Don’t Commit These Mistakes When Outsourcing Legal Services

Last updated: 15 Feb, 2024By
Outsourcing Legal Services

Outsourcing legal services entails delegating legal tasks to a third-party legal firm, resulting in cost savings and access to superior talent. It forms a crucial component of broader business process outsourcing (BPO) strategies.

Nevertheless, legal process outsourcing, falling under the umbrella of business process outsourcing (BPO), carries inherent risks, as it involves entrusting critical legal responsibilities to an external entity. A doomed partnership in legal outsourcing can potentially result in financial losses and compromise intellectual property rights.

For business owners unfamiliar with the fundamental pitfalls of outsourcing, the drive can prove challenging, hindering the successful execution of outsourced operations.

Common Mistakes to Avoid with Legal Process Outsourcing.

  • Unclear Articulation of Objectives

Engaging a newly contracted legal process outsourcing company can often involve a learning curve, especially when geographical differences lead to time zone disparities. To mitigate potential issues, it is imperative to provide a clear and detailed explanation of your business goals and the specific legal tasks involved.

For instance, consider arranging a meeting with your chosen legal process outsourcing company in India to elucidate your objectives and expectations regarding the outsourced legal matters. This proactive approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of the task at hand. It is also advisable to initiate the outsourcing process well in advance, allowing time for feedback, establishing working days, and more to ensure timely project completion.

Furthermore, explicitly outlining expectations such as minimum service quality, payment terms, and contract validity when partnering with an LPO firm helps set a clear agenda.

  • Neglecting to Assess Loyalty

Entrusting legal tasks to an LPO company or lawyer who does not prioritize the client relationship can lead to unsatisfactory outcomes. Signs of inadequate commitment may include a lack of industry research or familiarity with local laws.

For instance, if you discover that your chosen legal process outsourcing firm has not begun work on a significant task assigned a week ago, this may indicate a prioritization of other clients, resulting in delayed project completion.

  • Inadequate Due Diligence on Potential Partners

Conducting thorough research on numerous legal support companies in the market can be daunting. Consider perusing customer reviews on reputable platforms like Clutch and UpCity for reliable information about an LPO firm. Review case studies featured on the LPO’s website for insights into their capabilities.

A legal process outsourcing company with subpar skills typically garners below-average customer reviews, while a proficient firm with experienced lawyers tends to receive average or above-average ratings.

Verify credentials such as ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification to ensure the LPO company possesses the requisite expertise to handle your legal processes.

Prioritize partnering with an experienced legal process outsourcing firm specializing in your industry, as their exposure equips them to complete complex tasks adeptly.

For example, a professional LPO provider specializing in real estate may outperform a general contract lawyer in creating essential legal documents without overlooking any required details.

  • Overlooking Work Hour Flexibility

A legal process outsourcing company with rigid working hours may prove ineffective during emergencies, necessitating last-minute searches for alternative providers. Such situations create stress and disrupt workflow, potentially resulting in client dissatisfaction and damage to your law firm’s reputation.

To circumvent these issues, it is crucial to clearly define your expectations regarding working hours in the outsourcing agreement, ensuring alignment between your requirements and the LPO provider’s capabilities.

  • Absence of Exit Strategy and Limited Liability Clause

Outsourcing relationships can conclude abruptly, leaving room for financial losses and the compromise of intellectual property. To preemptively manage such scenarios, it is essential to formulate an exit strategy before embarking on the outsourcing partnership.

For example, the legal process outsourcing firm may retain crucial files or inadvertently disclose confidential information. To mitigate these risks, negotiate a contract delineating the procedure for document handover, compensation terms (if applicable), notice period for termination, and other relevant details.

Moreover, explicitly state the LPO company’s accountability for mishandling sensitive information and their responsibility to return all documents. Incorporating a limited liability clause helps regulate potential financial liabilities in the event of contract breaches.

  • Neglecting Involvement of the In-House Team in Outsourcing Decisions

Failure to communicate the rationale and benefits of hiring an LPO to your in-house team may lead to feelings of undervaluation and hinder practical cooperation.

To address this, educating your internal staff about the advantages of outsourcing for both the company and its employees is imperative. Clearly convey why outsourcing is a strategic decision and an integral requirement for the organization’s success.

Additionally, it facilitates an understanding between the in-house team and the LPO company by providing insights into each other’s cultures and working styles. Encourage the in-house team to explain your company’s quality standards, procedures, and additional internal information to the outsourcing team, promoting a more seamless outsourcing relationship.

  • Insufficient Communication

Effective communication is pivotal to the success of outsourcing relationships. Inadequate communication can hinder collaboration between the LPO provider and your in-house team.

To streamline the communication process, take the following steps:

  • Clearly define expectations for communication frequency and channels.
  • Develop and implement a communication control plan.
  • Establish a framework for regular and productive communication.

Overcoming language barriers, if any, is essential. Opt for a language both teams are comfortable with, and designate representatives from both sides to convey messages proactively.

Schedule regular video calls for face-to-face interaction, set specific times for meetings and messaging, and consider the time zone differences if applicable.

Create dedicated platforms for messaging and encourage the use of social media platforms for informal communication, differentiating urgent messages from casual ones through notification settings.

  • Solely Prioritizing Cost-Effectiveness

Focusing exclusively on cost savings when selecting an LPO firm can result in subpar project quality and services. Consider other factors, such as work quality, scalability, reliability, technological capabilities, and cost-effectiveness, when evaluating potential partners.

Outsource legal support services to modernize your business with cloud computing and automation, as these can offer long-term benefits in a sustained legal outsourcing partnership.

Incorporating these considerations into your decision-making process when outsourcing legal support services to a legal outsourcing company enhances the likelihood of a successful and mutually beneficial partnership.

At the end of the day, substantial gains can be experienced from a nicely executed outsourcing approach. If you are concentrating on the most inexpensive method of outsourcing legal services and are not ready to shell out the required time and cash essential to make things run smoothly, you might end up ruining your entire offshoring strategy.

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