Thing To Know Before You Decide To Outsource Legal Services
Outsourcing legal services is when an attorney or law firm hired to perform a specific task decides to engage the services of a third party to carry out the work. One of the reasons why most people opt for outsourcing legal services is due to the large chunk of work available to do and in a bid to avoid delay they’d rather decide to outsource legal services. Technology advancements and rising costs have resulted into an increase in outsourcing legal services. Some of the services law firms outsource include
- Document review
- Drafting court documents
However, there are some certain issues to consider before deciding to outsource legal services including confidentiality, competence, conflict of interest and insurance.
This is one of the major issues to consider before switching to legal service outsourcing. Mismanagement and careless handling of confidential document and information may lead to disciplinary sanction and injunctive relief which makes incompetent and unqualified to continue handling the case. Before disclosing confidential information to an outsourced service provider, law firms should get consent from the client before engaging the service provider. Also, when drafting costs agreement you should include a client authorisation clause.
Another factor to consider is the competence, proficiency and reputation of the firm hired to handle the outsourced work. All outsourced work should be properly supervised on a regular basis. This is one of the responsibilities of lawyers who seek the services of outsource legal service providers to work on their behalf.
Conflicts of interest
Outsource service providers offer services to a wide range of firm. So, it is paramount that outsource provider should be able to differentiate between works done for different firms on the same subject matter.
Before hiring the services of an outsourced provider, it is very important to consult with a professional indemnity insurance company. This will guarantee that the contractual undertaking is fully insured.
When to outsource legal services
However, the number of outsource providers in the world today are increasing year after year and for this reason it is very difficult to know the right one to choose. Once a legal firm decides to outsource a particular service, it should determine the perfect time to avail such service. Before outsourcing, a corporate legal department should check if the services require further maturation within the organization. Outsource legal services is becoming increasingly popular today, because it is considered one of the best ways to complement broader corporate transformation initiatives. While most firms are still in doubt about the reliability and professionalism of these outsource providers, they tend to carry out a test by first outsourcing a low risk legal matter. This will be done only when the most critical aspects of the legal functions have been properly handled by the legal department. There are certain guidelines to follow when selecting an outsourcing provider including assessing the qualifications and reputation of the service provider to ascertain if they can meet confidentiality and data security requirement.