A symbiotic relationship


The successes and failures of the LPO industry and its clients are increasingly intertwined, says Ashish Arun

In February 2004, with questions about the ethics of outsourcing prompting heated exchanges, James Glassman, an American journalist and commentator, wrote: “Another word for outsourcing is ‘trade’ – an endeavour, as economists learned early on, that benefits both parties to the exchange … While trade can cause pain to some workers, lack of trade causes far more.”

Ashish Arun
Ashish Arun

Since then, law firms and legal departments around the world have seen a sea change in the way they function. Stricter compliance laws and uncertain economies have meant that the lawyer plays a more important role today than ever before. As a result, new tools are needed to help lawyers achieve the goals of their clients efficiently. This is true for the solo practitioner who represents a client in a personal injury action, a law firm in the middle of a multidistrict litigation, or the in-house legal department that manages the contracts of a software company.

The flourishing legal process outsourcing (LPO) industry, which many believe is at an early stage of development, provides tools that lawyers, law firms and general counsel have found and used to their advantage.

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Ashish Arun is a founder and managing partner of Offshore Research Partners, a Kolkata-based provider of legal research and litigation support services.