Mallesons Stephen Jaques has signed a formal supplier agreement with legal process outsourcer (LPO) Integreon in a bid to increase efficiency and reduce cost for clients.
Mallesons managing partner Tony O’Malley said the firm had made the move in response to “cost pressures in the highly competitive legal market”.
O’Malley told The Lawyer that LPO is most effective when applied to larger scale document review and legal research such as due diligence and litigation discovery, the main areas Mallesons will look to outsource.
He also stated that the agreement would not result in redundancies at his firm. “This will allow our junior lawyers to focus on higher-end, more complex legal advice which our clients expect, providing our young lawyers with a richer career experience,” O’Malley said.
Through its partnership with Integreon, Mallesons expects its clients to realise significant cost savings of anywhere between 20 and 50 per cent. The firm added that the deal was not just about cost, but was also about quality, speed of delivery, scalability, language capability and would help the firm’s lawyers to focus on higher-end legal advice to clients.
“LPO has been around in Europe and the US for several years. Low-cost providers of legal support have been successful in providing value to global clients through the provision of high volume, standardised work. That trend has reached our shores and we are keen to embrace it for our clients,” said O’Malley.
Other top-tier firms in Australia have also used or worked with LPO providers, but none have formalised the relationship with any one provider.
“Use of LPOs is not a new trend in Australia. For the past few years, it has become part of a wider ranging and continuing discussion over the best way to deliver high-quality legal services at a competitive price,” said Allens Arthur Robinson chief operating officer Craig Wallace. “In the past few years Allens has used LPOs and we will continue to talk with our clients on appropriate ways to use LPOs.”
Clayton Utz has also used a variety of third party providers to assist it in providing clients with required legal services as cost effectively as possible, and in some cases LPOs have a role to play.
“We use a variety of third parties as required to provide the best, most cost-effective service to our clients which may vary from time to time – it’s a bespoke service not a ‘one size fits all’,” said Stuart Clark, the firm’s international managing partner and chief operating officer.