Monday, August 6, 2012

LPO - SOME WILL SOME WON’T: AN ATTORNEY’S DILEMMA

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
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