Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘chain of confidentiality’

6th September 2010

Legal Process Outsourcing has been a major issue in the international legal community recently. This author is of the personal opinion that the legal process outsourcing industry will have a positive overall impact upon the American legal profession as increased efficiency will allow attorneys to provide more services to more clients in many jurisdictions, both in the United States of America and abroad. The following quote is from another American lawyer who became involved in legal process outsourcing through his experiences in India:

I’m one of those U.S. lawyers who outsourced themselves to India. I did not do it for lack of a job elsewhere. I’m a Columbia Law graduate and one of the founding partners of a successful New York and London based media law firm. I went to India enthusiastically, to take part in a much-needed revolution in the way legal services are delivered in the West.

Imagine a new legal landscape where high-quality services are affordable. Imagine deals getting done, because the attorneys don’t kill them, with overlawyering and overcharging. Contemplate court cases and other disputes being resolved on their merits, rather than simply on the basis of whether one side cannot or will not pay the absurdly high costs of litigation. Think about legal professionals located in places that suit the interests of clients, rather than in the most expensive parts of the most expensive cities in the world. Consider the resultant savings when legal bills are based on services, not real estate. Envision deals and cases staffed by the most talented and enthusiastic lawyers available. Open your mind to the possibility that some of those lawyers are in India. I know from experience that they are.

And consider the fact that this kind of outsourcing actually creates more legal jobs in the West, rather than cutting them. Every time a deal is done, or a litigation is waged, because legal services are suddenly affordable, it means more work for the Western lawyers involved in supervision, editing, negotiating, and/or appearing in court. This is not only a dream. It is happening every day, thanks to legal outsourcing…

The notion that outsourcing may create more jobs may seem somewhat counter intuitive at first blush, but after careful thought many will note that the reasoning behind the assertion is sound. Legal process outsourcing is likely to increase in the near future. This increase will probably result in new efficiencies being discovered which will then increase processing efficiency further. Meanwhile, lawyers in the United States will be freed up to handle more pressing matters than routine processing issues. This should thereby allow attorneys to take on more clients which, in turn, benefits the American attorney through increased revenue in the form of consulting fees.

Although legal process outsourcing promises many benefits, there are concerns among many about confidentiality issues and effective processing. Those worried about efficiency often worry that non-US attorneys cannot handle processing tasks as efficiently as their American counterparts. In reality, this is generally not the case as many foreign trained attorneys have the requisite skills to provide legal processing services to attorneys in the United States as an attorney in the USA can oversee the work and ensure that quality work product is produced.

Those concerned about confidentiality issues are prudent to take this issue into consideration. However, with advances in technology the so-called “chain of confidentiality” from the client to the American attorney to the outsourcing firm can be maintained at relatively minimal cost. However, ethical attorneys must take measures to ensure that client interests are protected at all times.

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