As the volume and maturity of offshore outsourcing continues to grow, companies are developing sophisticated location strategies to balance the cost and efficiency of leading offshore locations against their economic, political, and operational risks. During a recent analysis of global delivery center locations, my firm, Red Bridge Strategy, compared locations based on economic factors (i.e., GDP, prices, wages, and growth rates) and differences in the availability of business, technology, language, and management skills. We then evaluated each location’s strategic suitability within our client’s optimal portfolio of offshore locations. Read the rest of this entry »
Pangea3’s recent opening of a delivery center in Carrollton, TX, near Dallas, highlights the speed with which the legal process outsourcing (LPO) industry is incorporating the general evolution of the BPO industry. Initially, offshoring was exclusively to low cost countries to take advantage of labor arbitrage, and thereby, lower the overall costs of business processes. Since then, offshorers, both outsourcers and companies with captive centers, have begun implementing portfolios of offshoring locations using the so-called “hub and spoke” system. “Hubs” of offshore work are generally located in scalable countries, like India and the Philippines, where there large numbers of low cost, skilled workers. “Spokes” tend to be smaller centers that are used to meet particular skill, geographic, or regulatory needs. Examples of spokes include the use of medium cost locations like Poland for European language skills or the location of a data center that can meet particular E.U. regulations; and Israel to get medium cost yet highly sophisticated legal skills. (Sales offices, even when they house a few delivery people are not considered “centers,” and therefore not included in this analysis.) Read the rest of this entry »
A recurrent question in the legal process outsourcing LPO industry has been whether or not corporations should build their own offshore subsidiaries (or “captives” in industry parlance) to conduct legal process work. The captive option is particularly attractive for legal work because of the greater control and confidentiality it can afford, but for most companies, building an offshore subsidiary in India solely to conduct legal work simply isn’t feasible. However, corporations that already have significant offshore operations providing information technology or Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services may be in a position to benefit from captive offshore legal operations. The key factors to consider are the volume of legal process work, whether it can be organized into a consistent workflow, and instituting the appropriate management for the offshore operation and coordination across company locations. Read the rest of this entry »
In January, LPO provider Cobra Legal Solutions LLC (“Cobra”) announced a secondment program for U.S.-barred lawyers who would like to work at its Chennai, India facility for between two and six months. Global Legal sees the secondment program as a winning idea for the individuals who participate, Cobra’s outsourcing clients, and for Cobra itself. Cobra clients that decide to second one of their attorneys to Chennai will gain even more benefit. Read the rest of this entry »
Cassandra Burke Robertson, an Associate Professor, at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, has written, A COLLABORATIVE MODEL OF OFFSHORE LEGAL OUTSOURCING. The article was recently accepted by the Arizona State Law Journal. Read the rest of this entry »
In managing for efficiency, managers often refer to the intersecting elements of people, process, and technology. Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) industry participants initially focused on reducing people costs by moving work to lower labor cost jurisdictions like India. For most, it quickly became apparent that coordinating onshore and offshore labor to deliver consistent, measurable results would also require the development of consistent, coordinated processes. However, their approaches to technology are among their most significant differences from each other. Some industry participants have invested in the development of industry-specific technologies that allow them to tightly integrate their people, processes, and technologies. Others have adopted technologies on a project basis to provide the best fit for each client, while still others have adopted a combination of these approaches. There are pros and cons to these approaches, and potential clients should fully consider them when selecting an LPO provider. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently, I posted A Financial Model for Law Firms to Embrace Alternative Fees & LPO, wherein I outlined a complex model that would allow some law firms to incorporate offerings from LPO vendors into fixed price law firm offerings. There are, however, less complex models that can incorporate LPO services into fixed price legal services, and they are in use today. As outlined below, two pioneering LPO firms, LawScribe and SDD Global Solutions, already provide services that can easily be incorporated into fixed price offerings. LawScribe provides ongoing support to law firms offering trusts and wills, and SDD Global has provided overnight drafting services to a firm in connection with an acquisition.