This article is the second in a four-part series (Part 1) on implementing a corporate legal process outsourcing (LPO) solution. It discusses several of the key issues facing corporate legal, as well as solutions offered by LPO providers.
Corporate legal departments are faced with a number of issues that require them to evaluate and implement LPO solutions. As outlined in Figure 1, current challenges facing corporate legal departments can be evaluated across the areas of people, process and technology.
- Resource allocation: Corporate legal is under pressure to provide increasing legal services with fewer resources and evaluating an effective mix of attorneys to staff.
- Project management: Corporate legal departments have struggled to build a strong corporate project management capability and the tools required to efficiently manage their projects.
- Process improvement: Corporate legal departments are faced with increasing inefficiencies in processes such as contract management and intellectual property (IP) management.
- Automation:Many corporate legal departments currently lack automation and integrated technology solutions in areas such as matter management, billing and contract management, further draining costs and resources.
- Document Standardization: Specifically in the transactional area, corporate legal departments face a lack of standardization in terms of contracts (e.g. templates) which leads to increased costs and time associated with transactional lifecycle.
- Build vs. buy technology: With an increasing need for technology and tools to streamline legal work, companies are faced with the challenge of internally developing such tools or leveraging an external provider to provide an end-to-end or best in breed technology solution.
Figure 1: Issues facing corporate legal departments
LPO provider solutions
Implementing an LPO solution can help corporate legal departments to overcome many of these challenges as the benefits of such a solution span across the areas of people, process and technology. See Figure 2.
“People” related solutions, such as staff augmentation, can help legal organizations address their challenges around lack of legal staffing support. In terms of “process” solutions, LPO providers offer established and tested legal processes and bring the project management rigor that corporate legal departments typically lack. In the area of “technology” solutions, enhanced legal technology capabilities can be offered as part of an LPO service delivery implementation or as a standalone offering. Such technologies provide a means of automating and streamlining legal services and also introduce a means to standardize repeatable work. Examples include matter management, contract/IP management, and e-billing.
Depending on the LPO provider’s model, solutions can be custom-tailored to meet each legal department’s specific needs. Historically, organizations requiring 24/7 support have elected to leverage LPO providers’ offshore capabilities to maximize the benefits of labor arbitrage. However, corporate legal departments are increasingly opting to use near-shore delivery models in an effort to mitigate quality and risk concerns while leveraging reduced cost resources. For that reason, corporate legal departments should understand their own capabilities and needs prior to embarking on the service delivery transformation journey.
Figure 2: LPO provider solutions to corporate legal issues
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