Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Economic Recipricality

In an increasingly globalized economy and legal profession, many continue to express concerns on domestic job loss as a result of “foreigners.” While the debate continues to be ongoing, we have always been adamant about the reciprocally of economic opportunities. Work performed in one destination creates a market for services in another. That is basic Adam Smith economics of competitive and comparative advantages. This principle is most clearly visible in practice in the unencumbered inter-state trade in the United States.

A recent report, “How America Benefits from Economic Engagement with India,” confirms these principles. “Although India has become synonymous with outsourcing, Indian companies created nearly 60,000 jobs in the US between 2004-09 through nearly 500 investment and acquisition deals worth $26.5 billion.”

The 60,000 jobs noted in the report are the direct number of job created by overseas countries. If calculated, the number of domestic jobs created to service the rapidly growing emerging market economies would be a significant source of domestic job growth.

Further, he types of jobs performed by overseas workers should also be considered, particularly as it relates to outsourced legal services. As aptly stated by the outsourcing figurehead at Pinsent Masons Nigel Kissack, "Opening e-mails does not train anyone to be a good lawyer. Our attorneys didn’t go to law school for that.”

Additional details on the report are available here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

LPO Conference: London

This week the London-based event organizer C5 is hosting one of the few, if not only, two-day events on legal outsourcing. The conference – C5 Legal Process Outsourcing – is to be held in London at the St. James Sofitel Hotel.

In addition to presenting on legal outsourcing oversight and the outlook for legal outsourcing ethics, I am also invited to chair the two-day conference. Of that, I am quite honored (or rather “honoured” per the jurisdictional locale of the event).

The conference agenda includes quite an assembly of prominent and familiar faces in the field of legal outsourcing including:

Mark Ross, Integreon
Richard Reade, ISS
Neil Mirchandani, Hogan Lovells
Mark Ford, Clifford Chance
Nigel Kissack, Pinsent Masons
Peter Brudenall, Hunton & Williams
Professor Mari Sako, University of Oxford
Vince Neicho, Allen & Overy
Richard Tapp, Carillion
And a number of others…

More details on the proceedings will be posted later this week.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Law Society Exploration

Recently, The Lawyer broke the story highlighting the first public reporting of the Law Society’s activity to address the changing legal profession, with a specific aim on outsourced legal services.

As reported, the Law Society expert panel appears to mirror a similar initiative launched by the ABA named the “ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20”.

More details on the LPO ethical developments in the UK as reported by The Lawyer are available here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

LPO Encore

Law 21 author Jordan Furlong outlined some good thoughts on the legal outsourcing industry in his recent post, The Evolution of Outsourcing. In particular, I appreciated his points about what he described as the LPO “encore” – innovation. More details are available on Law 21.

The post was met with the predictable Above the Law blog snub – complete with apocalyptic tidal wave picture in the event the ominous commentary was not entirely clear. For a more complete perspective on the Furlong piece, the Above the Law commentary is an interesting read.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Growth of Onshore Legal In-Sourcing? You Decide.

The announcement by Taylor Wessing to establish a commoditized service delivery center in Cambridge reflects similar recent onshoring moves by American firms Orrick and WilmerHale, as well as Bristol-based Osborne Clarke.

The unique aspect of the announcement, making it the first of its kind in contrast to its American counter-parts, is that Taylor Wessing is actively marketing these services to clients.

Does this mark the start of the growth of onshore legal insouricng?
Should LPO’s be concerned if law firms become more efficient on their own?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lone Star Sourcing

In addition to the number of other ethical organizations looking into the implications of legal outsourcing, it appears that Texans are studying these issues, as well. As reported by the Fort Worth Business Press, the State Bar of Texas’ 2010 annual meeting being held this week in Fort Worth will address legal outsourcing, among other issues impacting legal professionals.

More information is available through the Fort Worth Business Press.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Help Wanted

Another sign of expanding career opportunities for legal professions is exemplified by Pinsent Masons’ decision to create a new enterprise outsourcing role as they expand their outsourcing presence.

As noted in the 2010 Global Sourcing Study and the Fronterion 2010 trending report, the roles of legal professionals and opportunities are expanding considerably as a result of increased integration of outside vendors, both domestically and abroad.

More on the article is available through The Lawyer.