Monday, July 26, 2010

Advancing Innovation and Ronald Coase

Bruce MacEwen at Adam Smith, Esq. provides a unique perspective on the changes happening in the broader legal profession as a result of “low cost rivals” due to ~onshore and offshore legal outsourcing.

MacEwen ties together some interesting themes including low cost rivals, stages of innovation and The Nature of the Firm as they all relate to legal outsourcing. MacEwen also scores big points with me by citing my favorite economist, Ronald Coase.

As one of the named vendors in the post, Ron Friedmann of Integreon provides further commentary on MacEwen’s post, Both are worth a read. Friedmann says pushing work down the value chain as the true paterfamilias of the LPO industry.

MacEwen's Innovators at the Barricades post is available here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blog Post: Identifying and Mitigating Gaps

The conference website also features a blog post, LPO ~ Identifying and Mitigating Gaps: The General Counsel Perspective, which references Fronterion’s trending release on the LPO industry. The blog post provides interesting commentary on the potential “gaps” in supply and demand in the LPO industry.

Fronterion is cited for our quote regarding the importance of the adoption rate in the LPO sector this year.

Fronterion LLC’s Top Ten Trends for Legal Outsourcing in 2010 report predicts “2010 will be the proving year for legal outsourcing. Law firms and corporate legal teams will learn from their peers, resulting in make‐or‐break peer referrals, which will be strong indicators of the success and maturity of the outsourced legal services segment.Supporting – not supplanting – firm operations with an outside legal services vendor has emerged as a successful strategy and will gain momentum in 2010.”

More details on the post are available at the following.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Forthcoming Global LPO Conference

One of the first global-focused conferences on outsourced legal services has been announced by KPO Consultants.

It’s an honor for me to be invited to speak at this inaugural conference. Other prominent industry leaders scheduled to speak include:

• Sanjay Kamlani, Co-CEO, Pangea3

• Rahul Shah, AVP & Head – LPO Practice, Infosys

• Abhi Shah, CEO, Clutch Group

• Anand Sharma, CFO and Head – Management Services, CPA Global

• Patrick Burke, Senior Director and Assistant General Counsel, Guidance Software, Inc

• Richard Reade, UK General Counsel, ISS World

The conference will be held just outside of Delhi, India in Nodia on November 13th and 14th.

The Global Conference website states that the conference, “aims to bring together key executives with extensive interests in the legal outsourcing industry. The attending buyer segment includes Law Firm Partners, General Counsels and other senior In-house Counsels from leading US, UK and Canada based companies; while the vendor community is represented by senior most executives from leading LPO vendors from countries like India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Israel, Kenya, Mauritius, and South Africa.

Thus, it is our endeavor to bring the most significant executives from both the buyer and vendor communities together on a common platform to enable them to engage in meaningful and strategic dialogues to further their business interests.”

Further details are available at the conference website ( and will be updated on the LPO Source blog, as well.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fronterion “Wall of Silence” Survey Round-up

Our survey findings released this past week have captured the attention of a number of online publications and blogs. The survey results seem to have number of people hypothesizing why US firms are so hesitant to acknowledge or deny their use of LPO vendors, even on a confidential basis. Based on our experiences, we would purport that uncertainty with ethical guidelines is one of the key drivers to this silence. Worries of negative press may be another.

Below is a short news round-up.

ABA Journal

Above the Law

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

India Writ Petition: Update

As earlier reported on the blog, a petition was filed in the Madras High Court by the Association of Indian Lawyers against an array of international law firms and one LPO vendor, Integreon. The bases for the petition being that the named firms were practicing law in Indian jurisdictions.

Because of what many consider a notoriously slow legal system, is comes with little surprise that the next hearing on the issue has been pushed back to August 4th, as reported by Bloomberg.

The wider implication for the LPO market is yet to be seen. Many industry participants don’t feel that the position taken by the Association of Indian Lawyers is merited nor will influence the use LPOs, but it may raise more concerns for potential clients.

As aptly stated by a partner at the US-based Fulbright & Jaworski, “That’s not what a globalizing country and corporate sector needs.”

Additional commentary was also released by Legally India.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

SRA Public Announcement

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has released their first public statement on the application of outsourced legal services for solicitors practicing in England and Wales.

