What is Legal Process Outsourcing?

20-Nov-2018 12:00:00 / by Eoin O’Cinneide
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In partial response to the global financial crisis of 2008, the use of non-traditional legal services providers such as Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) companies has grown exponentially worldwide. The revenue generated by these innovative providers has risen from $300 million in 2008 to above $8.4 billion in 2017. Current expectations are that this market will grow to $55 billion by 2025.

But what is LPO? And how can it help businesses in Ireland?

The term LPO often conjures up ideas of sending low level, noncomplex legal tasks including document review and legal research to low-wage markets overseas. Following the recession, legal departments were under pressure to cut costs and off-shoring certain routine legal tasks became a popular cost-saving option for corporate bodies.

However, communication and cultural barriers - not to mention potential security breaches - have forced legal departments to look for viable solutions closer to home. As demand for LPO services has increased, so has the scope of work offered by these companies. Over the last 10 years there has been a proliferation of LPO organisations offering a broader scope of services in addition to the traditional outsourcing of basic legal tasks.

Market indicators suggest that financial savings are now not the only driver of LPO. In fact, LPO is gaining traction as a source of specialized expertise that is either outside the usual purvey of the law firm or which traditional law firms have to date performed expensively and inefficiently.  There is a growing appetite for services providing hands-on support to in-house legal counsel with operational or capacity challenges, and for process and technology led end to end support for routine and standardized commercial contracts.

Critical Mass

Sophisticated legal departments in corporate and state bodies are demanding the disaggregation of the legal industry into (i) the provision of high-level legal advice, and (ii) the delivery of legal services. LPOs focus on the latter. The movement away from outsourcing all legal work to expensive, traditional law firms is well underway. In fact, over 60% of corporate bodies and 51% of law firms now use an alternative provider of legal services.


What is Legal Process Outsourcing?

Emphasising that critical mass for the use of alternative providers has now been reached, Connie Brenton, Chairwoman of the highly influential Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) put it best in 2017 when she said, “When a Fortune 500 GC sees that 46 percent of their peers have leveraged [a legal service outsource firm], it is not risky any longer”. Savvy, forward-thinking businesses are taking advantage of LPO services.

JHI Solution

Johnson Hana International is Ireland’s first and only LPO company. We partner with our clients to identify which aspects of its business require our support. We help clarify your needs and priorities and develop a tailored process that transforms how your in-house legal team operates.

We leave advice to the law firms. We take care of the document-heavy, repetitive and standardized legal work offering data analytics on all contracts we review. This model enables in-house counsel to focus on strategic work whilst also becoming better informed on every aspect of their business. We offer our clients unique access to high quality, experienced legal consultants on a flexible and on-demand basis. Most importantly, we save you time and cut legal costs by upwards of 50%.


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Topics: outsourcing legal services

Written by Eoin O’Cinneide