The case for Indian becoming legal outsourcing hub is on a very strong wicket. Reduction in costs and streamlining of operations by, major global operations are the obvious derivers. It could see the next boom within India’s burgeoning BPO industry.
What’s Legal Outsourcing (LPO)
Legal Outsourcing (LPO) entails supporting the working of corporate legal departments, large firms and even individual lawyers through activities like drafting contracts, online research, reviewing and reporting documents, litigation support, intellectual property researching and drafting and applying for patents.
One of the reasons why India has been the main beneficiary of this off shoring drive is the large number of legal professionals available (85,000 at last count) –which is trained in a legal system consistent with US and UK laws. Both Philippines and Australia, potential rivals in LPO, have half the numbers.
Quality of service and speed of delivery in comparison with China and South Korea is a big draw. Most LPO outfits like Pangea 3 and Office Tiger and Intellevate are staffed 24x7 in India. Cost savings is another plus. The lower costs allows far more diligent quality control process that is affordable in the US and enable clients to accomplish more in same or lower legal budget.
On the face of it, the future potential of LPO in India is bright. But some are not so sure as to how many of the legal jobs in the US would actually shift to India. Experts feel that if the quality of legal education is not further improved, it could stymie the flow. The other deterrent could be FDI norms governing legal services and the existing partnership laws. Nasscom feels India needs to open up its legal services and amend its Partnership Act. Let the party begin.