As originally reported by our LPO Ethics Resource Center (, the SRA release states, “Where law firms are outsourcing some of their legal or administrative work to other law firms or non law firms, the SRA's guidance is that this is allowed on the basis that all relevant rules are complied with (Solicitors’ Code of Conduct 2007) and that the arrangement is made transparent and is agreed with the client.”

The statement continues with the SRA citing existing ethical guidelines deeming them applicable to outsourced legal services.

In conclusion, the SRA notes, “In accepting work from a client, the firm must always consider whether the work should be outsourced at all as they should have the necessary resources and competency to undertake the task. In summary a firm must act in the best interests of their client and comply with their core duties.”

It’s been reported the Law Society is currently exploring these issues, but has yet to formally comment on the topic of LPO.

The recent announcement to UK solicitors by the SRA stands in contrast to lawyers in US jurisdictions who have been able to rely on ethical guidance provided as early as 2006 in some jurisdictions. The most notable guidance in the United States is Opinion 08-451 issued by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility in 2008.

Additional details on the complete SRA legal outsourcing statement are available on our recently launched LPO Ethics Resource Center (

The LPO Ethics Resource Center is a free resource that allows legal professionals to keep abreast on up-to-date information on the ethical policies and opinions relevant to outsourced legal services. This site compiles all of the latest information and breaking news regarding legal process outsourcing into one convenient resource.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fronterion Announcements: Study findings and launch

We are proud to announce two very exciting developments at Fronterion this week.

The first is the 2010 Global Sourcing Study: AM Law 50, which polled 30 of the top 50 US law firms concerning their positions on legal outsourcing. The findings were reported on in today's ABA Journal, Are Top US Law Firms Outsourcing Some Legal Work? 83% Won’t Say.

Complete findings and analyses are available in the 2010 Global Sourcing Study: AM Law 50 report. Contact for additional details. The press release - WALL OF SILENCE SURROUNDS NASCENT LEGAL OUTSOURCING INDUSTRY – highlights the findings from the study. As reported in the press release, “while many US law firms are using outsourcing providers for the first time, few are willing to admit it in public, leading to a culture of secrecy around an increasingly important development within the legal services industry.”

Our second announcement is the launch of the LPO Ethics Resource Center at As reported on the website, “The LPO Ethics Resource Center is a free resource that allows legal professionals to keep abreast with up-to-date information on the ethical policies and opinions relevant to outsourced legal services. This site compiles all of the latest information and breaking news regarding legal process outsourcing into one convenient resource.”

The resource is targeted for legal professionals in both the US and the UK.

We are very excited about making Resource Center available due to the expected number of developments in legal outsourcing ethics in the forthcoming 12 months.

More details on both announcements will be provided later this week.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

C5 Conference Wrap-up

While a bit thinly attended in comparison to previous events in London, the C5 Legal Process Outsourcing conference was certainly a success in terms of discussion and speaker caliber.

One high point was the discussion on captive delivery centers led by three very knowledgeable men who are involved in the field of outsourcing. These included Evangelos Apostolou (BT Vice President and Chief Counsel APAC who established and managed the BT legal outsourcing captive in Delhi – including the recent transfer to UnitedLex), Mark Ford (director of the Clifford Chance Knowledge Centre), and Paul Rawlinson (Global Chair of Baker & McKenzie’s IP Practice who oversees Baker & McKenzie’s global delivery of IP services).

A key theme arising from the discussions was the perspective that LPO is one of a suite of cost saving measures available to general counsel. Of the conferences that I have attended, the C5 conference provided the most insight into the in-house legal teams’ outsourcing perspective (both to LPO’s and their outside counsel). Prominent general counsel speaking at the event included Richard Reade of ISS, Richard Tapp of Carillion, David Symonds of Tyco, Stephan Regius of Borealis AG, Pavel Klimov of Unisys, and previously mentioned Apostolou of BT.

The smaller event size allowed for some highly interactive and insightful discussions on issues ranging from pricing, oversight responsibilities, day-to-day challenges of managing global service delivery and ethical issues surrounding outsourced legal services.

My thanks go out to all of the speakers at the event for sharing their insights, to C5 for the privilege of chairing the conference proceedings, and to all participated who made the event a fruitful one.