This post has been written by Diksha Dubey, a second year student from Amity Law School, Amity University, Chattisgarh.
What is LPO?
LPO ( Legal Process Outsourcing) is a process by which in-house legal departments, law firms and other organizations outsource legal work from geographic areas where it is costly to perform such as the US or Europe, to those where it can be performed at a significantly decreased cost, primarily India. And the main reason for outsourcing legal work have been cost savings, efficiency and convenience.
The ethical implications of LPO and their ruling and statements have focused on five key issues:-
- Conflicts of Interest
- Unauthorized practice of law
- Disclosure to clients, and
- Billing practices
In India, LPO is perceived as an alternative career option for lawyers.
Qualification and skills required
- Law graduates with a specific skill set.
- Law degree from a recognized university.
- Good command over English.
- Attention to detail.
- Legal acumen of analyzing documents.
Nature of Work
The nature of work involved is of kind which can be termed as clerical work and involves-
- Service of risk and compliances
- Service of due diligence
- Contract review and management
- Services of litigation support
- Document drafting and production
- Legal research
- Services in IPR (intellectual property rights)
Benefits of working with an LPO
- Corporate culture- The LPO follow the corporate format which ensures uniformity in the work place. Promotions, hierarchy, increments, proper office spaces, safer environment for women and other associated benefits.
- Monetary Benefits- The salary levels vary from one LPO to another. The bigger LPO’s pay around Rs. 30,000 to 45,000 for the freshers, whereas smaller LPO’s between 20,000 to 25,000 some provides with other bonuses and perks too. And the salaries are revised every year depending on the evaluation cycles.
- Fixed working hours- The work hours are generally fixed for 8-10 hours everyday. The standard is 9 am to 6 pm.
- Option to work from home- This is the best option in this whole field. Some of the LPO’s offer more flexible work culture where the employees can work from their home if the need arises. This also ensures work life balance.
- Learning Opportunities- Many LPO’s hire foreign trainers in order to train their employees. Some of these work for biggest of the law firms/companies from US and UK. This provides employees exposure to work culture of these countries LPO’s.
- Steadily progressing in India- Legal Process Outsourcing has been steadily growing in India. The recent global recession has accelerated the evolution of LPO in India. Many overseas legal firm are choosing Indian legal firms as outsourcing service providers to reduce the costs. This has transformed India into a favorable refuge to legal works. The indian LPO sector expects growth in services like document review, e –discover, legal publishing and so on.
Now we should also see the drawbacks of LPO-
- The work in this industry can be tedious at times. Some of the people term it as “grunt work”.
- It is not the topmost career choice as lawyers don’t get to work on Indian laws. Working on foreign laws continuously makes them lose touch with the domestic laws.
- Foreign clients have reservations regarding confidentiality of documents being shared with the LPO’s in India. And there is also scope of misuse of the information.
- The off shoring of jobs to foreign markets presents cultural and language barriers that can impede communication between teams from land and sea.
- Legal work is not limited to reviewing documents and accounting. It all depends upon the deep analysis of case information and its related casualties. This required a skillful team which provides quality results.
- LPO’s lessen the costs of services but there are some hidden costs that affect customer ethics. Hidden prices are added to the overall pricing of outsourcing service that includes employee turnover, rising operating costs, profit margins and quality control.
The future of legal outsourcing
In the global scenario, India , Phillipines and South Africa are the main leaders in offering legal outsourcing services. And in the upcoming future, this business is expected to grow substantially. Onshore outsourcing is being considered as a better option by some countries as due to the shared regulatory framework, it becomes easier to handle the business, processes. Law firms are also looking for cost effective solutions to optimize their business potential.
Nations like India offer various benefits in terms of cost and as English is the official language in India the law firms based in nations like US, UK, Canada, Australia, can easily utilize their services. Outsourcing firms based in India are experts at handling IP processes, document analysis and legal research.
Also big players like Infosys, Wipro and others are studying this model and could look at entering this business.
Some Top LPO’s in India
These following are some of the top LPO’s in India:-
- Legal Source operates from Chennai.
- Pangea 3 operating since 2014.
- GB Law Solutions operates from Delhi.
- Economic services also operates from Chennai.
- Legal sonic also operates from Chennai.
- Quislex operates from Hyderabad.
- Cosmolegal services operates from Hyderabad.
- Ecase solutions operates from the city of Gurugram.
Lawyers in India charge pittance in comparison to their western counterparts. Thus, Indian legal services are affordable and efficient. Legal outsourcing is one of the most risk prone sector because of security issues, and transfer of private data. However, overall benefits have tremendously boosted the business . 7500 people are employed in the LPO sector now, in the next 3 years their numbers will grow to 32000. Indian LPO industry is booming and shows absolutely no sign of slowing down. It goes without saying that the LPO trend offers great benefits. An LPO for instance can afford luxury of dedicating an entire team to register trademarks or process immigration visas.
Reference: The Octopus Tech