Nearly half of all legal firms in Canada are outsourcing legal processes because they think it gets them access to quality and specialized resources, according to a survey by Corbin Partners.
Out of around 200 lawyers, including government prosecutors, 40% of survey respondents indicated they currently use legal process outsourcing (LPO) for work in their firms or departments.
“We learned that those who are using this strategy are quite satisfied with it, they were motivated by the idea of being able to access quality and specialized resources,” says Jon Purther, president and chief operating officer of Corbin Partners.
More than anything else, those who have long been outsourcing in Canada have realized that outsourcing frees up a lot of time for them to focus on their core business.
Of those who use LPO, 51% said they used it for legal consultation or opinions, 37% said they used it for agency work, 37% said they used it for trial/appellate work, 36% used it for legal research, 28% said they use it for clerk/paralegal support, and 24% said they use it for document review or e-discovery.
Among the respondents, 40% said they were outsourcing their legal processes, 52% said they were not currently using LPO, while 8% said they didn’t know or couldn’t say if it was in use in their firms.
Why are some law firms still wondering if they should outsource their legal process? Many believe outsourcing leads to lost control of the business, and that it puts their confidentiality at risk. Moreover, they are not certain they will get quality service. Some law firms think they have no reason to outsource because they have resources in-house.
Despite these concerns, reports say legal process outsourcing will continue to grow, because those who are already outsourcing appear to have been somewhat satisfied with their service providers.
Statistics suggest that over 20% of companies are working with law firms that engage in outsourcing, and that the size of the LPO market internationally is approaching US$3 billion.
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