Offshore LPO News

InformationWeek recently reported on a very interesting turn of events in the outsourcing arena. The article titled U.S. To Train 3,000 Offshore IT Workers states that the Obama administration has launched a $36 million program to train workers, including 3,000 IT specialists and related functions in South Asia. Following the training, workers will be placed with outsourcing vendors in the regions that provide offshore services to American companies looking to take advantage of the Asian subcontinent’s low labour costs.

Clearly there are two ways to look at this. You can either view this as an inappropriate use of public funds. Or, you could view this as a bold move to bolster the skills of offshore resources — for the benefit of American companies.

On the local front, the CBA is hosting the Sixth Annual Canadian Bar Association Law Firm Leadership Conference on November 22nd and 23rd at the Park Hyatt, Toronto. The conference is aimed at managing partners and up-and-coming law firm leaders in Canada. Of particular interest will be the session on Unbundled Work/Unbridled Success: Sourcing Canadian Legal Services Differently. One of the featured speakers is Professor Richard Susskind, an internationally renowned legal academic, CBA Special Adviser, and best-selling author of Transforming the Law and The End of Lawyers?.

Professor Susskind has challenged law firms and corporate counsel to recognize the market pull towards the commoditization of legal services and to consider what parts of their legal work can be sourced differently. He has recommended that legal work be broken into tasks and that routine repetitive tasks be sourced in the most efficient way, whether by outsourcing, subcontracting, leasing, open-sourcing, or computerizing.

For some time now, corporate lawyers have understood the value proposition of LPO services. They have been the early adopters of these services. Law firms, notoriously slow to change, are now starting to feel that “market pull” that Professor Susskind refers to.

Outsourcing remains a contentious issue. However, in the words of David B. Wilkins, director of Harvard Law School’s program on the legal profession, “This is not a blip, this is a big historical movement. There is an increasing pressure by clients to reduce costs and increase efficiency.” With companies already familiar with outsourcing tasks like information technology work to India, legal services is a natural next step.


  1. Hi Gavin: Thank you for the column. I am been reading about and LPO recently and I am very interested. I live in US and have an engineering degree and a law degree both from credited US Universities and been exploring getting into an up and coming field like the legal outsourcing but the business development side for a US or North American firm. Can you refer a website with more information on this. Greatly appreciated.

    Ali Javahery

  2. Hello Gavin,

    I am Shobha Srinivas, CEO of Cerebra LPO India Ltd.

    Excellent article on LPO and Outsourcing. I completely agree with Prof. Susskind’s views on commoditization of legal services. And yes, outsourcing remains a contentious issue and no one can ignore it.

    We are an LPO serving US and UK attorneys and law firms (we are interested in Canada too. Yes, it is quite challenging to get them to agree for outsourcing. But once they start doing it they do not look back and go on to add more and more work as they find it more beneficial and cost saving than getting the same done in-house.

    We have faced the wrath of many attorneys who bang the phone or reply to our email saying ‘not interested’ or ‘do not contact’. I sympathize with them as they think we are grabbing their jobs and do not realize that in fact we are helping them out.

    Our Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh rightly emphasized in his speech when US President Barack Obama visited us a couple of days before that – “As far as India is concerned, India is not in the business of stealing jobs from the US. Outsourcing industry, I believe, has helped to improve the productive capacity and productivity of American industries.” Protectionism, he said, is detrimental to both economies.

    Thanks and Regards,