An Interview With Rio’s Managing Attorney

June 29, 2009

logo_rio_homeOne thing is clear if you read the  interview with the Managing Attorney of Rio Tinto, a Global Mining company that made headlines a few weeks ago when it announced a large LPO deal with CPA Global: there are GC’s out there who would like to law firms to embrace offshoring with more gusto.  Law firms that realize this will have a marketing edge (at least with some clients).  In the interview, the Managing Attorney, Leah Cooper, said: Read the rest of this entry »

Integreon Weighs in on LPO Report

June 27, 2009

logo30An interesting analysis of recent ValueNotes research appears on Integreon’s blog.

Back in May, ValueNotes issued a report which concluded that LPO penetration had been relatively weak at law firms (only  3% of the surveyed firms had worked with an LPO.)  ValueNotes is one of the few companies that has conducted research on the LPO industry.  While Integreon suggests that this can be explained by factors other than a wholesale rejection of the concept (LPO is a nascent industry and lawyers are very slow to change), the  post suggests that under-reporting may be at play.  In short, individual lawyers may not be aware of what is happening at their firms.  Read the rest of this entry »

Free Ethics Seminar on LPO-With CLE Credit

June 25, 2009

Mark Ross of LawScribe, an LPO that provides services in several areas including e-discovery, IP, corporate transactions and legal research, is offering a free Webinar on ethical issues in outsourcing legal work.  I’ve heard Mark’s past presentations and they are very worthwhile.  Below is a description. Read the rest of this entry »

Trolling Without Suing

June 25, 2009

One of the largest patent aggregators has amassed a portfolio of over 27,000 patents.  But it hasn’t filed a single law suit in order to monetize its holdings.  Rather, it describes itself as a troll repellent.

25,000 New Jobs for IP Professionals in India?

June 24, 2009

25,000-jobs2That’s one prediction:

“We expect that over 25,000 jobs for Intellectual Property professionals will be created in the next 2-3 years. As there is an increase in the need for IP professionals in law firms, knowledge and legal process outsourcing companies and other corporate houses,” said, Atulya Nath, CEO, Global Institute of Intellectual Property.

I’m not sure this prediction has concrete data behind it (I’ve already commented on this problem here.)  And the CEO of a school that trains IP professionals does have some bias.  Nonetheless, the IP job market does seem poised for growth in both the domestic Indian legal market (as IP enforcement becomes more prevelant) and in the ranks of LPOs that support US and UK IP work.

Fighting Off the Trolls

June 22, 2009

Corporations do not like fighting off claims made by NPEs that assert patent infringement.  It’s a nuisance and it is expensive.

While troll behavior is hard to stop (under our current patent system, there is no requirement that you build an invention simply because you own the rights to do so), penalizing law firms who represent these individuals may be the way to go.  Under such a proposal, corporations would take away other forms of legal work from firms that represent NPEs.

Is the Highly Leveraged Law Firm Model Disappearing?

June 22, 2009

Some pundits argue that the current recession is putting an end to the highly leveraged model of law firm staffing.  In literal terms, this is probably true.  It will be a long time before any firm is willing to bulk up on entry level associates; and corporate clients are using this moment to push back on the use of these highly inexperienced attorneys.

But is it really the end of leverage?  Won’t firms continue to push lower value work to vendors who can get the work done more cheaply (either contract attorneys on-shore or LPOs offshore?)

Maybe it is more accurate to say that the pyramid will continue to exist; but the bottom of the pyramid will represent outside providers who do not have the same payrolls or overhead that right now are hurting Biglaw.  See also my prior post.

Billing Records and Alternative Billing

June 19, 2009

Should outside counsel maintain billing records even when charging a flat fee?  Should corporate counsel be entitled to see billing records even when work is priced on some basis other than time?  There is an interesting discussion developing on Legal Blog Watch.

So far, participants in the discussion all seem to think that keeping time records is important regardless of how a matter is billed (how else can you evaluate your own profitability?)  But there is disagreement about whether the client should be entitled to this information. Read the rest of this entry »

CPA Global Scores Large Outourcing Deal

June 18, 2009

logo_rio_homeYesterday I noted that it is very difficult to evaluate the actual size of the LPO industry. Nonetheless, there are continued signs that the industry is growing.

Today, for example,  the Times Online reports that Rio Tinto, one of the largest mining companies in the world, is setting up a team of lawyers in India to complement their in-house team.

According to the article, this deal represents a much deeper commitment to working with talent in India: Read the rest of this entry »

Assessing the State of the LPO Industry

June 17, 2009

Publication2For several months, I have been looking for hard evidence that the LPO industry is continuing to grow and benefit from the global recession.  While there have been many articles in the legal and business press touting the notion that we have crossed the Rubicon (i.e.  that corporate law departments are now truly willing to embrace this new model and law firms are starting to go along for the ride),  I’ve reached the conclusion that no one really has a good handle on the actual numbers. Read the rest of this entry »