Thursday, June 28, 2012

Legal Outsourcing: A Victim of Conventional Realism

Bickel & Brewer was the first law firm to outsource and open its office in India in 1995. It’s been more than a decade since it happened and ever since then many law firms have outsourced their work to the off-shore vendors. Since then, legal outsourcing as an industry has evolved a lot. What started as a mere project almost 15 years ago has become a multimillion industry today. It is expected to reach at least $4Bn by 2015. Legal outsourcing to an extent has revolutionized the legal profession, one of the most dynamic and challenging profession across the world. We have at least 12,000 professionals associated with legal outsourcing presently and it is predicted that the number will go up to 15,000 by 2015.

The recent developments in the legal industry be it cost pressures, ABS, Jackson’s Reform or the fruition of consumerism which is quite a new phenomenon in legal profession, elicits the fact that there’s an immediate need for law firms to create competitive advantage. A solution beyond alternative fee structures needs to be created to survive and outsourcing could just be that solution which can rejuvenate the legal industry.

But despite all the growth this industry has witnessed in the last decade, there still lies an aura of myths while dealing with offshore vendors. While outsourcing can be an apt solution for almost every type of law firms, it is still marked as a concept meant for bigger firms only. On one hand where the advancement in technology has virtually removed all the geographical barriers, it is still perceived that a simple task of transferring data from one location to another can be daunting and can lead to loss of control.

There’s no denying that the issues revolving outsourcing are vital for every law firm and cannot be compromised at any cost.  At the same time it is not an impossible phenomenon.  The industry growth talks for itself.  In short it’s the right time for law practitioners to amalgamate with outsourcing and create an analytical approach that can help them cope with changing legal environment.

As said by Mr. John F. Kennedy  “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

While you were sleeping…

A lot is changing in the current legal market.  Be it the United States or the United Kingdom where we are seeing the legal industry going through turmoil.  With the Alternative Business Structures being implemented and of course the LSA, the law firms are a little shaken up.

What is everyone doing to beat this change and move ahead in a manner which is fruitful and gives that competitive edge? In a recent webinar by me on Legal Outsourcing – Paving theRoad Ahead!!, I had attempted to focus on this issue.  We are seeing that today, it has become a more of buyers market rather than a seller’s market.  And clients today are demanding more and more cost effective services with the high quality.

We are seeing a trend where we have external investments being pumped in to the law firms, super market law shops selling legal services and of course something which cannot be missed is the extensive mergers which are taking place in the industry. By joining forces, the smaller law firms hope to widen their service offering and to retain existing clients. For larger firms, mergers are giving way to ready-made regional offices and international offices or expanded practices. These are definitely some of the things which are coming in to light. 

However, another important change which we see happening is the more and more utilization of outsourced legal and paralegal services.  Yes, infact legal process outsourcing has jumped up to action like a spring and is being used by more and more firms now. A very recent study showed that almost 15% of the law firms in UK are now outsourcing and reaping benefits off it. 

While law-firm profits have been moving up slowly since the recession, earnings haven't returned to the expected growth. And the gap between the wealthiest and lesser players is expanding.  And outsourcing is emerging as a savior.

The road blocks which existed for outsourcing have cleared out and has given way to firms to go ahead in that direction.  The key thing here is to wake up and smell the need to do something different than the conventional ways of practice.  While you may be sleeping, your competitors may be moving ahead and getting that competitive edge which will help them to survive in this current market scenario.

If you are not riding the wave of change……’ll find yourself beneath it.   Are you one of those who are waiting to “follow” others or the ones to be the “leaders”?

Professional Privilege - The Global Perspective

Confidentiality is an ethical principle associated with numerous professions such as law, medicine within which it is forbidden to disclose any information to persons except to authorize. Legal Professional Privilege is far narrower in scope than confidentiality.  It is in one sense a subset of confidentiality, since only communications that are confidential can be privileged.  The legal professional privilege is rule of law by which confidentiality of communications between a lawyer and a client is protected.  The effect of privilege is to allow a party litigating to withhold a document which is otherwise discoverable.  By contrast, mere confidentiality is no bar to discovery.

