Last Friday, in her blog Legal Research and Writing Pro, Lisa Solomon posted Independent US Contract Lawyer Takes On Foreign LPO wherein she critiqued the post Bursting the 7 Myths behind Legal Process Outsourcing by Jagriti Mishra, the head of business development at Indian LPO company Draft and Craft Law Firm Pvt. Ltd. (Isn’t it cool how we can link all this commentary so easily?!?)
Solomon criticized “grammar and usage errors” in Mishra’s post, to which Mishra responded (in her blog) that because his role is business development, his posts are in no way “indicative of work product meeting US/UK standards.” In my recent post Culling the List of LPO Vendors, I suggested that CGs and law firms evaluate exactly this sort of vendor communication. I will let readers draw their own conclusions here, but the relevant questions that I suggested clients ask are:
- What is the vendor’s reputation for quality and professionalism?
- Do all of their communications back up their reputation?
Solomon also expressed concern about Mishra’s “claim that foreign LPO companies don’t have to carry malpractice insurance.” Insurance is clearly an area to be addressed when evaluating an LPO vendor, but, depending on your company’s particular criteria, may not be critical enough to eliminate an LPO vendor based on an initial, high-level review. Solomon’s link supporting her call for insurance highlights three legal service (research and writing) firms, but, among them, only hers felt the need for malpractice insurance. Insurance has been a negotiating point between law firm clients and LPOs, and deserves a full analysis before entering into an agreement, but fees, supervision, financial stability and other factors may determine how a client and an LPO decide to allocate risk and responsibility for insurable potential problems.
As I’ve said repeatedly in this blog, the capabilities of LPO vendors vary widely, so evaluating an LPO vendor should be part of a comprehensive process to consider people, process, systems and market presence.