Monday, June 13, 2011

The Challenges of LPO, Jotwani Associates LLP

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) refers to any process or the steps of the work done outside a country to a third party that supports the delivery of legal services. These processes or steps may vary from simple steps for providing models of high complexity. As modern society becomes more complex with modern standards, the requirements of these services may be provided by law firms, corporations, individuals, independent lawyers or government sector.

One estimate puts the LPO market today to $ 250 million to grow to USD 640 million at the end of 2010 and increased annual growth of USD 146 million a year. And it seems very likely that most of the fee will be captured by India, whose population is generally good in English with significant cost differential.

LPO services offer some definite advantages. The most important of it is cost savings. There are substantial differences between the costs of hiring a lawyer in a country like the U.S., to countries like India. Whereas a U.S. attorney can charge their clients up to $ 400 per hour of work, in India we will see all broadcast projects for several hours can be completed by the same amount of revenue. Infact, a good education experienced lawyer can be hired in India for full time for just U.S. $ 1,200 / U $ S 1,500 / - per month working 45 hours a week. When companies realize a big difference in pay, they are willing to take a little risk and start looking for outsourcing partner.

They are willing to compromise a little on quality in the beginning. It is expected that the difference in training lawyers provided the quality of work would be reduced and would be able to gain substantial benefits in 6-8 months. Companies and law firms tend to send the job is lower risk, regular and repetitive nature. In this difficult economic environment, which makes perfect sense to send a regular and repetitive work at sea.

The second advantage of the relocation work is also the timeliness and sincerity that is dedicated to the work. An employee of the facility is more likely to get bored doing a mundane job. Initially, an employee will be more productive facilities, but over a certain period, was observed to be the opportunity, and lower commitment to work a job that is difficult for an employee. It was noted that the paper submitted to the offshore entity is more likely to be done in time and place, it is not a job for an offshore entity, but is a business. One of the most famous outsourcing LPO mentioned that they are ready to graduate students and conducting a review of documents (that can be done by an individual paralegal in the U.S.), with sustained interest over a long period of time, while for head office hardly legal people to keep their interest. For a lawyer in India, a review of documents can be a career in itself that s / he thought of working through your life.

The other advantage of the LPO business is the variety of solutions offered by an outsourcing partner. The outsourcing of their members towards number of clients and have experience in the industry. Use modern tools and sometimes come with easy solutions to complex problems. For example, an external provider with the most design tools for drawing figures involved in patent applications. Or it would be signed no later than databases that provide an overview of recent judgments on a particular topic.

The advantages formidable legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) has not come without its set of challenges and if not handled properly the benefits can become a nightmare LPO. Therefore, it is very important how to choose an outside vendor is a partner at outsourcing. There are several points to an external provider has to take into account especially among these is the member's legal experience. We must look closely at the team and if they can offer people who are good at offering legal solutions and have experience in dealing with a variety of issues. It is imperative that people working on the cases have a required number of experiences in that particular field.

On the other hand, are clear to score and delivering solutions that are required by their customers? Do you need constant supervision or can work independently. The integrity of the management team is another important aspect that needs a little poll. What is the history of the people at the helm of affairs in the state of outsourcing? Are committed to delivering solutions on time? An outsourcing partner should also go beyond the academic training of the team that supports him. A country like India could also have people come from academic training which is very attractive, but due to poor quality of education they received, it will not be able to perform the work required. It is imperative to see in the candidate's job performance before committing to a long-term. This also leads us to the point of easy exit clauses to Legal Process Outsourcing partner, so they are able to leave the agreement as easily as possible, if necessary.

The other legal challenge that seems to have emerged in the outsourcing high tech patent applications have arisen from the USPTO recent circular that says he has become aware of the outsourcing of patent prosecution, therefore published a notice (Fed. Reg. July 23, 2008, Vol. 73, Number 124, page 42781) in the Federal Register reminding patent applicants to comply with existing laws. The two main groups of the laws of export control are the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR). While outsourcing has become something of a national trend, outsourcing patent work has the potential for serious civil and criminal penalties and the onus is on the exporter to determine whether an export license required by ITAR regime or EAR. The disclosure of sensitive technology to any foreigner, even within the United States may violate federal law. An attorney with experience in export controls can help prevent inadvertent violation and the possibility of criminal and civil penalties. Outsourcing patent work (consider a large number of Legal Process Outsourcing), which may be subject to laws of U.S. export controland must be judged on a case by case basis.

One reason, several clients / law firms are moving to engage law firms as its outsourcing partner because it provides for privileged communications. If you do not become customers and customer data that needs to be sent to a country outside and has a potential to contain the information free of charge, is protected by attorney-client privilege in most countries. Similarly, lawyers and law firms do not have to be connected especially disclosure agreements (NDA). There is a presumption of a largest foreign supplier of data remaining protected and can not leave the networks for law firms to be your outsourcing partner.

In terms of Legal Process Outsourcing, huge opportunities and great diversity of solutions and not be listed in this article. However, we will try to score some important segments where we are already in commercial activities that take place. The following are some of the segments in Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) to take into account:

1. Intellectual Property Outsourcing: Drafting, preparing and filing patent applications in the USPTO, the preparation, filing of trademark applications, patent and trademark searches, preparation of the figures and drawings using advanced commercial software, preparation of patent application Design, infringement opinions, patent proof reading.
2. Litigation support: Writing lawsuits, petitions, requests, responding to proposals, legal notice, C & D's, notices related to recovery and the mortgage, deposition and other transcripts and E-Discovery and the processes of document review .
3. Contract Management: social and personal contract drafting, vetting and negotiations. The final products are perfectly formatted to fit the needs of customers.
4. Paralegal Support: Document / Record storage and retrieval, summary writing, case management, management of the civil lawyer, billing, data entry.

Once again re-emphasize, the list is not exhaustive. There are several new opportunities frequently. For example, one of the leading law firms based in New Delhi, India, recently had the opportunity to make a real estate property due diligence work. They received online training on how a property could be done due diligence on the basis of 10 points in the various government databases available online. Began with a modest staff of 2 employees. The contract now provides for a staff of 50 lawyers experience over a period of one year. This shows the faith in the quality of output generated by the lawyers of India.

Conclusion:

There is no doubt there are challenges and risks of Legal Process Outsourcing. But at the same time, the rewards can be very high if it proves successful business. We at Partners Jotwani hope the success of the Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) model. It recommends that companies, law firms and individuals to start with a small base (to minimize the risks) and also have clear exit plan. Must ramp only after a level of trust and working relationships established with an outsourcing partner.

Jotwani Associcates LLP is one of 10 law firm in India offering legal process outsourcing
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