I being an attorney can very well appreciate how every legal professional is obliged to keep anything pertaining to the client confidential. The duty of confidentiality is much broader than the attorney-client evidentiary privilege, which only covers communications between the attorney and the client. Law recognizes many such communications as privileged communications and in case of breach, repercussions are also stated. Communication between a doctor and patient, communication between a lawyer and client, communication between a Clergy and a communicant in a Church, communication between husband and wife, all are treated as privileged communications and must be kept confidential.

Both the privilege and the duty serve the purpose of encouraging clients to speak frankly about their cases. This way, attorneys will be able to carry out their duty to provide clients with fanatical representation. Otherwise, the opposing side may be able to surprise the attorney in court with something which he did not know about his client, which makes both attorney and client look stupid and sometime even cause loosing the case in hand.

In some jurisdictions the attorney must try to convince the client to confirm his or her conduct to the boundaries of the law before disclosing any otherwise confidential information. In India, professional communications between attorneys and clients are protected as ‘privileged communications’ under the Indian Evidence Act, 1972, Section 126 and Section 129. These sections prevent a legal adviser from disclosing professional communication. As a critic of these sections, I can add that Indian law is silent on some aspects such as patent agents; trademark agents are not included in the ambit of these sections as they are not regarded as variety of lawyer and are out of common law privilege.

In England, the main category of privilege afforded to a communication is legal professional privilege. The Civil Procedure Rules 1998 ('CPR') Rule 31.15 establishes a right to inspect documents in civil litigation, and provide that a party to whom a document has been disclosed has a right to inspect that document except where the party making disclosure has the right to withhold such inspection.
There are two forms of legal professional privilege, which apply to differing groups of people:

Legal Advice Privilege: Legal advice privilege protects confidential communications between lawyers and their clients for the purposes of giving or obtaining legal advice.

Litigation Privilege: Litigation privilege protects confidential communications between lawyers, clients and third parties made for the purposes of litigation, either actual or contemplated.

The attorney-client privilege is one of the oldest recognized privileges for confidential communications. The United States Supreme Court has stated that by assuring confidentiality the privilege encourages clients to make "full and frank" disclosures to their attorneys, who are then better able to provide candid advice and effective representation. The attorney client privilege is subdivided into two parts:-

Attorney-client communication privilege
Attorney work product

Attorney-client communication privilege is a legal concept that protects certain communications between a client and his or her attorney and keeps those communications confidential. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 26(b) (3) (A) covers Attorney Client Communication.

In American civil procedure, the work-product doctrine protects materials prepared in anticipation of litigation from discovery by opposing counsel. Under the work-product doctrine, "tangible material or its intangible equivalent" that is collected or prepared in anticipation of litigation is not discoverable, and may be shielded from discovery by a Protective Order, unless the party seeking discovery can demonstrate that the sought facts can only be obtained through discovery and that those facts are indispensable for impeaching or substantiating a claim. That is, the party unable to obtain the information has no other means of obtaining the information without undue hardship.

There are a number of exceptions to the privilege in most jurisdictions, chief among them are:- the communication was made in the presence of individuals who were neither attorney nor client, or disclosed to such individuals, the communication was made for the purpose of committing a crime or tort, the client has waived the privilege by, for example, publicly disclosing the communication.

A corollary to the attorney-client privilege is the joint defense privilege, which is also called the common interest rule. The common interest rule serves to protect the confidentiality of communications passing from one party to another party where a joint defense or strategy has been decided upon and undertaken by the parties and their respective counsel. An attorney speaking publicly in regard to a client's personal business and private affairs can be reprimanded by the bar and/or disbarred, regardless of the fact that he or she may be no longer representing the client. Airing of a client's or past client's dirty laundry is viewed as a breach of fiduciary responsibilities.

As a concluding remark I can say that professional privilege is the basis for which confidential communication must be protected when legal counsel is sought.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Is legal industry going through a surgery?

If I look into the past I could recall the role and involvement of the lawyers limited to the courts and in cases where some crime was committed. People wearing black coats were seen only in or nearby court areas. But the profession has seen major revolutionary changes in recent past. Now lawyers are not limited to courts only where they are involved in criminal cases representing their clients, they have become consultants and advisors. They work for organisations and deal with day to day legal issues of corporate and individuals. In last two decades there has been a noticeable transformation in both the size of the legal industry and the number of lawyers. There have been forces and factors which are changing the way legal industry is lived so far. It seems as if the industry is undergoing a cosmetic surgery to get a more attractive face.

