If you are a law professional in the US, or are working for a law firm and are legal process outsourcing some of your client’s work to an offshore destination in India, then before you actually send out any confidential information pertaining to your client, is it necessary to get the client’s consent? Is it ethical to outsource legal works? Such issues are the main topics of discussion in the legal BPO sectors and forums.
Last summer there was a formal opinion published by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Committee on Professional and Judicial Ethics on the ethics of overseas outsourcing. This is published online at http://www.nycbar.org. The New York City Bar Association has confirmed that there is nothing unethical in outsourcing legal works to overseas legal, paralegal, or others. Only thing is that if some clerical work is given to a non law professional then it has to be done under the supervision of a lawyer. It also confirmed that the total responsibility was on the lawyer who was outsourcing/offshoring the work. The bar also suggested that the hiring attorney should get considerable background information about the company doing the work, rigorously supervise all nonlegal staff’s works, and keep constant communication with them during the project.
Legal Outsourcing in India is fast evolving and all set to take the outsourcing world to involve professional lawyers like never before. There are going to be no hindrances. It is a win win situation especially for the US based smaller law firms who could not afford such services before. Even though it is not necessary to ask clients consent every time work is outsourced it is better to keep them informed when sensitive information may have to be shared with non lawyers during outsourcing. The monetary benefits of outsourcing should also be shared with the clients by appropriately billing the client the New York City Bar opined.
Managed Outsource Solutions is a US based legal outsourcing provider with facilities in India and the Philippines.