Outsourcing of specific services is a trend that has swamped nearly all major sectors of trade and commerce. We’re reaping the clear benefits, with outsourced services nearly on par with mainstream ones. However, the legal sector took time to embrace these advantages fully. Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) traces back to the 1950s, starting with outsourcing just the patent process.
The first hesitant steps of LPO (Legal Process Outsourcing) were seen in the United States, Canada, Israel, the Philippines, and India, but LPO services became a permanent trend in the legal industry just after the global crisis when law firms faced a survival battle. Cost cutting became the need of the hour, and what better way than to outsource selected legal services?
Even though LPO is here to stay, there is a subtle difference between industries. In sectors like tax preparation and insurance, companies often outsource substantial portions of their activities. In the legal sector, the extent of outsourcing depends largely on whether it occurs within the country or offshore.
This is because basic legal work has two very important factors – research, preparation, and writing of briefs and documentation on one hand and court appearances on the other. Therefore, if the outsourced company is within the country, the parent law firm can delegate comprehensive services. This allows legal luminaries to concentrate exclusively on client interaction and generating new business. But if the outsourcing is to an offshore agency, the physical job of presenting the case in court has to be under the control of the law firm.
What main areas of LPO services have made it a permanent trend in the legal industry?
Dealing with Extra Work
The legal industry witnessed an exponential growth of the business, especially after the global recession and meltdown in recent times when even countries felt the heat. There was a rush to hire an expert and professional legal help, more so for real estate industry-related cases.
During this period, legal firms found it advantageous to carry out routine activities such as research and documentation and focus on representing the client in court. This enabled them to take on more business than the strength of their legal team would have permitted in normal circumstances.
The advent of Specialized Outsourcing Agencies– Legal process outsourcing services really took off on the back of the rise in expert service providers, with each of them specializing in a particular aspect of the legal process, thereby offering cutting-edge, efficient services. Legal firms realized that outsourcing their work to multiple authoritative firms helped them achieve top-end quality work at significantly reduced costs. Hiring equally talented and proficient legal experts for separate areas of specialization would definitely be a very costly proposition.
The points given here are just examples and not comprehensive in nature of why outsourcing is a permanent trend now in the legal industry. The common denominator running through them is that all legal outsourcing services are available at very affordable rates.