Legal Outsourcing – Offshore and Domestically

A recent WSL Blog posting on legal outsourcing to India (a topic covered quite extensively on SLAW), reminded me I was going to mention the panel that spoke on this topic a few weeks back at the Canadian Law and Technology Forum in Toronto. One speaker discussed offshore outsourcing and the other speaker discussed outsourcing domestically to Canadian lawyers.

The offshore outsourcing speaker was lawyer Gavin Birer of Legalwise Outsourcing Inc. (who wrote a good introductory article on the topic here on SLAW earlier this summer). Given good high-speed Internet, secure communications and a body of qualified lawyers in India, the company is able to offer a variety of legal services as agents to North American lawyers at a much cheaper cost (the obvious examples are document review or analysis, large drafting projects or legal research or client bulletins that do not require specific “local” knowledge).

Stephen Taran, President of TVA – The Legal Outsourcing Network, is a lawyer who started an outsourcing service for lawyers using Ontario and other Canadian lawyers to work as contract lawyers. Stephen, like Gavin, made the “cost effectiveness” argument quite clearly. And because the lawyers are local, they also can appear in court in addition to conducting research or other legal work.

My smugness in thinking I am irreplaceable is slowly wearing off . . . .


  1. Prices will dictate the market and a price gap of 1 to 10 clearly indicates where the work is going.

    Something else that has not been addressed is that
    a) the doc review tools are mostly antiquated; the search functions are too convoluted, the techical concept mostly employed of having everything hosted on a server with a SQL database in the background is sound, however, the user interface to the supervising attorney is insufficient.
    b) when a document review is being started, the criteria for review are fuzzy and evolving as evidenced by additional tags and even worse, the change of meaning of tags.

    These issues are only going to get worse once the work is being done in India.