Yesterday 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:
Many of England’s leading law firms have already outsourced back-office jobs, such as accounting and word processing, to India. The difference with Rio Tinto is that it is retaining CPA to undertake substantive legal work, such as contract review, drafting, legal research and document review. What is also different is that the drive to outsource has come not from firms, but from the client; and not for the occasional piece of work — but as a fundamentally new way of working.
The author of the article is Richard Suskind, a leading thinking on the legal profession. This development clearly supports the thesis he has already written and spoken about extensively, so his his enthusiasm for this deal must clearly be taken in context.
On the other hand, when such a big player adopts a new way of doing business, it is hard not to suggest that it represents a growing trend. So overall, very good news for the industry.