BPO vs KPO vs LPO: What’s the Best Outsourcing Solution for Law Firms?
Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) has allowed many law firms to spend more time for high-value work, such as face-to-face client meetings and court appearances, while keeping the quality of the services they offer high and competitive.
Even small and midsized law firms have risen to the ranks and have taken on more legal projects with the help of outsourcing, resolving long-standing capacity issues while maximising the available technology and global talent. But if you are new to the concept of outsourcing, it can be overwhelming to grasp the dynamics of LPO, especially when terms like “BPO” and “KPO” pop up when you search for the right outsourcing type for your law firm.
To help you find the type of outsourcing that will best suit your law firm’s needs, let us examine all of them one by one.
What is BPO
“BPO” or Business Process Outsourcing is a strategy wherein a company contracts a third-party provider to perform back office or front office operations. BPO’s can either be onshore if the provider is in the same country, or offshore if the provider is in another time zone.
Businesses outsource parts of their operations for varying reasons, but typically, it is for flexibility and cost-efficiency. BPO allows companies to have qualified people handle parts of their operations, freeing them up from repetitive activities to focus on core tasks.
Offshore outsourcing, in particular, sources talent from countries where the cost of living is so much lower, like India and the Philippines, allowing companies to save up to 70 percent in overhead costs, compared to expanding or building teams on their own.
Traditionally, companies engage BPO firms for call centres or customer service, but recent advancements in technology allowed business to tap outsourcing providers for other tasks, such as IT services, human resource services, accounting, real estate, mortgage, and retail.
Moreover, modern outsourcing models allow businesses to get tailor-fit solutions. From the size and composition of the team, training, office branding, IT support, and data security, outsourcing providers can adjust their processes to the culture, identity, and goals of their clients.
What is KPO
While BPO is a more general term referring to outsourcing administrative tasks, “KPO” or Knowledge Process Outsourcing refers to a specific kind of outsourcing that involves engaging providers for information-related business processes.
Compared to the more straightforward dynamics of BPO, which deals with peripheral activities of an organisation, KPO is a bit more complex as it handles core business processes that require high degrees of expertise and in-depth knowledge.
Some major types of KPOs include business and market research, content development, creative design, as well as data management and analysis. Because of the complex nature of tasks handled by KPO’s, its providers only hire people with specialised expertise, advanced degrees, and professional certfifications.
On their own, companies would have a tough time sourcing these professional experts, but with an experienced KPO partner, access to an otherwise scarce talent would be much easier. And for those that have KPO partners offshore, expert talent would come at a lower cost.
Since KPO providers have their own offices and infrastructures for the staff, businesses would also be able to reduce per head space and resource requirements and would significantly lessen the expenses needed to run the business.
KPO has become a key for businesses to gain a competitive edge, especially for those in countries where specific expertise can be scarce. It frees up time for a company’s in-house team, boosting efficiency and overall productivity in the process.
What is LPO
“LPO” or Legal Process Outsourcing is a more specific type of outsourcing concerned with delivering specific legal services for law firms. LPO may either fall under BPO or KPO, depending on the service rendered for a client.
For example, legal intake, or the process of converting contacts into clients, is a type of LPO that falls under BPO. On the other hand, legal strategy and research is an LPO that falls under KPO because it deals with information-based tasks.
Depending on the needs of a law firm, LPO providers can help hire a couple of staff or build an entire team of professionals for specific roles, like paralegal, strategic legal planner, legal consultant, legal records manager, law firm administrator, case manager, and more.
LPO providers can also help law firms acquire lawyers with specialising in different practices, such as bankruptcy law, corporate law, tax law, civil rights law, criminal law, environmental law, immigration law, health law, intellectual law, labour law, and other niche law expertise.
Having more experts in different law practices would help a law firm expand their clientele without sacrificing the quality of service. LPO also helps fill the gaps in internal competencies and reduce turnaround time for legal projects.
In fact, combining onshore and offshore outsourcing solutions would even allow a law firm to operate 24/7, finishing more cases to accommodate more minus the bottlenecks that comes with doing it without an LPO partner.
Benefits of Legal Process Outsourcing
Reduced turnaround time
An expanded team means expanded bandwidth to reduce turnaround time for pressing legal projects.
Access to certified professionals
Get licensed professionals and even scarce specialised experts that will address your specific needs and requirements.
Access to modern technology
Get access to ultramodern offices, secure IT infrastructure, and modern platforms when you partner with an outsourcing provider.
Scale up and scale down as needed. Have the flexibility to tailor your capabilities to respond to workload and client demands.
Outsourcing to a provider in a country from a different time zone allows you to have round-the-clock operations and minimize delivery time.
Be in control, be focused
With every aspect of the business in check, you can set achievable timeframes for projects and have the focus to finish them on time.
The enormous difference between the cost of living in your country and the location of the talent allows you to get big cost savings.
What to look for in an LPO provider?
The benefits of LPO are undeniable, but to make the most out of this business solution, companies must find the right partner that will address their specific needs. Here are some of the things that you need to pay attention to when looking for an LPO provider.
Look for partners with enough experience in providing LPO services. Outsourcing providers with over a decade of experience usually have developed deep connections, stable technology, and tremendous acumen when it comes to delivering results.
When looking for an LPO provider, it would be helpful to see the clientele of an outsourcing company. If they have clients located in your region, chance are, dealing with them is seamless because they already know how to operate with your country’s specific laws.
A quick search of the countries where an LPO provider sources their talent will allow you to gauge its capabilities to deliver. For example, the Philippines produces over 2,000 licensed lawyers annually. Therefore, a provider in Manila is most likely to deliver qualified talent.
Law firms deal with sensitive data. So, it is only important to ask an LPO partner about the two types of security it provides – physical and data security. Look for LPO providers that offer enterprise-grade security solutions that can be tailored to your own requirements.
In the end, both the BPO and KPO aspects of legal process outsourcing will help your law firm grow and become reputable. It is you who will determine which aspect of LPO will elevate your law firm to greater heights.
For example, if your law firm lands a big, landmark case that needs an all-hands-on-deck approach, then you may want to outsource a separate team of lawyers and paralegals to focus on the other smaller cases.
If you want to take on cases and projects that need lawyers specialising in niche practices, then outsourcing would be able to help you scour the global talent pool for licensed professionals to help you expand your capabilities.
If your law firm needs help in the accounting department, outsourcing providers can help you build a team of accountants and bookkeepers. Outsourcing can even help your law firm hire people for client intake duties to free your in-house team of this time-consuming task.
The key here is to make your goals and timelines clear and to discuss what your specific requirements with your chosen LPO provider. With the right partner, clear goals, and proper communication, LPO will do wonders for your law firm.