Lovells has embarked on a second major outsourcing project, with document production for its real estate practice currently being carried out in South Africa.
The firm first experimented with outsourcing in 2007, when the document review process of a major litigation case was carried out by an outsourcing company in India (3 December 2007).
Under the current scheme document production company Exigent is doing word processing for the real estate practice from its South Africa base.
Managing partner David Harris told The Lawyer that the pilot project has been running since October, adding that it will be rolled out to the rest of the firm if it is deemed a success.
While the service is provided 24 hours a day, five days a week, Harris said the benefit of using a South African company over an Indian one is that it is in the same timezone as the firm’s London office.
A spokesman for the firm added: “The pilot project is expected to last for a number of months before a decision is taken as to whether to widen the outsourcing out to document production services elsewhere in the firm.”
Outsourcing has become popular among law firms as a means of slashing overheads. Last year Clifford Chance and Eversheds looked to cut millions from their cost bases by outsourcing low-level legal work to India (11 August 2008 ).
The year before, The Lawyer reported that Clifford Chance was looking to save £30m over four years by outsourcing its IT operations to India (4 June 2007).