We all are witness to the introduction of Legal Services Act (LSA) 2007, which has brought the entire legal industry under the same roof by putting together the skill set of different professionals including lawyers and non – lawyers like bankers, insurance and financial service providers. It encourages the formation of Alternative Business Structure (ABS) and establishment of such a super store which delivers packages of legal services and other related services to consumer at the same time and same place. While LSA talks about merging the different verticals together to offer consumers more choices, law firms seem little reserved about this but they are open to merge with their direct rivals.

In the current business scenario it is noticed  that one law firm buys the other and absorbs its  employees, takes its assets and liabilities into consideration and the latter loses its identity and continue working in the name of the former. Sometimes two law firms merge to form a new identity with increased net worth, specialised services, partners, attorneys, more number of offices and clients. As a result the customers get varied services at the same place. Recently we witnessed mergers like Pinsent Masons and McGrigors, Davies Arnold Cooper and Beachcroft, Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and Clyde & Co, Weightmans and Mace & Jones and latest in the row Lawrence Graham and Field Fisher Waterhouse have started merger talks.  Inspite of being big players of the legal industry large law firms are facing Increased competition and pressure from the clients to reduce the costs which  have made them to go beyond the organisational and geographical boundaries as well. They are taking the services of offshore service providers who are performing the same task at the same quality but at a very low cost. It has allowed them to shed their legal expenditure by 30% to 70% resulting in the increased profit margins also.

On the other hand technology is playing an important role to boost the solo practice. In the past no one might have imagined a day when lawyers advise their clients without even meeting them in person. Technology and internet today has played an important role in making this a reality enabling lawyers work virtually for their clients. It has resulted in offering better rates to clients and flexibility in work to the lawyer.

Considering all the factors I can say that the current legal industry is going through a cosmetic surgery and I am confident that the new face would be more beautiful, attractive and customer friendly which would be beneficial for both clients and the law firms. 

Friday, June 8, 2012


How many of you try to avoid attending calls in your business hours?

I am sure answer is many of us. In this busy world we don’t have time to answer everything and when it is a call which has marketing tone, no one in planet wants to answer that and the poor phone’s receiver has to pay the cost. But, in recent past I have realized that it is not about answering the calls, it is about the opportunities which we don’t want to take. We don’t have time to think too much on one single thing. As per the human behavior sometimes we don’t want to hear anything which we believe is complicated and need some research about current trends and market to understand it properly. As a business developer of an LPO, I can say to all my lawyer friends “Not Every Call Is a Sales Call”. I know being a lawyer you have less time and plenty of responsibilities on your shoulders but if you are an active professional you should open to confront anything. Pick up the receiver, may be it will give you an idea to improve your business, a step forward what you wanted from years: ‘A good strategy and a capability aimed to improve your service, reduce costs, and manage risk’. I believe everyone will agree that lawyering need commercial acumen or in other words a commercial sense which helps legal professionals to know current business environment and to implement all new ways in their working.

What lawyers have in their mind while picking up a call that ‘I don’t want to entertain anyone who want my time and money both’. To let you know people often hesitate to call unless they particularly know their calls are welcomed by the other person. At times lawyers prefer to hear the answering machine than the direct voice. This can be better approach to see the importance of the call coming from a person, particularly true in case of prospects who haven't yet established a relationship with them. But, to my understanding, it would be good if they don’t assume things and try to go through the details, ask their doubts and look for the trust which they want from the caller. While writing this article somewhere I saw this line: “I don’t want to be a pest, but I do want to follow up with you”. May be this is the best approach for lawyers too. In spite of not answering the call or assuming that every call is a sales call it is good to hear from others and clearing your doubts. Pick up the receiver and clear your minds. No one can force you in saying YES to anything...

Legal fraternity may have different views now, but in times to come, when you will see your neighbor growing big, you might regret why you have not picked up that call and asked your doubts? Its not always about the business or time you should think of. One should be ready to learn and implement the new ways to grow fast, with your own signature style. Now, when today’s lawyers are open to marketing and advertising strategies which help them keep their flag high in the market, it is important to reset their minds and give every call due importance.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Draft and Craft Law Firm Pvt. Ltd. Metamorphoses to Draft n Craft Legal Outsourcing Pvt. Ltd.

