Legal process outsourcing (LPO) has emerged as an important sub-segment of business process outsourcing (BPO). The ever-increasing competition in the legal field owing to the rise of many law firms, the greater burdens borne by corporate legal departments and the growing expectations of clients together fuel the growth of this segment.
Legal Outsourcing Embedding into the System
The continuous growth of the legal services outsourcing industry has been highlighted by the fact that more and more law firms and legal professionals are outsourcing back office and other legal procedures. Companies in this field are increasingly becoming targets for acquisition, according to the “Transformation of Business Process Outsourcing,” a report by Baird, an investment bank.
Traditional law firms have to adapt since clients prefer fixed price models. This rise in fee pressure has led firms to turn to outsourcing legal processes to address these concerns. Outsourcing has begun to be accepted widely and service delivery is now made possible through on-shore, off-shore and near-shore centers.
Outsourcing Even in Middle Office Tasks
The need has not only been felt in back office tasks but also in middle office responsibilities in law firms. Conventional word processing is being replaced by a need for more specialized functioning. For these tasks, firms now seek trained documentation specialists rather than secretaries. These document specialists need to possess skills in e-filing, presentation creation, spreadsheet development, desktop publishing, and other tasks. They also need to excel in certain niche areas such as litigation, insurance defense and intellectual property.
Sometimes law firms get started on recruitment drives to acquire these professionals with specialized skill sets. But often the strain on resources makes them seek cost-effective solutions – training existing staff in these specialized skill sets and adjusting with them. However, training is resource consuming too and straining existing staff could seriously compromise on efficiency. That’s when outsourcing becomes a practical solution.
- Professional LPO providers have the experience to handle those specialized tasks. They employ trained staff, state-of-the-art workflow and other technologies, and innovative approaches to deal with client tasks efficiently.
- Legal outsourcing also reduces operating costs since LPO providers are able to tap into cheaper labor in their offshore offices, particularly in countries such as India.
More Mergers & Acquisitions in the LPO Sector
The Baird bank report also states that there was a significant rise in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the LPO sector. Technology-powered service providers are among those targeted the most for M&A activity. The report also revealed that the e-discovery market was particularly growing in the US.
The consolidation of the global BPO industry could continue into the following years, driven by intense demand by clients for value-added services, emerging technologies, and cost savings. And the LPO field is really set to grow further.