Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy
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Law schools face tough choice: Lower admission standards or accept fewer students.

Law schools face tough choice: Lower admission standards or accept fewer students. | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
As law-school enrollment declines at middle- and lower-tier schools, many are shedding faculty members.
legal process outsourcing's insight:

For the last 4-5 years it has been apparent that the education sector has been living in its own world, ignorning that our world has changed. This applies across the board, not just in law. If I look around the institutions I know and walk past daily, they've all put up huge new impressive buildings on some of the most expensive real estate in the world. They placed one way bets on continued growth and perpetual supply of students and funding for students.

 

For Tier 1 institutions, their brand will carry them through this, and maybe it will appear like an astute move...with a lot of hindsight. Though even some of them are suffering from slump in demand. I do think that will be temporary.

 

For anyone else - brands like those listed in this WSJ article - they have to really consider why anyone - yes, ANYONE - would ever truly desire and aspire (and I use those words deliberately) to attend their institutions for anything other than affordability reasons. Then they have to think how long it will take to repay the debt they incur against a foreground of reduced graduate jobs across the whole legal profession, and diminished promotion opportunities thereafter. Then, even with that debt and the qualification, why would any major law firm choose a graduate from that school over any Tier 1 school.

 

The silver lining is that the at least these law schools are waking up and behaving like real businesses. This article really illustrates the tough decisions they have made and that others will have to take. I'm hugely sympathetic as nothing is more essential to human development than education. Sadly, nothing is more unavoidable than the laws of supply and demand.

 

Edward

 

eb@thelpoprogram.com

thelpoprogram.com

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Indian LPO firms continue to flourish | BigLaw

Indian LPO firms continue to flourish | BigLaw | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
legal process outsourcing's insight:

In other "Breaking News" we also hear reports that humans require oxygen to sustain life.

 

Come on BigLaw...this is old news. Keep with it!

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It Started With A Tweet - Interview with Bob Gogel, CEO, Integreon - The LPO Program

It Started With A Tweet - Interview with Bob Gogel, CEO, Integreon - The LPO Program | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
It Started With A Tweet It is amazing the power of Twitter, even as I only use it to 1% of its potential. I’d been reading through the …
legal process outsourcing's insight:

Time to blow my own trumpet!


This was a fascinating discussion and one that could have gone on for hours. It really shows how the realignment of legal delivery is playing out.

 

On the supply side there are a good number of very credible LPO providers who can handle a range of services very effectively and efficiently. On the demand side the law firms have really started to embrace the opportunity this gives them, and most have embedded some element of LPO within their day to day services that they deliver to end clients.

 

However, narrating the story is an element of the legal media that are more than happy to create a level of antagonism, mistrust, and fear within the profession that is totally unjustified. Easy headlines, I know, but it doesn't help the profession realign itself to the new world, where change is happening, delivery can be different, and if the firms won't adapt then their clients will walk.

 

Still, every time any law firm outsources anything, the headlines read like it's Chicken Little time and we're all going to die. It's time for them to reflect reality.

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Ashurst's near-shoring move into Scotland – positive job creation or anti-competitive?

Ashurst's near-shoring move into Scotland – positive job creation or anti-competitive? | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
After publicly courting senior partners for almost a year, the Scottish Government's economic development arm scored its first major catch last week when UK top...
legal process outsourcing's insight:

OMG! If it is "anti-competitive" then there are plenty of ways to challenge it, in the way that lawyers are best qualified to do - in the courts.

 

I actually do have some sympathy with the argument that subsidising highly profitable organisations to create jobs is putting public money in places where it really is not needed. But I also have real sympathy with the development agencies who have to compete with what other regions of the UK have to offer.

 

For Scottish firms to have any concerns about the competitive threat really infuriates me. Change happens, markets move, and the Scottish firms have really missed the opportunity.

 

They had plenty of time to create their own on-shore offering, using all the skills of the LPOs, and even to create JVs with LPOs who would not only bring the capabilities that most law firms lack, but also the sales teams who would drive work and demand for jobs into Scotland. That was an opportunity that at least one major Scottish law firm turned down, and they will be poorer over the medium term as a result.

 

Sorry for any perceived bitterness, but I did try!

