In a recent post, I wrote that Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP announced an integrated discovery management offering in alliance with multiple LPO vendors (See LPO Industry Consolidation Underway?). In addition to influencing potential LPO industry consolidation, the alliance is important because it is one of the first public acknowledgements from an AM Law 100 Firm that legal process outsourcing is a viable option for sophisticated buyers of legal services. (Integreon CEO Liam Brown affirmed and amplified this point on the Integreon blog in a response to my post.)
On Friday (February 12th), AM Law 100 Firm Mayer Brown weighed in. In Is Legal Process Outsourcing Right for Your Company?, Mayer partners Sonia Baldia and Daniel A. Masur called LPO a “a feasible alternative means of addressing companies’ legal needs” while suggesting that the benefits of LPO be carefully attained only after “(1) a sober assessment of the client’s legal needs and requirements; and (2) a realistic determination of whether the relevant legal services and tasks can be outsourced without sacrificing important qualitative considerations.” The Mayer partners summarize their views by observing, “Clearly, LPO can present a viable alternative to companies seeking to reduce their legal costs,” while cautioning that “Successful LPO implementation  demands thorough consideration and careful accounting of the engagement’s circumstances and needs.”
Many corporate legal departments in the U.S. have openly embraced LPO, but its public acceptance by large American law firms is just beginning. As Brown noted, the behavior of American law firms is in sharp contrast to their colleagues in the U.K where the use of LPO by both legal departments and law firms is commonly publicized.
Red Bridge Strategy, Inc. provides a full suite of process evaluation, LPO vendor evaluation, and transition services to companies interested in legal process outsourcing. Contact Matthew Sullivan for additional information.