Draft and Craft Law Firm Pvt. Ltd., the market leader in legal outsourcing services has now formally changed its name to "Draft n Craft Legal Outsourcing Pvt. Ltd."

(1888PressRelease)May 21, 2012 - The change in name marks the ushering of a fresh time that promises to unlock many more opportunities for the legal professionals in the US & the UK.

Mr. Rakesh K Sharma, MD and CEO of Draft n Craft, who is the driving force behind the Company and has more than twenty years of experience in legal industry, stated:

"Draft and Craft Law Firm Pvt. Ltd., a leading legal process outsourcing (LPO) Company, is now repositioning itself as 'Draft n Craft Legal Outsourcing Pvt. Ltd.' making the LPO entity separate from the law firm. The Law firm will continue to operate in the domestic and international market as it is. The Company is in expansion mode and stretching its footprints in the US and UK market at a very rapid speed. This move is a part of the strategic expansion exercise of the Company which will make the LPO unit focus more towards the outsourcing needs of Law Firms and Corporate Legal departments. With its changed name, it marks the commencement of a new era of innovations in the field of services, technology, and customer satisfaction, along with a serious focus on expanding its wings globally. Draft n Craft will go beyond the concept of cost- cutting by focusing more on the quality of legal & paralegal services"

In addition to solidifying themselves as a reliable and cost-effective legal service provider, Draft n Craft will be significantly assisting legal fraternity worldwide with a faster turnaround time (TAT)-at an attractive price. This is all supported by the best and brightest staffs, who remain patient to deliver the accurate, reliable and comprehensive service around the clock. Draft n Craft has a tailored solution for each and every client they are catering to! Their motto is to focus on client- relationship by serving them the best quality of work.

About Draft n Craft
Founded in 2008, Draft n Craft specializes in outsourcing of legal and paralegal services and has provided more than a handful of advanced solutions to various clients. It specializes in outsourcing of legal & paralegal services such as, Contract Outsourcing Solutions, Legal Research, Legal Transcription, E-discovery, Deposition Summarization and an array of Paralegal Services. We at DNC, understands that the need of every law firm is one of its kind and important to their business.

If you have any questions, comments or are interested in Legal Outsourcing Services, then please visit our website: or contact us at: info ( @ ) draftncraft dot com

Friday, April 27, 2012

Power your Practice with the Extended Arm Legal Process Outsourcing!!!

Legal Process Outsourcing is not a “fly-by-night” trend, it is a growing industry. Law firms and legal professional are considering its benefits as an alternative resources model to their traditional services. There are plethoras of opportunities which get available to legal professional to grow their practice and efficiency, when they opt for Outsourcing.

Outsourcing of legal and paralegal services means competitive advantage to the practice. It gives more time to concentrate on supervision, appearing in the court, negotiations, etc. which was getting hampered earlier because a lot of time was getting spent on the tedious and repetitive tasks.

On legal outsourcing the Worldwide spending has been estimated to be around $20 BN that means the Compound Annual Growth Rate of 8.1% (CAGR).

The growth of Legal Process Outsourcing space has been constant since the time it has started in the early 90s. Many big deals have been signed up between the UK law firms and Indian LPOs. The industry is enjoying recordable growth and very quickly expanding acceptance. The growth will be strong in the coming years as the massive promise of the industry has not gone unobserved.

The concept of LPO has reached at that stage where the services like Contract Outsourcing Solutions, Legal Research, Legal Transcription along with several Paralegal Services are getting outsourced  to India from the UK. It helps them saving their cost along with access to highly skilled professionals in India.

About Draft n Craft:
Established in 2008, Draft n Craft is a 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 Attorneys deliver the best value to their clients by working on process and technology optimization, and by devising ways to rationalize client's operational spending.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Draft n Craft Marks Its Fourth Year In to the Legal Process Outsourcing Industry

Draft and Craft Law Firm Pvt. Ltd, a cut-to-the-chase Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) Company celebrated its 4th year of service to its clients on Monday, January 9, 2012. The company has proudly served a number of clients in the US and UK because of their reliability and exceptional services. Draft n Craft specializes in providing services like Deposition Summary, Contract Outsourcing, Legal Research, Legal Transcription, E-discovery and paralegal services.