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SFO disclosure exercise in Tchenguiz case hits £118,000 | News | The Lawyer

SFO disclosure exercise in Tchenguiz case hits £118,000 | News | The Lawyer | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
The SFO is recruiting additional junior barristers to join the team of 25 involved in reviewing documents for disclosure in its defence of the multi-million pound damages claims brought by the Tchenguiz brothers, court documents have revealed.
legal process outsourcing's insight:

Does anyone agree with this? Is it seriously possible not to be able to outsource any of this? Did any LPO suppliers bid on the work? Were any invited to bid? Let the world know.

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In-house cost management special report: At the cutting edge | Analysis | The Lawyer

In-house cost management special report: At the cutting edge | Analysis | The Lawyer | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
With financial pressures across the board, in-house counsel are having to take a firm stance on costs
legal process outsourcing's insight:

I am seldom a fan of these kind of "roundtable" journalism - actually, it is closer to transcription than just journalism. Regardless, anything that helps real practitioners talk about how they work, day to day, is of real value.

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The Weekly Pangean: LegalView Data Show Litigation Up, Legal Spend Down, Why The Billable Hour Endures, What to Analyze When Considering Litigation

legal process outsourcing's insight:

There are few good online sources for LPO - and that is one of the reasons why I set out to create The LPO Program. However, the Pangea3 email is definitely worth subscribing to. Anyone involved in the legal profession should be on their distribution list.

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Infy BPO looks to acquire platform capabilities to expand offerings

Infy BPO looks to acquire platform capabilities to expand offerings | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
Infosys BPO, the business process outsourcing arm of Infosys is looking at enhancing its platform BPO capabilities to expand its service offerings
legal process outsourcing's insight:

Deja vu - all over again:)

 

I think I've seen this story repeat for the last two years. Infosys is a great company - maybe with some other short term issues distracting it - but there has to be a reason why it has not pulled the trigger and actually bought something.

 

From talking around the market, my view is that:

 

1. There are actually very few organisations who would be big enough to appear on their radar.

2. Few of those that are on the radar are actually for sale

3. Those that are for sale - or could even be tempted - are sitting at a valuation that is well in excess of what a semi-adventurous/semi-prudent buyer would pay.

 

Let's face it, Infosys is not alone. No one else is snapping up LPO companies (of any specialism) so something has to be jamming the market. 

 

Any bets on when this will change? Maybe it will be easier/better/cheaper to buy the e-discovery department of an established law firm.

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How to build your Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) strategy

How to build your Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) strategy | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
Analyse your options, understand your competitors, and define the right Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) strategy for your Law Firm or General Council.Helps you build your Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy, law firm or in-house legal team, any...
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Citi Report: Firms' Profits Grew 3.3 Percent in 2011

Citi Report: Firms' Profits Grew 3.3 Percent in 2011 | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
Comment on an article
legal process outsourcing's insight:

A blast from the past. Was clearing out my archives and came across this. Wonder what is this year's report is going to say.

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Mayans and Susskind Are Wrong (partly) 

I am indebted to Antony Smith from the firm Legal Project Management for helping me connect my synapses today. But I am certainly in a contrarian mood today, all starting with reading his interview with Richard Susskind.

 

The British Tabloids are a fantastic read, if you can tolerate their jingoism, bias, and historically dubious methods of getting stories. They prove that nothing sells like a scary headline. Here in New York, the New York Post is equally impressive and equally hard to ignore as you queue up to by the basics at the supermarket. The same applies to Susskind (not the jingoism, bias, dubious methods part, of course), but at the crux is a strong message that no lawyer should ignore. However, it should be remembered that even the Mayans will be right eventually if they keep predicting the world will end. 

 

Continue Reading... http://www.tumblr.com/blog/thelpoprogram

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Legal Process Outsourcing of Intellectual Property Work - SourcingSpeak Blog

Legal Process Outsourcing of Intellectual Property Work - SourcingSpeak Blog | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
Tim Wright and Craig Wolff, partners in Pillsbury's Global Sourcing practice and Rafi Azim-Khan and Jack Barufka, both partners in the IP practice, explain Legal Process Outsourcing.
legal process outsourcing's insight:

I've been pushing this article all week. Like most good articles there is a good balance of education and thought stimulation. Beyond that, it is just refreshing to see black and white advice, even if some people would advise slightly differently. 

