Legal outsourcing expert and industry veteran, Ron Friedmann, from LPO leader Integreon, makes an interesting point in his company's blog: When it comes to the benefits of legal process outsourcing, cost savings are not the whole story. Says Friedmann: "Many lawyers think labor cost savings drives legal outsourcing. We disagree. The real value lies in providers’ deep experience solving lawyers’ problems." In particular, Friedmann points to the "deep pool of legal management, operations, and process improvement experience" that LPOs can provide for their clients:
For example, Integreon management includes former practicing lawyers who pioneered outsourcing, lawyers who managed document review for law firms or for corporations, senior law firm managers such as COOs and CIOs, and process improvement consultants. Hands-on law firm and law department operational experience extends deep into our middle management team. Our competitors could make similar statements.
Drawing a contrast to the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, which has suffered a "brain drain" of consulting experts who pioneered the industry but have been leaving the field, Friedmann points to the continuing expertise at LPO companies such as Integreon:
This collective wealth of experience gives a provider deep insight into law firm and law department operations and ideas about how to improve practice and support. My Integreon colleagues and I all feel the same sense of “there has to be a better way to do this.” We all sought out a place where we could work closely with lawyers to help them improve what they do and reduce costs.... [T]hat’s us, without the problem of exiting experts.
Friedmann concludes that while labor arbitrage obviously remains an important aspect of LPO, a factor that may be just as significant, if not more so, is that legal process outsourcing companies "improve how lawyers work and how law firms operate":
Of course access to teams of associates in low cost locations is an important benefit for our clients. The real value, however, is our ability to improve how lawyers work and how law firms operate through process improvement and technology. Fortunately, as a still-growing industry with a plentiful supply of experienced legal managers interested in outsourcing, we do not face a brain drain.
In our "Admittedly Biased, But Probably Accurate, 'Law Without Borders' Guide to the Top Ten Offshore Legal Outsourcing Companies," we said the following about Integreon:
World-famous for its back-office support services for some of the most prominent law firms and companies on earth, Integreon is a leader in not only legal process outsourcing, but also BPO (business process outsourcing) and KPO (knowledge process outsourcing). To quote from its own impressive website, "more clients trust Integreon than any other knowledge services firm, including 9 of the top 10 global investment banks, 32 of the AmLaw 50, eight of the top 10 pharmaceutical firms, 11 of the top 50 global brands, and 6 of the top 10 high technology firms." Other significant assets of Integreon include visionary bloggers and LPO experts Ron Friedmann and Mark Ross.