Legal Process Outsourcing spread its wings across the globe.

With Australian firms starting to consider the opportunities provided by legal process outsourcing, LPO provider Fronterion predicts that 2011 will be a pivotal year for the development of the legal process outsourcing (LPO) industry worldwide. Some of the factors responsible for upward swing in LPO business in 2011 are enlisted below.

• Continued downward pressure on costs and the globalization of legal services provide a perfect environment for LPO. It has arguably become the industry that can no longer be ignored in the current scenario.

• Many foreign law firms have already started outsourcing legal work to Indian LPO houses as a partner or at various department levels. Slowly the foreign law firms are implementing a firm-wide or “enterprise” approach, led by the senior management in order to reap an economy of scale.

• The growth in onshore and hybrid on/off shore delivery solutions has begun in the year 2011. This trend will be equally prevalent in the United States and United Kingdom, with LPO providers and firms already building capacity.

• Demand for LPO services is spreading to new markets in Philippines, Singapore, Dubai, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and North Ireland.

• LPO providers have started offering more services and a more progressive value proposition to remain competitive. Alongside traditional litigation support, LPO providers also offer contract portfolio servicing, compliance, diligence, human resources, medical and broader legal support functions.

• As a result of the growing importance of technology, LPO providers use technology as a key selling point. Technology platforms are used to offer diversified services and as a means for vendors to further embed themselves in client organizations.

• The unprecedented growth and industry consolidation initiated in the fourth quarter of 2010 even continues to shape the dynamic LPO landscape in 2011. Overall, these consolidation trends are positive for the LPO industry, as service provider emerge stronger, more capitalized and, most likely, considerably larger.

• The growing acceptance and adoption of offshore LPO has become more visible in 2011. This has become increasingly prevalent in the US where, in the past five to six years, corporations and law firms have remained virtually silent on all LPO-related matters.

• Competition means that LPO providers will have to differentiate themselves from each other in terms of services offered and their delivery models. No dominant model exists as yet, and a range of different approaches has emerged this year.

• Regulatory bodies in the US and UK have started to address the changing legal landscape in this year. In the US, ethical commentary is expected from the ABA’s Commission on Ethics and in the UK, announcements are expected from the SRA and the Law Society. Other jurisdictions that have been silent so far – such as Australia, Canada and South Africa – may follow the suit.

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