August 2, 2014
The Legal process outsourcing industry has seen an upsurge in recent times. We are seeing legal service providers vying for consistent and measurable results by moving work to lower labor cost jurisdictions like India.
It was initially seen that legal process outsourcing industry participants originally concentrated on plummeting people costs and thus it shiftily became apparent that managing onshore and offshore labor to deliver steady, measurable results would also require the development of consistent, coordinated processes. But their approaches to technology are amongst their most momentous differences from each other.
Some industry participants have invested in the development of industry-specific technologies that enable them to strongly integrate their people, processes, and technologies. Others have accepted these technologies on a project basis to deliver the best fit for each client, while still others have adopted a mixture of these approaches. There are different advantages and disadvantages to these approaches and potential clients should fully consider them when selecting an LPO provider.
Breakthrough Technologies in LPO Industry:
There are different technology approaches that are being utilizing for contract management offerings. These specific offerings differ along the contract life-cycle that integrates drafting, review, negotiation, cataloging, monitoring, and renewal. Each of the major LPO vendors offering services inside the contract management life-cycle provides lower cost labor. This is specifically for India.
Most of the legal service providers have executed some sort of workflow to enhance their processes. However, only a few have invested in the development of urbane contract management applications.
These companies’ substantial software development efforts and tight coupling of software and service can provide noteworthy efficacious in a way that fully deliberates the technology’s implementation within a global delivery model. The risk, of course, is that having executed one of these systems, the cost to change software or service providers can be very high.
The assorted approach provides supreme flexibility for clients, but buyers must consider the advantages of integrated solutions with the freedom to change, and the enhanced negotiating power that comes from having distinct software and service vendors. There is, of course, a corresponding upsurge in intricacy to negotiate with various vendors, and the potential to not be noteworthy enough to merit the requisite attention from any of them.
The advantage of application vendor skepticism is the chance to work with products that derive a healthy feature set from clients beyond the LPO space.
On top of it, legal service providers will often have multiple clients utilizing given software product which can lend their client companies more clout with software application companies that they could get on their own. With any of these approaches, it is significant to make sure that the vendor has a crucial mass of people acquainted with the application to be utilized. This is less of a concern with vendors who have developed their own products, but LPO firms are growing quickly so skills can be a subject of concern even with in-house software.
As you can view, there are trade-offs to the different approaches to legal services vendor technology adoption. The approach can differ ominously between vendors. It can also differ among varied offerings from the same vendor hence it is important to have a distinct wide-ranging analysis for each of contract management, e-discovery, document review or other legal service.
Novel Roles and Rules for Inspiring the Future of Legal:
Time has come wherein legal market was defined as having two major players – law firms and corporate legal departments but things have changed very drastically. Now we are seeing a valiant novice legal ecosystem exciting a range of different roles, products and approaches to client service.
As law firms acclimatize to the ever-changing technology landscape and the roles that change within it, they are finding a greater need for a third player which can defined as an innovator in the crowded field.
Insiders Creating Value:
More law firms are creating distinct roles that are intended to reply directly to client expectations and needs. According to David Fries, Senior Advisor, Pricing and Practice Management at Orrick, “One thing law firms can learn from business – when it comes to predictability,” says Fries, “it’s not that different. Predicting costs is something every business struggles with.” The crucial element – the starting point – is to have an open conversation about pricing. It seldom happens, but needs to happen.
According to Gordon Vala – Webb, National Director, Innovation and Information, McMillan LLP, “Innovation is not entirely foreign in a law firm. After all, clients pay attorneys to be innovative and find solutions to legal problems.”
It is very important to develop an arsenal of testimony and pricing success stories to win over both attorneys and clients who are looking for improved value and budget predictability. It is also critical to present this information in an easy to comprehend and persuasive way that really makes firms believes in the information and also makes them reliant on defining the governance and authorship of firm-wide data.
Firms that have an elected client value role also have new opportunities to educate clients, perform on-site client rate reviews and consult with clients about flexible pricing models. New hybrid roles, with client-facing responsibilities are also likely encompassing associates who have decided to take the route of partner.
The firm’s concentration on client value has been a cultural revolution that has launched a multidisciplinary committee of key firm leaders encompassing different executive committee members, practice group leaders, marketing, finance and practice management staff amongst others concentrating on ways to enhance client service, provide greater value and coordinate efforts.
The committee has fantastic monthly innovation meetings that have included outside speakers discussing big data, social media and brand-new topics.
Innovation as an Assessment Component:
Innovation is a part of the partner assessment and compensation review process in Nixon Peabody. In the organization, partners are asked to deliberate on new products and innovations they have developed in the last year and their responses are taken into consideration in the final evaluation review. Stevens, the firm’s first Chief Innovation Officer says that “it’s harder. And it’s more fun. Harder because people are busy.
Making the commitment and taking the time to think about new client products is tough. But the fun factor is really high. Attorneys get charged up and excited.”
Innovation is the key to learning. This is where leadership plays a critical role. According to Brown, “Innovation hinges on leadership and a clear articulation of strategy,” “Those are the essential building blocks.” Cordo agreed: “All lawyers in the firm need to be on-board. There needs to be a high level of trust within the culture, along with a willingness to support the effort, do the math and invest in it.” Beyond that, “firm management needs to be willing to tolerate and even encourage mistakes. Innovation requires risk-taking,” Fries says. Above all, firms wanting to be innovative need to, according to Brown, “Get comfortable with the concept of failing, get used to the blending of career tracks, and see that there are ways – beyond providing legal advice – to deliver value and client service.”
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