Outsourcing business NewGalexy is launching Scotland’s first ever Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) centre today (5 November), just months after the Scottish government’s economic wing pushed ahead with plans seeking to entice firms to open low costs bases in the country.
NewGalexy is launching its LPO centre, which will focus on commercial contracts and the TMT sector, in Glasgow with a team of 10 people. NewGalexy executive chairman Robert Glennie said he had hired Fiona MacLean from Howden group, where she was legal director and company secretary. Glennie added that he expected the team to grow to 25 staff in the next 12 months and then to 50 over the next two or three years.
NewGalexy’s decision to launch in Glasgow comes months after Scottish Development International (SDI) - the international economic development arm of the country’s government – began visiting LPO providers and managing partners to urge them to open support service offices in Scotland (6 August 2012).
According to Glennie, who was previously senior partner at Pinsent Masons legacy firm McGrigors, NewGalexy was already planning to open an LPO centre in Europe when he was approached by SDI. The company was also considering launching in Belfast and the Republic of Ireland before it settled on Scotland.
NewGalexy received a grant to help pay for the costs of establishing the office through Scotland’s Regional Selective Assistance programme, but Glennie declined to say how much.
“The talent pool [available in Scotland] was a very important factor,” said Glennie. “And there are also some services, such as IT, that are under pressure in Ireland.”
Anne MacColl, chief executive of SDI, said: “Legal process outsourcing has a huge global market, and this investment will build on Scotland’s world-renowned reputation for legal expertise as well as creating new jobs.”
But not all lawyers were excited about the prospect of Scotland becoming an LPO hub.
“Labelling Scotland as a low-cost destination is actively unhelpful to the top-tier firms delivering premium quality services,” said one source. “It also paints an odd picture of our law firms and economy as unable to build and sustain top-rank firms delivering legal advice at the highest levels, which is frustrating to those of us who are doing just that.”
NewGalexy also has bases in Chicago and London and in 2011 signed a joint venture with Indian firm MV Kini in Mumbai (25 August 2011).