The following list describes various services a hiring organization can expect to find in legal process outsourcing firms.
Legal research services: Outsourcing firms can perform legal research for a hiring organization on any area of law. The outsourcing firm will deliver research documents and analysis to hiring organizations based on the specified time and deadline. The attorneys of the outsourcing firm, who are knowledgeable on state and international law, conduct the research. Specific services are listed below:
- Prepare legal briefs
- Examine state, federal and international laws regarding the case of the hiring organization
- Jury verdict & settlement research in addition to secondary source research
- Legal analysis & writing, legal editing, and legal opinions
- Seeking primary authority in a given jurisdiction
- Legislative history research and Memoranda of Law
- Multi-jurisdictional survey and foreign law research
- Statutory law research and case law research
Document review: Outsourcing firms can provide assistance and services directed towards document review. These services typically include litigation, fraud, internal investigations, government investigations, and regulatory matters. Outsourcing firms can help hiring organizations to reduce costs, risks, and help lower the workload involved with document review.
Contract review and drafting: Outsourcing firms can assist any type of hiring organization in drafting and reviewing contracts and/or agreements. The drafting of contracts can be specified towards any legal task or situation. The outsourcing firms can ensure that the contracts are agreeable and fair to parties as well as protecting the hiring organization’s interests and reducing their risks. The contracts are drafted in accordance with the relationship between the two parties. The contracts are also written in simple language that both parties will be able to understand and follow. Other contract drafting services include drafting of wills, shareholder contracts, engagement contracts, purchase and sale agreements, and copyright and notices.
Transaction support services: Outsourcing firms can assist hiring organizations in transactions. Outsourcing companies can help with everything from document review to management of the deal and contracts/agreements. Ultimately, outsourcing firms can help hiring organizations with the little details that come with deals, giving the hiring organization time to focus on the big picture. The outsourcing firm will be able to reduce total transaction costs through increased efficiency.
How to decide if your firm should pursue legal process outsourcing
Companies should conduct legal process outsourcing only after they evaluate the risks and potential benefits from performing legal process outsourcing. Most importantly, they must conduct a realistic determination of whether the requested legal tasks and services can be outsourced to a firm without having to sacrifice the quality of the end product. If the outsourcing poses significant risks in having the final product having a sub-par quality, then the outsourcing may not be worth the risk because it may result in having to re-do the work which can result in more costs and unhappy clients.
Hiring companies should create a LPO (legal process outsourcing) agreement with the outsourcing company that has a realistic assessment of the hiring organization’s legal needs and requirements. The hiring organization should look at the agreement and how the outsourcing firm plans to handle the needs. After reviewing the agreement, then the hiring organization can make the final commitment to pursue an outsourcing relationship. The following questions are essential for an organization to consider when drafting an agreement and in making the final decision on legal process outsourcing:
- Do the outsourced legal services occur on a non-recurring basis, on a recurring basis, or on an intermediate recurring basis?
- What are the legal needs, requirements, and services necessary to fulfill the hiring organizations needs?
- Are there factors that will make the transition of legal services and tasks impossible or not practical?
- Do the legal services wanting to be outsourced consist of core or non-core activities of the hiring organization?
- Who assumes the additional risk for the legal process outsourcing work and possible consequences for use of that work?
Legal process outsourcing risks
There are many risks for a hiring organization to consider when conducting legal process outsourcing with an outsourcing firm. The following list covers some of the risks that all hiring organizations should consider:
- Release of confidential information by the outsourcing firm as a result of an insecure infrastructure or because of poor employee policies.
- The outsourcing firm may neglect to get the hiring organizations consent when performing and conducting certain tasks. This neglect can result in work or results that may be harmful to the hiring organization.
- The outsourcing firm may produce work or results that the hiring organization will ultimately be responsible and liable for.
- The hiring organization may incidentally wave the attorney-client privilege.
- There may be communication and compliance differences if the outsourcing is conducted from two different countries.
- There may be some disagreement and conflict between the fee-sharing agreements. The hiring organization has a lack of control with monitoring how long work takes an outsourcing company.
How to avoid risks
There are many different ways in which hiring organizations can mitigate the risks posed by outsourcing legal processes. The first thing that hiring organizations can do is to hire reputable outsourcing firms. Reputable outsourcing firms will have a reputation to uphold and will most likely provide quality work or will have provisions in place to correct any work that does not meet quality standards. Companies can hire reputable outsourcing firms through recommendations or through conducting research. A second thing hiring firms can do is to establish service level agreements (SLA) with the outsourcing firm. A SLA will establish specific requirements and agreements for the whole project. The majority of risks can be addressed in a SLA.
Recommended legal process outsourcing companies
CPA Global: CPA Global has offices located across the United States, Asia, Europe, and in Asia and the Pacific. CPA Global supports attorney firms and corporate clients with a large range of legal and Intellectual property support services. Legal process outsourcing services include contract solutions, document review, legal research services, and transaction support services. CPA Global can work as an extension to the hiring organizations team or as a new separate entity. Furthermore, CPA Global will continue to support the hiring organization even after the job is complete.
LegalTech: LegalTech was formed in 2003, and its Headquarters are located in Bangalore, India. LegalTech also has offices in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. LegalTech provides services for Law firms and for corporations. The legal process outsourcing services offered for law firms are contract management, e-Discovery, first draft services, strategic IP services, and Medico legal services. The legal process outsourcing offered for corporations are commercial documents drafting, contract management, due diligence services, document abstraction services, and maintenance of contract databases.
Xxon: Xxon is located in New Delhi, India with offices in the United States. Xxon services big and small law firms, solo and corporate attorneys, corporate organizations, trademark and patent specialists, and real estate services. Xxon provides hiring organizations with litigation support, document review, document management, and legal research. Xxon also provides paralegal services for attorneys or attorney firms. Some of Xxon paralegal services are legal billing, OCR conversion, database support, legal transcription, coding & indexing, pre-trial briefs, and others.