 

Only other request to Pillsbury...MORE REAL LIFE CASE STUDIES!

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The UK Financial Services Authority issues warning on outsourcing

The FSA has written a 'Dear CEO Letter' warning that the asset management industry does not have...
legal process outsourcing's insight:
While this is not an LPO issue per se, it is something that needs to be considered during any outsourcing relationship - during the selection process, during the contracting process, and on a regular basis throughout the contract.
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LPO forcing legal education review

LPO forcing legal education review | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
The Australian Law Students’ Association is questioning the content of law degrees in light of the rise of legal process outsourcing in the Australian market.
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BLP's Lawyers on Demand hires FT GC for practice development role

BLP's Lawyers on Demand hires FT GC for practice development role | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
Financial Times general counsel Tim Bratton is joining Berwin Leighton Paisner's (BLP) Lawyers on Demand (LoD) as the flexible working business's first practice...
legal process outsourcing's insight:

Forget the appointment news (nothing personal, Tim!) but look at how BLP are reacting to the changes in the legal market. 

 

For anyone who is 40+ the UK, there is an interesting parallel with what British Airways did with their budget airline called "Fly Go". The quick version of the story is that they set up a sideline business to compete with the low cost airlines that had popped up e.g. Easyjet, Ryanair.

 

It quickly started to cannibalise the real British Airways business, was sold in an MBO, who the - irony of all ironies - sold it to Easyjet. Wiki does a good job of telling the full tale. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_Fly

 

Back in the land of Law, firms are going to find it hard to run two-culture operations; one being the old, high cost, high value version, the other being the new, light, nimble version. Many organisations have tried to do the same dual-speed approach and failed. Truly, I wish BLP well as they are doing the right thing. They just need to be aware of how difficult that is to pull off and that, maybe, just maybe, they really are creating a great asset that will thrive even more under a different owner.

 

eb@thelpoprogram.com

 

 

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Weil Gotshal to Fire 60 Associates, Cut Some Partners’ Pay (2)

Weil Gotshal to Fire 60 Associates, Cut Some Partners’ Pay (2) | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, a 1,200-
lawyer firm that handled the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history,
plans to fire 60 salaried attorneys and 110 staff and cut some
partners’ pay.
legal process outsourcing's insight:

Missed this story from earlier in the week, but it feels like either the US law firms are better at keeping these kind of changes quiet, maybe just doing them in the background, OR, the US market is lagging what has been happening in the UK.

 

Personally I'd go for the former, as there is no way the largest US law firms have been able to sustain the post 2008 market without making cuts in all directions. But on the other side of the pond, it seems like every initiative that any law firm takes to even negotiate down the price of printer cartridges becomes headline grabbing news. 

 

The intensity of the UK legal media on even the smallest change is not healthy. The overall sentiment they give off is that they believe any change is a bad change - and that's not healthy, nor positive, nor encouraging for anyone who believes that "best practice" is a good news story to be shared, not a "the world as we know it is ending" event.

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Barclays calls lawyers in for cost-cutting summit | News | The Lawyer

Barclays calls lawyers in for cost-cutting summit | News | The Lawyer | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
Barclays’ external legal advisers are expecting widespread spending cuts by the bank’s legal function as part of its Transform Programme to drive efficiency and improve the UK lender’s image.
legal process outsourcing's insight:

Can anyone even tell me why this is a news story? Shock horror - an organisation is managing its suppliers to get the best possible deal. 

 

If any corporation is NOT following his practice, that would certainly be news. 

 

In fact, maybe the news story is that a client has to tell its suppliers how to run their business efficiently.

 

Thoughts?

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Associates face long road to the top as partnership track lengthens

Associates face long road to the top as partnership track lengthens | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
The track to partnership at the country's largest law firms is continuing to lengthen, with the average level of experience held by new UK partners now standing...
legal process outsourcing's insight:

As I have always said, looking at LPO is fascinating but it has to be viewed in the context of the overall changes taking place in the legal profession. Read this story to see one of the most visible impacts...

 

But does anyone have this data for the US?

