NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) -- A growing number of the nation's corporate law departments are "outsourcing" their legal work, according to a new survey.
For the first time, American Lawyer Media's Corporate Counsel surveyed corporate law departments and found that 54 percent of the companies polled have outsourced to perform legal work.
Legal Process Outsourcing, or LPO, is the exporting of legal services to low-wage markets or non-law firm entities, often overseas. India is one of the largest LPO destinations.
An increasing number of companies are doing so because of the cost savings.
According to the ALM survey, of those companies outsourcing work, 67 percent said they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the results. Only 3 percent said they were "not at all satisfied."
Among other findings, which have been posted online and published in the November issue of Corporate Counsel:
- Most of the companies surveyed said their outsourcing was not offshoring: 65 percent of the law departments used vendors based in the U.S.;
- Of those that offshored, 64 percent sent work to India;
- Eighteen percent shipped work to Australia and another 18 percent to the Philippines; and
- Document review and electronic discovery were the most frequently cited types of work being outsourced.
When asked why they outsourced legal work, 35 percent of the companies surveyed said "to test the idea." The other more common reasons: to lower costs and reduce the time required to complete the work.
"Our survey confirms that corporate law departments are very concerned about costs, and that many are looking for and trying, a variety of options," Corporate Counsel Executive Editor David Hechler said in a statement.
"As more companies stretch across continents, those options include expanding the reach and composition of their workforce."
According to ALM, survey respondents included both those replying to direct solicitations and self-selected corpcounsel.com users who clicked on links to the questionnaire.
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