Guest article (as it appeared in Deccan Herald)
Legal process outsourcing (LPO) industry has left its pangs of dithering and clarification and reached the stage where its feet are firmly grounded in the outsourcing domain and is charged for an aggressive expansion.
Valuenotes report suggests that the Indian LPO market will be worth more than USD $1bn by 2014. The economy saw the industry strengthening even at the times of global recession where for mature and stable providers of LPO it meant more business with Valuenotes estimating LPO revenues (from India alone) to be USD 370 million for 2009.
This exponential growth is owing to increasing pressure on businesses to boost capacity, lower costs and devise efficient ways to deliver services.
For markets such as India, industry experts opine that since developed markets are turning extremely volatile the former are fast emerging as better investment destinations. This creates a big pool of opportunities for young lawyers in India as they stand to benefit not only in the domain of experience by getting a chance to do quality and multijurisdictional legal work but also finding opportunity to take up a business manager’s role as they move up the corporate ladder, which in case of a conventional lawyer is not a predictable career progression.
Litigation or work at law firms in India is associated with initial years of relentless struggle wherein the return on investment of time and money is slow.
Platform for lawyer
LPO companies on the other hand provide a platform that not only enriches a lawyer with global exposure and knowledge of multiple jurisdictions but also give them the experience to build and manage teams in a relatively short span of time. Employees’ development in such corporations becomes intrinsically linked with the growth of the corporation. Example of one such legal service provider is CPA Global where Succeeding together is one of their corporate values. To actively help its employees succeed, the company inculcates the culture of leadership at all levels. Lawyers gain in-depth knowledge of both nitty-gritty’s of law and dynamics of business owing to the international business environment provided in its functioning. Established LPO companies such as CPA Global have opened avenues to build long-term career for both fresh and experienced lawyers. A wide variety of services with various levels of complexity has today become the USP for the industry from the work spanning across Legal Research, Contract Solutions, Transaction Support to Document Review.
Opportunities such as these are now attracting many young yet experienced lawyers to join LPOs. Lawyers with LLM from international universities equipped with work experience in a law firm as well as some years in private practice choose to work for leading LPOs.
One of them said and I quote - Although legal profession offers a plethora of opportunities, the LPO industry offers a completely new avenue wherein a legal professional not only develops as a lawyer but also is presented with an administrative role.
Delving with business along with the legal nuances gives a bigger and intrinsic perspective to the legal scenario involved in global transactions. Further, it is a multi faced role which keeps fleeting from one client to another and never gets to be monotonous. Along with vast array of knowledge at the work place, the work life balance also forms a pivotal point for a bulk of lawyers transitioning to the outsourcing industry. The outsourcing industry provides more flexibility and a better platform to deliver than rigid and hectic schedules of a legal firm. A brand like CPA Global with some of the biggest names in the global business being its dedicated clients, offers the perfect platform to the legal fraternity to achieve the pinnacle of success in the outsourcing industry.
In the current scenario LPO industry is moving towards consolidation with recent mergers and acquisitions being indicative of this growth. This change is guided by the move to capture the global legal market share where LPO in India, according to some industry experts, alone is expected to reach USD $1bn by 2014, which is less than 1% of global law industry. Although this appears to be a small portion of the pie but undeniably is indicative of the huge potential of legal outsourcing and a glimpse of exciting times ahead.
Authored by Anand Sharma, CFO and Head of Management Services, CPA Global.