06 Jun A Seismic Shift in LPO Industry
After a decade, the global legal industry has seen a stable move in the way litigation work is structured and delivered. Today many law firms routinely furnished litigation outsourcing service to improve efficiency and to reduce cost. Legal professionals in US and UK become more comfortable with LPO collaboration as it is helping their clients to prepare large scale litigation matters cost effectively.
In the recent time, law firms are gradually coming out of the typical buyer- seller relationship and willing to integrate with the LPO service provider through partnership. Few large law firms in US has already shifted their back office operations in less costly locations either by setting up their own “captive unit” or by entering into partnership with LPO service providers. These moves have become significantly cost effective to the law firms and consequently help them to remain competitive in today’s dynamic market. Another reason for off shoring litigation support services to countries like India, China and Philippines is, the litigation support professionals in these countries has gained expertise in the field of support service like Intellectual Property services, Contract Management, eDiscovery and document review. Availability of high margin experienced project managers and eDiscovery associates making the task easier for the law firms. The law firms are always under the pressure to grow and widen their variety of services to more clients and as they grow the amount of their back office works get heavier. Now the bigger question is how will a law firm provide efficient service to their clients while they want it in a lower cost? The answer is, either engage a LPO service provider who has experienced workforce, Specialized and secured process set up or open a off shore operation service center. Global law firm giant Clifford Chance has opened their captive unit OSC Services in Gurgaon and successfully running their back office operation for last six years. CMS Cemeron Mckenna entered into a ten years contract with Integreon for the entire back office operation which Integreon is delivering from their India Office. Baker and Mckenzie has started their operations office in Manila (Philippines) in 2000 which recently added legal support as one of the services.
Not only the law firms but also the corporations in US and UK are now willing to join hands with LPO service providers to share burden of legal and other back office services. Increased volume of ESI (electronically stored Information) and anticipating litigations are the reason why In-house counsels and GCs are opting for such collaboration. British Telecommunication is outsourcing their entire legal and back office work to Unitedlex in India as their delivery service center. GE has also set up their own captive unit in Delhi. In the other hand there are several global financial institutions who their offices in India are constantly involved off shoring their work to India offices over a decade which includes Legal and other financial services. Companies like Ameriprise Financials, Bank of America are handling most of their legal and back office operations at their India offices.
The idea of off shoring legal work to the Asian countries is to reduce cost of the litigation. Multinational companies have to face lot of industrial disputes for which they enter into multiple litigations and it costs them in very high amount. Every year the GCs are utilizing services from the LPO vendors and successfully minimizing company’s legal expenses by 40% to 70%. Apart from the low expenses there is a quality assurance for the work that, law firms or corporate legal departments are getting from the vendors. In India the vendors have become well equipped with trained lawyers and technicians who can deliver much more efficient work in a minimize cost.
The vendors in India are also willing to make partnership with the global law firms and corporations to earn profit by optimizing the existing litigation outsourcing operations and protect business in a high risk environment.
Although some recent studies say, that the enthusiasm towards a LPO vendors are going down because of the new operation centers of law firms, however many of them feels that the firms who choose to create their own operations must suffer the planning and huge set up cost.