The Growth of Legal Process Outsourcing

Angela McDonald • 15/09/2016

The Growth of Legal Process Outsourcing

Legal process outsourcing (LPO) is when a law firm or corporation engages outside parties to provide support services. While face-to-face communication is still the cornerstone of a law practice, more and more legal processes are done entirely online. Because documents can be read from anywhere, a law firm or business no longer needs to have all its legal service providers in one building – or even one country.

Expansion of an old method

Outsourcing legal tasks has been around since the 1950’s. Primarily restricted to patent law, firms would outsource the documentation-heavy, interaction-light work to outside parties. However, LPO has grown in tandem with business process outsourcing to become a major part of the legal advice scene in the UK and USA. As large companies discovered the benefits of outsourcing for their business, they applied it to their in-house legal teams. Larger law firms are also seeing the benefits of LPO.

What legal process outsourcing can do

While patent documents were the beginning of legal outsourcing, the services that offshore staffing can cover include:
• Document review
• Legal research and writing
• Drafts of pleadings and briefs
• E-discovery
• Investigations
And remote staffing doesn’t stop with just lawyers – paralegal and legal secretary roles can also be filled remotely.

Not just for the Big Boys

For the average SME owner or boutique law firm, the idea of hiring offshore legal staff can seem like a fantasy. But large firms and businesses aren’t the only ones who can make gains with LPO. For some industries, legal costs can make up a significant percentage of business outlay. But while having an in-house legal team would reduce these costs in the long term, the expense of setting one up is prohibitive. By taking advantage of remote staffing, that in-house legal team can be created with fewer resources than it would take to staff entirely locally.

Managing risk with legal process outsourcing

Matters of law require particular care when it comes to outsourcing. Firms and lawyers are duty-bound to give their clients good advice and representation. They must adhere to rules around disclosure and communication, avoid conflicts of interest, and maintain confidentiality.
This is where remote staffing is particularly useful. A remote employee works for your company, plus reports and communicates directly to you. This way you can have greater control and oversight of your LPO, while still gaining the benefits of cost savings and a longer workday that outsourcing offers.

Deployed can help manage any concerns you have about legal outsourcing, helping you to grow your business or expand your client base without sacrificing quality or confidentiality.