Rising to the challenge

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Indian LPO providers need to change their ways to maintain their position in the evolving legal market, argues David Chamberlin of Cognia Law

For the past decade, India has sat at the top of the global legal process outsourcing (LPO) market. This position, however, and India’s long-term sustainability as a leading offshore destination for legal services, is under assault.

David Chamberlin
David Chamberlin

Western corporate law departments and law firms are investing in new destinations, often closer to home. Traditional law firms are becoming better at cutting costs, including through building internal (captive) low-cost operation centres; innovative law firm structures are creating powerful alternatives to offshore LPO providers; and new technologies are automating legal work that used to get shipped to India.

These changes are symptoms of a maturing legal marketplace that is increasingly placing competitive pressure on Indian LPO providers and eroding the traditional value propositions they represent. The challenge now is how – and whether – India can merge into this evolving environment.

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David Chamberlin is the head of legal services and the general counsel, Europe, at Cognia Law, a legal process outsourcing company with offshore legal support teams in South Africa and the EU.