The Middle Office Has Ceased Publishing

December 23, 2009

During the summer of 2009, IPEngine shifted its strategic focus towards IP consulting.  While IPEngine continues to use resources in India and in doing so acts like an LPO, the scope of IPEngine’s work is much broader than simply outsourcing.  As a result, the management at IPEngine made the decision to stop publishing the Middle Office.

The content of this blog will remain posted, however, since the issues raised are relevant to some of IPEngine’s work.  In addition, there are links to some posts which continue to be shared by readers.


More Evidence of Change at Biglaw

September 17, 2009

Partner to associate ratios dropping?  Fixed fee arrangements being adopted?  Large document review projects being outsourced to contract lawyers and overseas?  It’s all part of the plan at O’Melveny & Meyers.

Strategies for Commercializing Patent Assets

September 3, 2009

Join IPEngine for a free Webinar at 1 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 22, 2009.  We have assemble a great panel of leading IP thinkers to discuss the latest trends in monetizing IP.  Click here for more information.

Legal Press Getting Behind Outsourced Solutions?

August 29, 2009

Is there a shift going on in the legal press?  Ron Friedmann asserts that we are now in the second phase of media coverage about outsourcing.  The first wave included much reporting on the risks associated with sending work to offshore providers (not surprising given what lawyers do for a living–i.e. identify and manage risk).  In this new phase, the legal press is starting to get behind outsourcing.  In citing a recent article in the NLJ, Friedmann notes:

The article explains the proposed federal Financial Regulatory Reform, that it would increase corporate compliance cost, and that general counsels should consider using offshore lawyers to do some of the work. The article is by an executive at an LPO so the advocacy is perhaps not surprising. The surprise, if any, is that the legal media published it as a news story.

A Mountain of E-data is Driving Push to Outsource

August 29, 2009

The need for human input in categorizing and in sorting through a mountain of electronic data in IP litigation, is pushing corporate counsel and law firms to consider off shore outsourcing.

Two Veteran Lawyers Say Now Is the Time for Fixed Fees

August 23, 2009

This has huge implications for outsourcing legal work.  Could this be the tipping point?  Bill Lee, co-managing partner of WilmerHale has come out in support of fixed fee billing.  To my knowledge, he is the most senior leader of a major U.S. firm to come out so publicly for this shift in billing practices.

Will this accelerate the need for law firms to find more cost effective ways to deliver their services?  Once law firms no longer have the incentive to bill as many hours as possible, the next logical step is that they will be looking to the global marketplace to outsource the parts of the work that can be completed in a more cost effective manner.  There are many quality providers like IPEngine who are positioning themselves to provide these services directly to law firms.  If Bill Lee and Benjamin W. Heineman Jr.’s comments in Corporate Counsel magazine are any indication, we may now be reaching the tipping point for the outsourcing industry.

India Has Large Advantage Over China

August 12, 2009

While China has become a powerhouse of outsourced manufacturing, India still retains a commanding lead in the outsourcing of services and business processes like LPO.  This will remain true for a number of structural reasons.   For starters, the English language is the dominant language of services outsourcing and clearly, India has a much larger number of English speakers.  But other factors will also continue to hinder the growth of BPO and LPO in India including concerns about data security (in China, the central government still exercises a lot of control over all forms of communication and data storage.)  For more on the subject, click  here.

Rio Tinto Outsourcing Deal is Already Producing Savings

July 27, 2009

I previously reported on the outsourcing deal struck between Rio Tinto (one of the largest mining companies in the world), and CPA Global.   While many in the LPO industry are eager to hear about Rio Tinto’s experience, that will obviously need to happen over time.  But a post in the AmLaw Daily today already points to some early positive signs.

According to the post, Leah Cooper, the Managing Attorney at Rio who was the driving force behind the deal, had originally hoped that outsourcing to India would be a way to free up internal resources in her law department.  But as she has already seen, it is a way to cut down on outside counsel fees.

In a large document review project in a case involving the FTC, Cooper says tha she saved $1.5 million on outside counsel fees.  Overall, Cooper estimates that her staff in India can get the work done at one-third of the cost of her in-house staff and at one-seventh the cost of outside counsel.

Pros and Cons of Virtual Teams

July 21, 2009

Outsourcing is a way of setting up virtual teams that might function in a lower cost jurisdiction.  Here are some of the other pros and cons of setting up virtual teams (from an article published in the MIT Sloan Mgt. Rev. and cited by blogger Rees Morrison.)

Offshoring and Ethics

July 20, 2009

The unauthorized practice of law, the duty to provide competent legal counsel and properly supervise the work done by domestic and offshore contract attorneys or attorneys outside of the U.S., avoiding conflicts of interest, preserving client confidences, billing clients appropriately, steering around export controls–these are all issues discussed in a great webinar on the ethical issues raised by legal process outsourcing.  Mark Ross of Law-Scribe has done a number of these.  This is one of his best and worth a listen if you are interested in getting up to speed on the issues.