Herbies considers sending Aussie litigation work to Belfast

Cost-cutting continues to be a prominent theme across the profession, with many firms looking to reduce debt by trimming overheads.

Legal process outsourcing has been a popular model in recent years, but now another model is starting to threaten the dominance of the LPO provider – low-cost litigation centres.

The opening of a Support Services Centre in Belfast has proven a winner for Allen & Overy. The magic circle firm has sent fee earners to the centre to give it a boost and last year moved support services from the US and Europe to the city.

It has also proven to be a success story for Herbert Smith Freehills. Since moving in in 2010, Herbies has expanded and sent fee-earners to the litigation due diligence centre.

And now the firm is looking to expand Belfast’s remit further by piloting a scheme that could see litigation work from its Australia base sent to the city.

If this plan goes sour, the firm will consider opening a document review centre somewhere else in the world.

Low-cost centres are shaping up as the viable alternative to LPOs.

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