehensions towards it.

With advanced technology and superior team to produce quality results, the clients have been stress free in terms of the work being sent to them.  Recently, our client, an attorney from Georgia, US said, I have to tell you that the quality of the work is excellent and is coming back practically word perfect which makes my job a whole lot easier.  Keep up the great work.!!

Draft n Craft has always taken pride in each and every work that is carried out in the company.  It has encouraged each department and has always valued the hard work and efforts put in by the teams. 

About Draft n Craft

Established in 2008, Draft n Craft is a cut to the chase Legal Process Outsourcing Company with strong and dedicated work force of professionals. Having established a brilliant track record, Draft n Craft has been partners of growth to many of the law firms and corporations in the UK and US. Draft n Craft’s supreme focus has always been on helping lawyers deliver the best value to their clients by working on process and technology optimization, and by devising ways to rationalize client’s operational spending.

Monday, August 6, 2012


By the time I will post this blog I am sure the legal market will get few more post on this topic. However, being associated with a Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) company I could not stop myself to look for the prominent aspects and benefits of this industry. Outsourcing/Offshoring legal work was not a burning topic few years back but with the emergence of quality outsourcing companies, law firms/attorneys in US and UK are approving this concept and using the experience of global talents to enrich and add value to their core jobs. Countries like: India, Philippines, Ireland, South Africa, Mauritius, China and Brazil are proving to be effective players. Among them India being the second largest democracy with new age technology charting new grounds every moment, more than 200,000 fresh law graduate passing every year and 150 + LPO companies already providing their quality services, is leading the show. Now, when big law firms and general counsels are supporting outsourcing and find it cost effective, its time for the small and medium sized law firms and solo attorneys to look for ways to grow their reach and give their best to their clients. By sending low end jobs to the outsourcing/offshoring partner they are not only able to give more time to their core jobs but this also gives them freedom to use the credentials of their partner to add value and services to their current profiles. Below are the few points on legal process outsourcing industry specific to Indian market.

What is Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO)?
LPO refers to the service industry wherein legal and paralegal support services of the client’s firm or an individual is performed by the outsourcing party. Cost, resource and speed advantage are the levers responsible for the mushrooming of this phenomenon across the world. The common law system, huge pool of English educated attorneys, time zone advantage, quality, confidentiality and security are the factors supporting the growth of legal process outsourcing industry.

Three eminent aspects of an LPO transaction:

  • The Client: From where work comes. In other words, who gives work to execute.
  • The Provider/Vendor: The organization that provides the LPO services and processes the work according to needs of the clients.
  • The Project: The task/work which needs to be executed.
The services provided by the LPO industry ranges from preparation of pleadings, drafting of contracts, litigation support, legal transaction, IPR, proof reading, research and due diligence. The growth and development of the legal outsourcing/offshoring industry in India will help bringing a change in the way legal services are delivered in the west. This will also help in improving the economies of different countries.

LPO industry is mounting because of mutual benefits of clients and service providers. The increasing prominence of the LPO industry in the world today, is owing to the benefits listed below:

  • Cost Effectiveness: Outsourcing legal work to LPOs (India, Argentina, Philippines etc) results to a cost saving of 50-70% which facilitates an organization to gain efficiency and staying profitable in the competitive world of business. Outsourcing/Offshoring legal work is very cost effective for law firms/corporate in the UK and the USA.
  • Time Zone: The time difference and the availability of 24×7 support staff encourage outsourcing of legal work even more. By outsourcing research and paralegal tasks, the in-house counsel are able to concentrate on core legal issues. As law firm attorneys or in-house counsel in the West have their dinner, their assigned work is attended to and completed in India due to the time zone advantage.
  • Language: English being the language for education and business in world is an advantage. There can never be a communication gap as lawyers are well versed in English and all courts in India and many other countries function in English.
  • Eminence: The Indians are known for their intelligence and intellect. The same may be applied to Indian legal brains. Indian legal professionals have brilliant proficiency in working with the tools and systems in the outsourcing industry. Their writing skills and legal knowledge enhancement has resulted in making them an important pillar of the outsourcing operations.
  • Confidentiality: The most important factor in outsourcing legal services is the privacy of information of attorneys. The data outsourced by an attorney to an LPO is always privileged information. This information has to be protected so as to maintain the confidentiality of the client. At all levels, confidentiality is being maintained.
  • Variety of Services: An LPO provides variety of services to its clients. Law firms and Attorneys not only cut their costs but also get various services from one service provider. Law firms/Attorneys can broaden their areas of working by relying on the back office support of an LPO.
  • Resources: By outsourcing, the foreign law firm or the corporation frees its resources to concentrate on its core competencies thus increasing the client base and court appearances vis-a–vis the competitors.
Though this list above is not mutually exhaustive but is indicative of the main triggers of the industry and I would look for more points to share in my next post.

Draft n Craft specializes in outsourcing of legal and paralegal services. We have provided more than a handful of advanced solutions to various clients in the U.K. and the U.S.A.; we take immense pleasure in serving all business needs, from the very basic legal undertakings to the most complex and farthest orientations. Contact Us