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Exclusive: Riverview Law enters into strategic alliance with DMH Stallard | News | The Lawyer

Exclusive: Riverview Law enters into strategic alliance with DMH Stallard | News | The Lawyer | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
Riverview Law has signed its first formal strategic alliance with DMH Stallard in a move that will see Riverview refer work to the south-east firm.
legal process outsourcing's insight:

Refreshing to be back in London. It really reminds me of how little the US legal profession has really changed or, to be more accurate, how constrained the US law firms are in terms of their regulatory and legal structures.

 

I really wonder when, if ever, the US will start to see the benefits of not just legal outsourcing, but really opening the legal market up to competitive forces.

 

Anyone willing to take bets?

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Frank H Wu : What Threatens Law Firms These Days - Lawfuel.co.nz

Frank H Wu : What Threatens Law Firms These Days - Lawfuel.co.nz | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
legal process outsourcing's insight:

Always good to remember LPO/Legal Outsourcing in the context of the wider changes facing law firms. 

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Does the Law Firm CFO Know What He Is Sitting On? Legal Outsourcing starts at home…

Does the Law Firm CFO Know What He Is Sitting On? Legal Outsourcing starts at home… | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
In the last few Finance Legal Outsourcing business cases I have run savings have exceeded 40%. So I would advice all Law Firm CFOs to take a look and see what the options are.
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Eversheds set to cut up to 166 jobs in latest redundancy round

Eversheds set to cut up to 166 jobs in latest redundancy round | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
Eversheds has today placed 166 jobs at risk of redundancy, including 82 fee earners, marking the firm's sixth redundancy round since September 2008.The firm is restructuring...
legal process outsourcing's insight:

Eversheds has been pretty good at creating a more flexible model to adapt to whatever the post-2008 world throws at the legal profession. The Accenture deal is a great example of that.

 

If they are seeing "fundamental change" in certain sectors, the chances are that other firms are seeing exactly the same thing. Maybe they are ignoring that change or are able to address it in a more private manner.

 

Certainly for Real Estate (and slightly less for Company Commercial), the arrival of Legal Outsourcing/LPO suppliers who can wipe the floor - in terms of cost, quality, and transparency - for the transactional work in these areas has been a major factor in several clients of mine really waking up to their overall strategy vis-a-vis Real Estate and other areas of their business.

 

While alternative delivery models are not the only reason for the Eversheds announcement, it will make other Law Firms think seriously about how to deal with new and growing competitive threats.

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LPO patent prosecution violates EAR and USPTO rules

LPO patent prosecution violates EAR and USPTO rules | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
Orange County Patent Attorney serving So. Cal. since 2004.
legal process outsourcing's insight:

I'd meant to cover this one last week. For some reason IP related LPO/Legal Outsourcing seems to be the main area of discussion in the legal community during this month.

 

Not sure what has triggered it now, but what has emerged are some great articles that anyone interested in the field should be reading. They meet my threshold criteria of being informed, educational, and opinionated. You can disagree with the opinion but at least you know where they are coming from.

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Legal Process Outsourcing Blog - LPO Program Consulting

Legal Process Outsourcing Blog - LPO Program Consulting | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
Legal Process Outsourcing is a complex process, but Outsourcing Legal Work is something that you can easily learn with the right methodology and access to the right guidance, tools, data, and support
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Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An interview with Professor Richard Susskind | Legal Project Management U.K.

Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An interview with Professor Richard Susskind | Legal Project Management U.K. | Legal Process Outsourcing Strategy | Scoop.it
RT @JuristvandeZaak: RT @richardsusskind: Here is an interview about my new book, Tomorrow's Lawyers @AntonySmith_LPM - http://t.co/wH4AiMsZ #bedrijfsjuristen

Via Kevin Colangelo
legal process outsourcing's insight:

Susskind has done what no one else managed to do - state the obvious, in a way that was both challenging and logical. The headlines he gets can be read with two hats on. 1 = the Mayan Hat "we're all going to die, the world is ending" or 2 = the Opportunist Hat "things are changing, because of events outside our control - what can I do to ride this change and thrive because of it".

 

Option 2 is really the only option for anyone. The world is going to keep turning, lawyers are always going to be needed, it is just a question of accepting the need for change then working out how to change. That is the easy part. Actually changing is the difficult part. 

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