In the recent years, consumers have been pushing the downward trend in pricing and this has made corporations struggle for their survival. A growing concern of corporations in this era is increasing legal costs and the efforts to contain this cost have brought about the concept of legal process outsourcing (LPO). Favorable government policies are one of the key factors driving the growth of LPO. Further, the rising awareness among general counsels and general public is aiding in the growth of this market. Moreover, increasing technology applications such as offering highly secure enterprise class software including features such as portal website, collaboration, and document management market presents an opportunity for vendors. E-discovery was the most popular platform being deployed in LPO industry while litigation support, intellectual property (IP) support, contract drafting and review are among other major services being offered.
Electronic documents contain a large amount of data and metadata and identifying and producing this information may often prove burdensome for in-house legal department. Outsourcing of this function helps by reducing efforts, reduces time consumption and proves to be cost-saving. LPO firms process electronic information using e-discovery and other software tools. These firms provide data experts with expertise in data formats, ESI processing, and the review platforms, thus improving efficiency of the process.
The challenges to the growth of this market are concerns regarding security and confidentiality, quality and ethical implications. However, the marketplace has matured and many such concerns are being put to rest. Corporations are gaining from renewed incentives in assessing the value of a balanced outsourced and in sourced legal support model. Corporations today are taking a thoughtful approach toward LPO in order to achieve potential cost savings, focus their in-house legal workforce on higher workloads, improve service levels, and creating supplementary capacity for unexpected legal needs. Players in this market are trying to acquire certifications, non-disclosure agreements, building strong service-level agreements (SLAs) and maintain high physical security by using effective access control to enable data security and maintaining high confidentiality.
Offshore LPO services involve outsourcing of legal support services to LPO firms in other jurisdictions. Until now offshore outsourcing held a majority of share of the total LPO market, however, onshore LPO has gained significant demand in recent years and is expected to grow at a rate higher than the global average. Onshore outsourcing is proving to be an attractive solution for corporations that prefer collaboration with organizations in the same jurisdiction and also helps enhance data confidentiality and improves the process efficiency owing to benefits of shared regulatory frameworks under the same jurisdiction. An emerging opportunity in this market exists in terms of offering hybrid service delivery model, i.e. combined onshore and offshore legal process outsourcing. The major legal areas which law firms cover are commercial laws, bankruptcy, banking laws, general corporate laws, civil rights and liberties, intellectual property laws, international business laws, criminal defense, financing/securities laws and tax laws. Basis of the services offered; the LPO firms may be categorized into full spectrum LPO providers, KPO providers, and legal support service providers.
A majority of legal process outsourcing is done by countries such as the U.S., Canada and UK from countries including India, China, Israel, Philippines, South Africa and Latin America. India is most popular for LPO among North American corporations. The country offers competitive legal experts at a lower cost compared to North America. A major trend in the industry, key LPO players have physical presence in the U.S. and delivery centers in locations such as India and China. Key players in this market include Evalueserve SEZ, Mindcrest, Integreon Managed SolutionPangea 3, Wipro Ltd., Infosys Ltd., Cobra Legal Solutions, LLC, LawScribe, Inc., CPA Global Ltd., Lexadigm Solutions LLC, Legal Advantage, Lexplosion, LexSphere, LEX Outsourcing, Bodhi Global Services, Exigent Clutch Group, Quislex, UnitedLex, Acumen Legal Services Pvt. Ltd. and Clairvolex Knowledge Processes Pvt. Ltd.
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