With a post Covid-19 global recession looming, outsourcing the legal function is one way to cut costs but keep expertise, writes Sam Gosher from Legalwise Outsourcing, a company based in South Africa and Canada.
There can be little else on our minds these days besides Covid-19 which is an unprecedented crisis. Everything is upside down with industry substantially disrupted and the global economy most certainly headed for a recession.
South Africa is in a 21-day lockdown with widespread uncertainty about the future and what this means for the economy.
One thing is certain. The country is going to be hard hit by the massive decline in business across all industries, including the legal industry. Job cuts have already begun in the legal industry and will likely continue in the foreseeable future.
But is there a silver lining?
The global consensus seems to be that, once antivirals and vaccines have been developed and/or the population develops an immunity to this virus, life will return to ‘normal’ (or so we hope).
What will that mean for the law firms and legal departments that have retrenched attorneys and paralegals?
The good news is that there are experienced legal outsourcing companies that can support these law firms and legal departments. These legal outsourcing companies are adept at working remotely within a digital environment and their services are scalable according to the needs of their clients.
Legal process outsourcing is an established global industry with more than 20 years of experience and is gaining traction in South Africa. Legal outsourcing services are uniquely positioned to work well in the current environment and in particular in South Africa.
Here are a few reasons why:
Legal outsourcing providers are set up to work remotely for their clients.
The technology provided by legal outsourcing providers enables attorneys to be less reliant on physical documents. The technology also improves the quality of the work product and the efficiency of the attorney providing the services.
The quality of the work is maintained through the use of South African attorneys and paralegals.
Services are provided at substantially lower costs and there are no minimum commitments.
Services are scalable. Clients only use the services when they need them.
Since the onset of this crisis, we have seen the legal community respond as leaders in innovative and creative ways by adapting their practices to ensure their continued success. There has never been a better business case for legal departments and law firms in South Africa to use legal outsourcing services.
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