Legal Process Outsourcing

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Presentation given on LPO at a Netlawmedia conference in London during June 2009.

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Legal Process Outsourcing

  1. 1. Cutting Costs, Saving Time & Delivering Better Value to Clients Key Strategies for Law Firms during a Downturn Park Inn, London - 16 June 2009 Bharat Vagadia Board Director - National Outsourcing Association (www.noa.co.uk) CEO – Op2i (www.op2i.com) Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 1
  2. 2. Agenda 1. What will outsourcing by Law firms deliver in the short & long term 2. What can and can not be outsourced 3. Onshore / Offshore - options and challenges 4. What works and what doesn't Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 2
  3. 3. The challenges law firms face • Challenges faced by law firms: – Escalating costs - secretaries costs between £25k-£35k pa – Lack of office space - may not be a problem given the current economic climate – Low morale and motivation issues – primarily due to the repetitive and/or mundane nature of the process – Backlogs in letter production and documentation - due to staff shortages – Necessity of using temporary staff to alleviate short-term staff shortages – Lack of quality and consistency – temporary staff can be of variable quality and at a premium cost Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 3
  4. 4. Outsourcing within the legal sector • Law firms are well aware of what outsourcing can deliver - most provide advice to companies on their outsourcing deals…. • Despite this, very few law firms have considered outsourcing for themselves and even fewer have an outsourcing strategy. • However, the legal sector is showing signs that it is now adopting outsourcing as a business strategy - partly driven by the economic turmoil.. • Clifford Chance has led the field by moving back office and secretarial support to its own office in India, in order to carry out much of the company’s administrative work. The outsourcing programme is expected to yield more than £9.5m in annual savings. • Similarly, Pinsent Masons announced a deal to offshore its bulk typing and transcription services as part of a move to change the role of its secretaries. Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 4
  5. 5. Outsourcing scope within law firms • Outsourcing non-core activities – Business support functions which lend themselves to outsourcing – e.g. IT and telecommunications. – Why not turn to suppliers whose core business is to provide such facilities on a more cost-effective basis. • Outsourcing less peripheral activities – Law firms are beginning to outsource some activities directly connected with their core business of giving legal advice. – Scanning documents, word processing, legal transcription, coding, conversion, digital dictation, reviewing transactional and litigation documents, drafting contracts, research memoranda and due diligence reports, patents, surveying laws of various jurisdictions etc…. Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 5
  6. 6. Typical drivers for outsourcing Management Focus: • Reduces effort required to manage peripheral activities Cost management: • Economies of scale/ productivity (people / technology) • Committed cost structure • Capital investment avoidance – balance sheet restructuring Access to external expertise / investment or innovation: • Access to specialists, management expertise, products, efficient services • Accelerate benefits • Manage attrition and depth and breadth of resource requirements Flexibility: • Adopt best practices, manage complexity & stabilise environment • Respond to changes in business environment, leverage technology advances • Improve systems, strengthen control and enhance services • Improve scalability Time to market Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 6
  7. 7. Some drivers are particularly important for law firms • Core cost reduction – Most expensive costs to a law firm are legal and paralegal staff - reduction of these means its possible to provide competitively priced legal advice without reducing profitability. • Getting access to capability/resources – Legal instructions often received ad hoc and at short notice and In-house resources / specialists may already be committed to other clients - possible to utilise external resources at short notice to enable the new instructions to be delivered, extending the ability of law firms to take on work. • Better utilisation of in-house resources by outsourcing low-value services – Many instructions are for low-value services which need to be undertaken to retain a client’s goodwill - better to outsource such matters and allow lawyers to concentrate on providing premium rate services. Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 7
  8. 8. What can, and is, being outsourced? • Intellectual property rights & Asset management • Patent search & application drafting • Trade-Mark and copyright registration • Legal research • Document review and analysis << High-end Work • Intelligence services • Contracting, administration and standardisation • Audit and compliance • Contract abstraction and summarisation • Paralegal services & legal coding • Corporate secretarial services • Legal memo development • Transcription Low-end Work >> • Document management • Data entry • Litigation support (electronic or paper document discovery, legal research, document review Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 8
