Presented today in a webinar for GOAL, the Global Outsourcing Association of Lawyers, on “Contract Intelligence: Drafting and Negotiating Contracts Smartly – Role of Legal Outsourcing” with Tim Cummins of IACCM, Girija Raj of CAE Simulation Technologies, and Lucy Endel Bassli of Microsoft. http://lnkd.in/rTXM57
I think our discussion today went well. Many thanks to GOAL and the other panelists for their contributions. One thing we had talked about in case we had time was to offer some predictions on the future of LPO. We didn’t have time to cover it in the presentation, but here are my predictions:
1. Small general purpose LPOs will have a hard time competing and will essentially disappear, as they won’t be able to compete and attract clients based on cheap labor rates alone.
2. Larger, well-funded LPOs (e.g., Pangea3 with the resources of Thomson Reuters behind them) will continue to develop processes and technology that will allow them to standardize services and ease the barriers to entry and risks for mid-size companies wanting to use LPOs.
3. More work will move from offshore to onshore locations in the US and the UK as the labor cost gap shrinks and automation reduces the labor component of the services.
4. Automation (e.g., improved language processing and search and document automation technology) will reduce the need for people to do document drafting and contract abstraction, but there will still be a role for outsourcers to manage the technology (e.g., setting up and maintaining a workflow or document automation system is probably something an outsourcer can do better and more efficiently than an in-house staff). In other words, the skills LPOs need will shift from legal workers to “legal knowledge engineers.” http://www.legalknowledgeengineer.com/lke—a-new-legal-career.html