News Round-Up

Check out these interesting bits of LPO news from this past week.

Obama
Following Obama’s visit to India, the debate about India’s stance on opening its legal system to international law firms continues to simmer. Opponents and supporters from both sides of the ocean are making their opinions known. One person speaking out was Lalit Bhasin, the President of Society of Indian Law Firms, who is seen as a leading supporter of the legal action against 31 international law firms (and one LPO) known as the Madras High Court Writ Petition.

At the Global LPO Conference held on the 14th, Bhasin raised some excellent points about the current stringent regulatory requirements. Indian law firms are not permitted to market their services and don’t even have the ability to even set up a basic website, he said. Indian law firms would be crippled if faced with sophisticated international competition.

Many Westerners, including ABA president Stephen Zak, find the lack of reciprocity frustrating, particularly for a country built on a platform of servicing international clients. Additional details here.

I had the pleasure of visiting with Bhasin this weekend at the Global LPO conference in Delhi. More details to come.

UnitedLex Acquisition
Perhaps the first in a trend of consolidations, UnitedLex announced their acquisition of fellow Gurgaon-based LPO vendor, LawScribe.

I spoke with former LawScribe CEO, Kanoor Chopra, recently following the announcement. Chopra was very positive about the acquisition and is looking forward to being part of the UnitedLex team. Additional details here.

Lawyers Demise?
Another alarmist article appeared this week in the Guardian about lawyers and LPO. As previously stated in an earlier post, the legal profession is in not in any danger of disappearing due to the adoption of alternative delivery methods – including, but not limited to LPO. That said, the ABA Journal reported this week that AmLaw firms cut approximately 1400 positions in this past year. Challenges still lie ahead as many major law firms struggle to address the new normal – a sluggish economy, lower levels of legal spend and increasing competitive pressure. But often pruning makes an organization, and profession, stronger.

A Collaborative Model of LPO: An Academic Perspective
I haven’t had a chance to read through the entire paper, but this does look interesting. Cassandra also scores points with us by referencing Fronterion research in the paper.

Make Vs. Buy: Allocation of work in-house
An ancillary trend to the LPO industry is the divergence in strategies by general counsels’ allocation of work. Some in-house legal teams are seeking to pull the majority of work internally, while others are seeking to use outside legal counsel exclusively. An interesting analysis of legal work allocation was covered in a recent piece featuring Robin Saphra at Colt. Read the full article here.

Written by Fronterion