  9. 9. Where should a UK law firm outsource to? Local Near-shore Off-shore Specialist skills √√√ √√ √√√ Economies of scale √√ √√ √√√ Offshoring Availability of large relevantly educated offers the workforce √ √ √√√ greatest rewards from Labour arbitrage √ √√ √√√ outsourcing, Favourable regulations ? ? ? but the risk perception is Experience and maturity of outsourcing also High suppliers √√ √ √√ Infrastructure √√√ √√ variable Cultural alignment √√√ √√ √ Tick means high, medium or low Perception of risk Low Med High opportunity Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 9
  10. 10. Going offshore – the Indian LPO market – India has attracted much attention for its provision of offshoring IT services and call centres – Less well known is the fact that US and UK law firms, corporations and legal publishers are outsourcing legal services to Indian lawyers and paralegals. – Indian lawyers have a similar common law background and are recognized overall as having good academic legal training. – Indian lawyers earn about half of what doctors and engineers do their. – A newly qualified lawyer from a top 10 school in India can expect to earn about £4,000 to £6,000 a year. – Compare with the £30,000 per year earned by some of their British counterparts. Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 10
  11. 11. Illustrative benefits • A London law firm employing four secretaries - cost of about £150,000 p.a. – Including all ancillary benefits, bonuses, sickness and national insurance, etc – Typically, but dependent upon the individual department, around half of this work will be copy / transcription – basic secretarial support • If work performed offshore, law firm can expect to save approx £50,000 p.a. – Additionally, financial savings are accrued from using this variable cost model - offshore support staff not directly employed by the UK law firm and therefore the UK firm only pays for work completed – The overhead savings go beyond the salary differential. By moving the workload to another location, a firm can realise additional benefits in terms of office accommodation, either by closing offices (or downsizing), or by fitting more fee earners into office-space previously occupied by secretaries Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 11
  12. 12. However, there are a number of risks Strategic risks Operational risks – Not achieving the originally planned – Dependency on the supplier benefits – Cost increases – The loss of core activities and competencies – Transition and switching costs – Loss of skills and corporate memory – Diminished quality of service – Loss of strategic business flexibility – Loss of management control and innovation capacity HR / Communication risks Commercial risks – Loss of internal coherence – Security breaches – Communication mismatches – Customer lock-in Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 12
  13. 13. Offshoring introduces additional risks • Culture • Language • Time-zone and distance differences • Management styles • Specific institutional features of offshore countries – Law, infrastructure, security, political conditions, intellectual property regulations within the offshore country….. • In addition, amplification of the existing risks within domestic outsourcing, such as security breaches, loss of management control and loss of quality etc… Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 13
  14. 14. Successful outsourcing works for • Less complex tasks • More repetitive tasks • Where monitoring is both possible and not cost prohibitive • Efficiency can be gained from automation, standardisation etc Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 14
  15. 15. What not to outsource • Complex, uniquely fact-driven cases - the amount of time required to bring outside lawyers up to speed require a greater amount of time than would be supported by the reduction in costs • Fact-driven one-off cases - fairly complex, fact-driven subject matter can be reasonably outsourced only if the case is ongoing or recurring • Complex work without local supervision - outsourcing efficiencies are undermined without proper supervision • Unfamiliar subject matter - counsel limits their ability to provide proper supervision when, due to lack of familiarity with the area of law, they are unable to judge the quality or accuracy of the work Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 15
  16. 16. Conclusion • Outsourcing and in particular offshoring, has the potential for delivering significant benefits. • But there are also significant risks, if the wrong activity is outsourced or if not managed properly. • Law firms need to have an outsourcing strategy, even if this results in a decision not to outsource - consider both tangible and intangible benefits and risks of outsourcing. • Need to be reviewed on a periodic basis as the environment in which law firms operate continually changes. Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 16
  17. 17. Contact details Bharat Vagadia Board Director UK National Outsourcing Association CEO Op2i Author: Outsourcing to India – a Legal Handbook T: +44 207 193 4339 M: +44 7711 898089 E: Bharat.Vagadia@Op2i.com Managing Risk – Delivering Value™ www.Op2i.com www.noa.co.uk No unauthorised reproduction without express written permission – All rights reserved – Copyright Op2i Ltd and the NOA 17

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