Global LPO?


Legal Outsourcing on Montego Bay, and how it shapes the future of LPO.

As ever, I have Google Alerts to thank for showing me this story. about the Minister of Justice in Jamaica, Senator Mark Golding, promoting his country as an LPO delivery centre.

However, it made me start to think about LPO in 2017 and where the Supplier Market will be.

One of the issues to plague many forms of outsourcing is the term “Global”. Along comes a big corporate client, they want to “outsource everything across the world”, and they expect there to be multiple suppliers with the exact geographical footprint that they have.

For a number of reasons, Legal Outsourcing is slightly different from other forms of outsourcing, but the biggest point in its favour is the fact that LPO does not always require long term, multi-year contracts. But as these more “strategic partnerships” are signed between large corporate GCs, law firms, and LPO suppliers, the geographic footprint issue will start to arise.

What has become apparent during 2012, even from my own Inbox, is the rise of LPO outside English-speaking countries. The Economy is driving much of this, but so too is the basic fact that what works in the US or the UK will work in Spain, France, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Belgium etc.

For any start-up in a non-English speaking country, I would be spending time building relationships with the larger, established LPO suppliers and making sure that I was first on their speed dial when work arose that was required local legal skills. Alliances forged now will lead to revenues and acquisitions in the future.

The one thing that I will warn LPO suppliers and investors is that global consolidation in other outsourcing fields has been hampered by excessive valuations. Deals that made 100% business and client sense did not happen because short term valuation expectations were too high. What happened was that the real short term and long term value of being the first genuinely global supplier was lost.

And here’s the article that triggered the thoughts…



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