By Jeffrey Teso of CPA Global
Before you start working with a Legal
Process Outsourcing (LPO) company, there are a number of steps you need to
take. These include:
quality and reliability of the company;
company's background and reputation;
4.Asking about the
company's hiring and training policies;
qualifications of the individuals performing the work; and
6.Meeting with core
It is essential that you make a visit to
the site of the LPO company where the work will be performed, even if the work
is being outsourced a great distance away, such as India.
You should also prepare the instructions
for the review team, participate in the team's training and participate in
regular meetings and communications with the review team. It is important to establish formal
processes and document questions and answers between the two parties.
If you provide follow up instructions to
the LPO team, make sure to document that as well. That trail can be very helpful in making sure
that it is clear that it is a lawyer that is supervising the guidance.
Take time to ensure the quality of the
work and to make sure the LPO company and all relevant subcontractors have the
relevant confidentiality, non-use, non-disclosure agreements in place. Make sure your LPO company has the ability to
create meaningful and actual separation (Chinese Walls) among matters being
delivered for different clients.
How Should Billing Be Handled?
The rules on how billing of LPO costs
should be handled are less than clear.
However, there are two views that are emerging.
The first is that LPO should be treated
as an expense or disbursement, also known as a pass-through cost. Most opinions suggest that a lawyer is
limited to charging the direct cost associated with outsourcing, plus a
reasonable allocation of overhead expenses associated with managing the
The alternative view is that LPO work is
treated as a component of legal services performed. Under this viewpoint, a lawyer can mark up
direct costs of outsourcing, provided that the lawyer takes responsibility for
the LPO work and the total charge represents a reasonable fee for the services
provided to the client.
Relevant opinions make clear that
regardless of approach, before engaging the services of an LPO company, the
lawyer should disclose to the client the basis upon which it will be billed for
the outsourced services.
Teso is Director of Operations
at CPA Global, a leading global
provider of outsourced legal services. Mr. Teso oversees CPA Global's U.S.‐based delivery operations,
and works with clients to help them manage the risks and costs associated with
discovery and document management in connection with complex civil litigations,
regulatory investigations and business transactions. Mr. Teso has over 10
years' experience managing and supervising delivery of multiple litigation and
regulatory matters the complex across various industries.
Teso was a featured speaker
on the LexisNexis® Webinar: Bensen &
Myers' Best Practices for Litigation Management: Budgeting Tools, Settlement
Strategies, and Solving Ethical Dilemmas, on May 12, 2011, along with Eric E. Bensen and Rebecca Kelder Myers, co-authors of Bensen &
Myers on Litigation Management.
Lexis.com subscribers can search "Bensen & Myers on
Litigation Management." Non-subscribers can purchase "Bensen & Myers on
Litigation Management" at the LexisNexis Bookstore.
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