LPO agreements involve several legal services, ranging from legal coding and legal transcription to legal projects that need more involvement such as legal research, document review, litigation support, contract drifting and management, patent application preparation, legal publishing, and more. An LPO arrangement can benefit to a legal department only if the needs and requirements of the department are thoroughly assessed and it can be determined whether the legal tasks can be outsourced without giving up important qualitative considerations.
Corporate Counsel Magazine conducted an online survey in 2013, sending out its questionnaire to many corporate law departments to gauge their experience in legal process outsourcing (LPO). The results show that around 54% of respondents outsource their legal work and that the majority were satisfied with the outsourcing solutions provided. The poll investigated whether the departments relied on outsourcing, where they sent their work, what kind of work they outsourced, what motivated them, and how they felt about the outcome.
The main aim of the survey was to estimate the satisfaction the departments derived from legal process outsourcing. Around 41% of them replied they were satisfied with the outsourced work, 29% replied somewhat satisfied, 26% replied very satisfied and only 3% said not at all satisfied. The survey explored whether the law departments preferred onshoring or offshoring. Around 65% of respondents said they sent legal work within United States. Another significant finding of the survey was that 68% chose outsourcing in order to reduce costs. The overall picture is that many legal institutions sent their legal work to vendors within United States to reduce their cost and most of them are pleased with the outsourced work.
There are some key risks and ethical considerations in an LPO agreement. For example, in legal transcription outsourcing, the risks involved would include the following
- The leakage of sensitive legal information is a major risk associated with LPO. When the vendor sets up an interface with the legal firm to transcribe confidential data (for example, recordings of interrogation), it can lead to the leakage of critical information if proper security measures are not taken
- If the employees within the third party organization are not loyal, it may ruin your efforts to maintain data confidentiality
- Re-establishment of outsourced tasks is another risk. Quality, consistency and clearing the borders between the organizations are other major risks
Outsourcing to a professional legal transcription company that offers the services of experienced and trained legal transcriptionists, three-level quality control measures, and FTP-based file transfer is the feasible solution. To choose the right service provider, thoroughly examine their security measures, quality of services and consistency. Even though budget considerations are important, never sacrifice quality for cost. Established outsourcing companies offer free service trials for potential clients.