Focus: Legal Process Outsourcing - Distance earning

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  • This is the future & it looks ghastly.

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  • This and tuition fees of £9,000 a year should make people think twice about studying law. For those unable to secure training contracts, paralegal positions were a temporary option to gain some legal experience.

    While these offshore businesses are currently focussed on back office operations, surely in the medium term they will turn to the much more lucrative high-end legal work. Why not? Amongst a million Indian lawyers there must be a few who could one day challenge even partners in the City??

    As well, I'm sure the Lawyer could be published in the Philippines for a fraction of what it costs to publish it in the UK!

    Where does it stop?

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  • North-Sourcing?
    There are some excellent lawyers in the North.
    It's just a shame that a few chippy practices spoil the perception of all Northern law firms.

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  • Regionalisation certainly seems to be more of a trend than offshoring right now. Interesting to see how many more Herbert Smith/ A&O type deals are announced in coming months

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  • Be realistic - Herbert Smith / A&O type deals never come to the doors of Northern firms like Dickinson Dees or Atherton Godfrey.

    That's the whole point of the article. There's a belief that expertise thins out as you go further up. Except of course in a few niche areas like Greyhound law.

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  • Surely the end game is all about giving clients value for money? I can't see how many firms, in all good conscience, can justify to commercially savvy clients the cost of bog-standard tasks like bundling or generic research. Giving clients options as to how they want work performing makes perfect sense.

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  • An interesting debate only heightened by the prospect of new entrants under the ABS regime.
    It's all well and good firms "northshoring" their work but at what point do their lawyers start to balk at being paid half what their city contemporaries receive to undertake what is expected to be the most formulaic and administrative of tasks ? Not good for the culture, surely ?

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  • What isn't discussed here is how law firms sell this type of arrangement to their clients - do they realise how much of their work is being farmed out around the world ?
    At the same time, is there a risk that law firms will find themselves in the same kind of hot water that the global manufacturers did when they "fineslice" their operations only to find that they have hitched their wagon to a foreign sweatshop ?

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  • Its embarassing for the legal profession that we are so far behind the curve on alternative sourcing - our clients have been doing this for years! Interesting that inflation is so high in India which has a huge offshore IT industry in its own right nowadays.
    If I was managing a law firm I'd jump on the bandwagon early to give me a competitive advantage in the short term but also to ensure I got the pick of the offshore locations - as locations such as Belfast (which must surely have limited capacity in terms of quality candidates) get saturated, firms that come late to the party will have to look elsewhere.

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  • In response to Yuan Monos' comment, regarding morale of the "northsourcees". I remember reading Addleshaw Goddard's announcement when it opened its Transaction Services Team in Manchester talking about freeing up lawyers from the mundane dross work. Great morale-boosting for the Transaction Services Team paralegals, many of whom are wannabe lawyers hoping to secure a training contract!

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  • As things stand, most clients would be well advised to instruct lawyers in the regional offices of one of the larger national firms. The quality of the people and service is no worse that that of the London firms, and the rates are far lower. There may be some instances where the job requires a large city firm (e.g. the job requires a massive team), but 95% of the time clients using London lawyers are simply wasting money

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  • The point of this article is that there are many more and different options for both GC and law firms but no single "right answer". However not to respond to these opportunities would be negligent

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  • A timely article given the impending ABS furore but, in truth, how many firms are actually seriously considering a more radical reorganisation of the way work is resourced ?
    No longer can the legal profession rely upon an exalted status of awe and respect conferred merely by the appendage of the title "solicitor". Clients want their problems solved, efficiently and effectively (not always the same thing as cheaply) and new competitors may be more willing to explore unique ways of providing those solutions.
    Hats off to the first major law firm that truly offers a radical alternative in conjunction (or in place of) its standard offering.

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  • Really great article and thanks for sharing. As far as India is concerned other countries are now giving a tough fight to India in LPO and KPO services and Indian LPO and KPO industry must be innovative and competitive to deal with these competing destinations. LPO and KPO in India are still by and large covering the traditional outsourcing requirements with few exceptions. This is more so regarding the knowledge process outsourcing services in India.

    Take the example of e-discovery LPO and KPO in India. The e-discovery outsourcing, LPO and KPO services in India are still in infancy stage despite tremendous potential for the same. This is because a dominant majority of LPO and KPO service providers in India and not sound in a techno legal manner. LPO and KPO in India need to adapt to technology so that techno legal assignments can be managed.

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  • i want to learn and work lpo work and cpa global

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  • Firms also have to remember that if they "outsource" their legal work to other companies - that other company, whether in Newcastle or Mumbai, will be taking work from other law firms. Therefore the quality of the output will be the same; where is the differentiation?
    The legal market is behind many others in outsourcing - but a lot of those other industries are now bringing work back onshore. Let's hope the legal industry can learn from other industries as opposed to blindly following.

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