Friday, February 25, 2011

Indian LPOs and the Banyan Tree

Like the banyan tree in India, that does not grow to a great height but puts down roots any which way, expanding its girth endlessly, legal process outsourcing is putting out roots in the most unexpected places and spreading as wide.    

Most LPOs offer document reviews legal research and back office work. Most LPOs in Pune, where, if I say so myself, the most talented lawyers roost, do almost all court-related document work for foreign law firms. Inevitably attorneys abroad having experienced the bliss of being free of the drudgery of endless form-filling , repetitive correspondence, data and records maintenance, carrying out background research, and at the same time saving massively on overheads, have passed on that bliss to associated industries like health and insurance sectors. 
LPOs now offer law firms the latest technological services,  medico-legal services, related insurance and voice- calling services, in addition to the purely legal work they do. 
Every new technological development brings on some added service that can be provided to the client.
One very telling example of this is a service provided by Paul C Easton .
Mr. Easton offers to law firms, a 3rd party web-page capture/report/seal service. What this simply means is that the LPO seizes upon a page-proof tech processes, with the intention of preserving it as evidence in a pending or anticipated court trial. (I found it diabolically clever.Reminded me of Perry Mason who was a lawyer but behaved like a detective, snooping around, collecting evidence and flourishing it in court, to the consternation of the prosecution.)
Similar would be the consternation of a claimant in a BI case who having claimed that he cannot play tennis as he used to because of the injuries sustained in the accident, is then presented with an authenticated web-page(possibly his blog page or an update he had put on a social website), where he merrily claims:  “Had a good game at the tennis club. The drinks suck, though.”
Almost half of his claim flies out of the window.  Faced with such incontrovertible evidence he might decide to settle the matter out of court.  Even if he doesn't the insurance company still stands to gain.  Of course, the service would work both ways.

Apart from the savings to law firms resulting from out-of-court settlements, litigation expenses are further reduced because the profits are in dollars whereas the outsourced service is paid for in rupees.  I do see other Indian LPOs offering this and other even more innovative services, that will inevitably come into existence the more we start clouding.