In the recent years, India has achieved remarkable success asa global supplier of Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) and BusinessProcess Outsourcing (BPO).The dawn of Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) in Indiagoes way back to mid-20041when only a handful of Third Party Vendors had set the motion for a substantialevolution in the legal outsourcing industry. One of the reasons for thesurvival of the LPOs in India and other destinations outside the US and UK canbe attributed to the steadily increasing US legal costs and to the negativeeconomic impact of the faltering global economy. Outsourcing includes Near Shoring,Off-shoring and On-shoring or a combination of any of these.2It has enabled legal firms and corporations in the US to focus on their corebusiness activities and take advantage of the Indian business paybacks as anefficient and cost effective destination. India is geographically placed in atime zone that is distinct to that of the US and UK, thereby enabling round theclock legal support to these countries. The Indian Constitution adapted andinherited the common law from the UK, which also ruled the US’s earlyconstitutional history. The Indian lawyers and graduates have a good understandingof the legal systems of the two countries and a special emphasis on English asa preferred medium of instruction in many law schools in the country, addssignificance to their role in an LPO unit.
Apart from its stable political andeconomic stage that is conducive to the growth of the LPO industry, India isamong the globally chosen few for its advanced and high class technologyofferings.3The most popular international destination forLPO is India followed closely by Philippines, South Africa and New Zealand. Theglobal legal process outsourcing (LPO) market is slated to multiply in value by2015 to more than £2bn. The GCs (General Counsels) are nowmore focused on approaching LPOs to avail of their services rather than that oflaw firms.4 The Indian legal system issimilar to the US, UK, Canada and a considerable part of Europe. The Indianlitigation and dispute resolution methodologies are well founded in theconstitution of the biggest democratic republic in the world. It isvital to stimulate India’s vast knowledge class to perform “high end”skills, judgment and analysis based services. However, there exist caveats,particularly with regard to controlling intellectual property and protectingsensitive data.
These caveats are mitigated by a strict adherence to basicbusiness hygiene such as an appropriate due diligence, planning, and awell-crafted outsourcing contract that properly identifies and addresses risksand provides real and practical safeguards as a means to protect confidentialityof information outflow. Much has been saidregarding outsourcing in the past couple of years. This hitherto unfamiliarbusiness practice has suddenly grabbed center stage attention, and is now thefocus of politicians, the press, companies, and workers alike.
In this paper,we attempt to take stock of the current situation – where does outsourcingstand today and where is it poised to go in the future? To gain a betterunderstanding and perspective, we look at the historical origins of outsourcingand consider the various factors that drive outsourcing in today’s world. Basedon our survey, we propose recommendations for public policy and reforms that wethink will help ease this transition – from a “national” economy to a “world”economy and from a world of in-house production to a world of outsourcing. 1 Brandon James Fischer, Outsourcing LegalServices, In-Sourcing Ethical Issues: An Examination of the EthicalConsiderations Arising from the Practice of Outsourcing Legal Services Abroad,16 Sw. J. Int’lL. 455 (2010); Joshua A. Bachrach, Offshore Legal Outsourcingand Risk Management: Proposing Prospective Limitation of Liability AgreementsUnder Model Rule 1.
8(h), 21 Geo. J. LegalEthics631 (2008); Sejal Patel, IsLegal Outsourcing Up To The Bar? A Re-evaluation of Current Legal OutsourcingRegulation, 35 J. LegalProf.
81 (2010). 2 Alexandra Hanson, Legal Process Outsourcing toIndia: So Hot Right Now!, 62 S.M.U.
L. Rev. 1890 (2009)3 Keith Woffinden, Surfing the Next Wave ofOutsourcing: The Ethics of Sending Domestic Legal Work to Foreign CountriesUnder New York City Opinion 2006-3, 2007 BYUL. Rev. 484 (2007); Lee A.Patterson III, Outsourcing of Legal Services: A Brief Survey of the Practiceand the Minimal Impact Of Protectionist Legislation, 7 Rich. J. GlobalL.
& Bus. 178 (2008). See generally Laurel S. Terry, The Legal Worldis Flat: Globalization and its Effect on Lawyers Practicing in Non-Global LawFirms, 28 NWJ. Int’lL. & Bus.
527 (2008). 4 CassandraBurke Robertson, A Collaborative Model of Offshore Legal Outsourcing, 43Ariz. St. L.J. 129 (2011).