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Seven Tips When Choosing A Legal Outsourcing Firm
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Seven Tips When Choosing A Legal Outsourcing Firm

One blogger compared outsourcing to buying a wedding dress – a transaction filled with hope and excitement followed by seven years of stress, disagreements and legal hassles.

If this were true, outsourcing of legal services such as document review and e-discovery would not be the billion-dollar industry that it is today. It was reported last year that more than $250 billion is spent on legal services around the world. Because not all legal services may be outsourced, it is estimated that almost $111.2 billion in legal services are outsourced from the U.S. every year.

As with any business transaction, it is important to investigate every detail and prepare for every foreseeable outcome. This is especially true when a law firm is sending tens of thousands of highly confidential documents from a multi-million dollar corporate client for document review.

Below is a discussion of seven pieces of advice to help you choose the best document review outsourcing firm.

Seven Tips to Select the Best Legal Outsourcing Company

1. Evaluate. Evaluate what are your needs and goals. Contemplate what processes you want to outsource and why you want to send them out of your office. To answer the “why” question, it is important to determine how outsourcing to Israel or another country will free your resources for other more important legal tasks.

2. Interview. Interview your potential providers as if you were hiring an in-house employee. Your legal outsourcing firm must be a proper fit in terms of skills, attitude and personality.

3. Focus on Important Variables. When meeting with prospective legal service providers, do not get caught up on details and “worst case” scenarios. It is more productive to discuss scope of work, performance standards, pricing, management and quality review. Also, do not rush through the selection process as it is better to take a little extra time to get it right the first time.

4. Be Reasonable. When negotiating contract terms, do not suggest tough terms to which nobody can logically agree. Instead, propose sensible terms that will enhance the mutual success of the contractual relationship.

5. Be Clear and Concise. Although outsourcing e-discovery projects is complicated, the contract does not need to be as thick as a law school textbook. When drafting the contract, cover all of the important terms, but make it clear, simple and serviceable.

6. Manage. In order to successfully manage the legal outsourcing project that you are sending overseas, it is recommended that you build your team BEFORE you sign any contract. If the management team has a role in forming the relationship, the likelihood of success is enhanced significantly. In addition, establish effective risk management into the contract. Normally, parties to an e-discovery contract attempt to shift the risks to the other. More importantly, build into the agreement good risk management terms such as security, privacy and disaster recovery.

7. Take a Collaborative Approach. From the negotiations to the contract-signing to the execution, operate with a collaborative tone. A collaborative tone will bring about trust, flexibility and success. The document review outsourcing company will negotiate more flexibly if it senses your cooperation. In addition, collaboration will motivate all parties to work harder to achieve contractual goals.

When outsourcing is done properly, it is a win-win situation professionally and financially. Performance yields benefits for all sides, whereas failure elicits bad consequences. Following these seven tips will place you in a much better position to build a long-term and positive relationship with your document review provider.

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