Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Legal process outsourcing facing a ‘watershed’ year

Fronterion’s trending release Ten For 2010 gained further recognition this week in a piece in the Law Society Gazette, Legal process outsourcing facing a ‘watershed’ year. While India remains the unequivocal leader in outsourced legal services industry, the article notes the growing interest in South Africa, particularly by firms in the UK.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Technology Applications

Outsourced legal services is not the only innovation in the legal profession helping legal firms and corporate councils manage the cost of legal services. A recent article featured in the Wall Street Journal notes that, technology and software platforms are being adopted at increasing rates to help lower costs, as well.

As noted in the foreword of the book Implementing a Successful Legal Outsourcing Engagement, Bruce MacEwen writes in regard to the adoption outsourced legal services, “I may disappoint you to report that what I believe is far more parochial: the adoption of outsourcing will be firm by firm, activity by activity, year by year. Like much of the march of progress, change will be less drastic in the short run than many imagine, and more revolutionary in the long run than most can foresee.”

The same is true of the adoption of innovative technology applications, as noted in the article. Innovative outsourcing solutions will happen in concert with technology developments. Often changes begin slowly at first, but expand into a number of exciting possibilities as they mature.

Links between these innovative technology platforms and outsourcing include improved monitoring and collaboration with remotely based outside vendors. With increasing transparency, general counsel will have greater capacity to monitor the productivity of their outside counsel and thus, their outside legal spend.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Challenges in 2010 for UK firms and others

For many, the new year means a new start. But that is not the case for some major law firms who are still slogging through flagging legal markets. As noted in a recent article featured in The Lawyer, many lawyers still seem to be holding their breath watching uncertain markets in the coming year. The article does point to the impact on outsourced legal services, particularly in the UK legal segment, which is expected to change fairly significantly in the coming year in anticipation of the implementation of the Legal Services Act.

Developments likely to have an impact on the market over the next 12 months include the expansion of the legal process outsourcing (LPO) market, changes in fee models and the impact of the Legal Services Act.

Efficiency has quickly become the watchword for those with their hands on the purse strings at major firms. Whether this means changes to outsourcing policy, client charging or further rounds of redundancies remains to be seen.

Despite the concerns expressed in this piece, many of the firms that we have talked with remain positive on the new year.