Draft n Craft believes in making Global presence by sharing its knowledge and thoughts with the whole industry. It has been actively participating and partnering in international events such as the Global LPO Conferences and the Legaltech Conference.

Mr. Rakesh Sharma, the Managing Director and CEO of Draft n Craft, says "we are extremely glad of the hard work we have put in these four years, working united as a team to benefit our clients in the US and UK. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to help the law firms, corporates and solo practitioners in the legal and paralegal sector. We, at Draft n Craft have seen significant growth in each service area over these four years and they will continue to spread our wings across all continents in the years to come."

In the last four years, Draft n Craft has established itself as the complete solution vendor in India and also as the most agile group in the outsourcing sector.

Draft n Craft came in to play when there were just few names in the industry. While many LPOs came and vanished with no traces, Draft n Craft continued to do what it was best at delivering quality results. The industry is back to how it started in terms of the number of LPOs. It now consists of the big players who started of big and continue to stand where they were and some like Draft n Craft who have moved inch by inch to come to the position at which it is now.

A bittersweet journey with bumps on the road, Draft n Craft has managed to achieve its goals and its clear, Draft n Craft, is here to STAY!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Webinar by Draft n Craft on "Do Attorneys have Time for Festivals" for Attorneys

New York, NY (1888PressRelease) December 10, 2011 - Festivals are the time when the warmth of togetherness and companionship wraps around our mundane and drab working life. They become the reason for all the joy and happiness around people. It is during the festivals that an exhilarating air envelops us and it coaxes every spirit to be a part of the mirth. Festivals are the reason which brings the glow on each ones visage.

Festivals are that time of the year when people look forward to share experiences and go on excursions with their near and dear ones. All these things are the staple of the festive celebrations. Family, friends and the close ones bring glitters to the festival season.

On the one hand, where festivals bring such enjoyment and glee, it also brings a lot of stress in the form of lot of workload and backlog. This workload then haunts every time, which makes you end up sullying your festivity as well as work. The same thing happens a lot with Attorneys, Solo Practitioners, In-house Councils and Law Firms because everyone wants to crave a piece of their time.

Keeping all this in mind, Draft n Craft has come up with a complimentary Webinar "Do Attorneys have Time for Festivals" to give solutions for the Time related problems. So don't just wait, Click Here to get registered ASAP!!! Registrations are open for limited number of seats.

From Color YELLOW TO ORANGE, It’s a Discount Ride for the Attorneys & Law Firms

It’s a Discount Ride for the Attorneys & Law Firms

At Draft and Craft Law Firm Pvt. Ltd. happiness has no end and with the “Festival Blast” going on, they have gone a step ahead to make the festival life of attorneys and law firms better. Draft n Craft has got a bunch of ORANGE-tacular discounts and offers on legal and paralegal services for the attorneys in the US and the UK.

We have entered into the ORANGE week, so come and be a part of it. Make ORANGE-tastic savings to and enjoy your festivals like never before. Draft n Craft’s festival blast will pamper attorneys and law firms with wonderful discounts and bargains on services like document review, deposition summarization, contract outsourcing solutions, legal transcription and paralegal services.

The past week at Draft n Craft was colored YELLOW and spirit of festivity was celebrated with much hullabaloo. A complimentary Webinar on “Festivals: Repercussions on Law Firms” was conducted to give the answers about festivals and its after-effects on work. The Webinar was a success and got huge appreciation. Keeping that in mind, Draft n Craft is coming up with another complimentary Webinar on “Do Attorneys have time for Festivals” on December 15, 2011. Register here

Make this week an absolute BLAST with Draft n Craft’s “Festival Blast”. Attorneys and Law Firms will surely be amazed by the discounts and offers. For this reason; take a sip of this ORANGE-licious bargains this week and experience the new pleasures of festivals this festive season.

Dive into the big splash-tastic discounts and offers on legal and paralegal services as these unimaginable rates will not last long!!!

More discounts and more amazing bargains are coming soon during the Christmas Week, keep looking out for this space for overabundance of unimaginable discounts on legal and paralegal services.