Legal Process Outsourcing which includes case briefing, legal research and para legal services has shown phenomenon growth in recent years and this market is expected to be worth USD 2.4 billion by 2012. The LPO market is expected to grow by more than 35% and the growth is going to be driven by outsourcing of legal processes mainly by US and UK. India is the leading LPO destination with 85% market share and the countries fast catching up in this area are Philippines, Kenya, South Africa and Mauritius.
The year 2012, is all set to witness some very interesting trends in the Legal Process Outsourcing market and Fronterion a leading legal consulting firm has come out with the trends to watch for in 2012. The latest trends in legal process outsourcing which is going to be witnessed in 2012 are as follows:
- The profitability of LPO firms will be affected because of the shrinking gap between developed and developing countries. Companies go for outsourcing of legal processes for cost arbitrage but countries like India will be slowly losing their advantage because of increase in wages due to increased inflation. The cost of setting a LPO in a country like US also has come down and according to reports it has come down to 10% when compared to a similar venture in India.
- LPOs will extensively be using technology for their processes and there will be focus on more automation in the coming years. LPO vendors will be using technology platforms like document review platforms and contract management repositories so as to provide better services to their clients.
- LPO vendors will have to face stiff challenges and the pressure of demand for more advanced services is expected to go up in 2012. The LPO companies will have to move beyond litigation support and will have to integrate their services with the requirements of the client.
- A fundamental shift will be observed in the skill sets required in the leadership role in LPO as their gamut of work changes. The trend would be to have more leaders who are operationally minded rather than who are entrepreneurially focused.
- The law firms will look forward for establishing their own captive centres in their firms and follow LPO type techniques in the belief that they will have better control over processes.
- 2012 will see law firm insurers targeting LPO’s to mitigate the issue of risk associated with legal professionals.
Apart from these trends, LPO market is set to witness a new law firm-client relationship with the introduction of third party legal vendor and professional guidelines especially in US and UK. A radical change in LPO market is not going to be seen in the recent years because of the grim economic situation worldwide and this will make matters tough for new entrants planning to enter into LPO market.