This article is written by T.S Sneha from National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi. The following articles deal with the importance of legal Processing Industries in India.


India’s niche sector, Legal Process Outsourcing has hit its target and has outsourced over 1 lakh graduates by the year 2010, and the reasons that aided in the doubling of revenue for the LPO sector are: The English-fluent graduates and the Common Law System shared by India with the US and UK. Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is the exporting of legal services to low-wage markets overseas. Essentially, companies outsource their legal work (corporate and others) to places across the globe to reduce expense and remain competitive in the market. Some of the famous LPOs across the globe are Quislex, Cobra Legal Solutions and Pangea 3. “A lot of companies in the US and UK have realized that legal work can be done by intelligent and quality lawyers in India at an effective cost,” said Matthew Banks, the British senior vice-president of legal services at Integreon Managed Solutions in Powai.

Although people tend to compare LPOs with BPOs, LPOs are a different world altogether. Foreign companies send their legal work to countries like India, where there are potential graduates who can get the work done efficiently at a lower cost. For graduates who do not earn much, LPO is an attractive sector, because it is advantageous for both the foreign client assigning the work and the Indian employee who provides the legal service. It helps the foreign client remain competitive in the market by being cost-effective and helps the Indian graduate earn more than he would otherwise have.

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The services provided by an LPO are diverse and includes work that includes detailing like: Contract Management, Contract Review, Data Analysis, Drafting, Document Production, General Litigation support services, Intellectual Property (IP) services and other Legal research. There are different types of LPO providers, and they are: Full Spectrum LPOs, Limited LPOs and Full BPO/ KPO Service Providers. Full-spectrum LPOs provide services for a wide range of activities, while Limited LPOs confine themselves to specific services. The advantage to the former is the wide-area of service they provide, that helps in income generation. The latter has the advantage of being specialized in a particular service, for instance, IPR, and a foreign client looking for service providers for a specific subject may choose them over a Full-Spectrum LPO.

The advantages of using an LPO for a foreign client are: Effectiveness of cost, the efficiency of work and optimization of resources. The advantages of working with an LPO for a law-graduate are: Flexibility of work due to the difference in the time-zone and increased dedication to a work undertaken. For foreign clients (firms which outsource their legal work), the issues arising are with respect to: Conflicts of Interest, Confidentiality, Unauthorized Practice of Law, Disclosure to Clients and Billing Practices. 

A November 2008 Wall Street Journal article stated that India’s LPO industry earns around the US $250 million per year and further pointed out that starting salaries for associates at big US firms are often more than the US $200 per hour but experienced lawyers in India bill at the US $75 to the US $100 per hour or roughly what some USA based paralegals charge. This record shows how the LPOs in India have generated income, and at the same time, the foreign firms have maintained the competition in the market. 

Adding to the findings and conclusion above, it is to be noted that some LPO graduates do not like the tag of LPO and think their work is monotonous and tedious. Despite this and the confidentiality issues that the foreign clients face, there is a scope for expansion of the LPO sector in India, and it is predicted to create more job opportunities in the coming years.

Legal Publishing in India

In law, one of the important areas of study is the Legal Publishing industry that publishes journals, books, magazines, newspapers and even their electronic equivalents. With technology, one can observe clear changes in the way a case law or legislation is published. This reflects how much of an impact digital print has had on common and civil law. Some of the famous law publishers in India are Taxmann Publications Pvt Ltd., Eastern Book Company, Pointer Publications and Global Media. Most of these publications are available as a print or digitally for the use by both academicians and students. Their subject-matter is diverse, and they deal with Competition law, Banking law, Insolvency and Bankruptcy and so on. 

In a world where information is constantly changing, the publishing industry is a plethora of knowledge and information. Some of the drawbacks that the legal publishers face are the problems of plagiarism, copyright issues and low-quality researching and publishing. One of the main features of a law-publisher is that their other competitor publishers may already have published the topics in the market. To remain competitive in the market, each publishing house acquires copyrights. In addition to the money they earn in huge, law publishers have to face the issues of copyright and competition in the market.

Under the Copyright Act, 1957, a publisher can issue copies, reproduce, adapt or translate work subject to the conditions between an author and a publisher. Some other legislation that may be applicable to the publishing sector are: Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954 and The Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867. Cases like Aveek Sarkar & Anr. vs State Of West Bengal And Anr., the rights of a publisher with respect to the freedom to use content is being discussed. In the case of Penguin Books Ltd. vs India Book Distributors And Ors., the legal rights of a publisher and its infringement was discussed at length. 

Most user-friendly legal publishing companies maintain the integrity of work and allow access to the documents in PDF or ePUB format in just one click. The advantage of digital print is its availability and constant update in content at 0 expenses. For the publishers, organisation and editing are easy while updating their database. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the publishing house has made profit through even audio and video in digital media. 

The future to legal publishing in India, considering the advantages is excellent. Use of digital databases like ManuPatra has increased during the lockdown, according to sources. Scholars think that the possibility of a digital-only legal publishing industry cannot be entirely ruled out. The competition faced by the publishers cannot be ruled out due to the similarity in the content published, which has increased the race to be the best. However, the industry provides job opportunities for law graduates in the country since the industry is expanding its horizons.
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Contract Management in LPOs

Contract Management is one of the most important processes that an LPO assists in. It involves various processes like:

  • Assistance with respect to contracts;
  • Drafting of contracts;
  • Management of various databases;
  • Analysing contracts;
  • Reviewing contracts;
  • Negotiating agreement;
  • Summarising key information.

The terms of contract must be read properly; otherwise it could lead to dispute between parties and petitions in the Court of law. A contract contains important details of a company, its partners and other vital transaction details. With time, it becomes difficult for the company to manage them. Hence, they outsource their work to LPOs, who in turn work for their foreign clients and help by assisting in Contract Migration, Contract Audit and Data Cleansing, Lease Abstraction & Administration Services, Gap Analysis with Standard T&C and Clauses and Contract Summarization Services.

How can LPOs help?

LPOs can help manage contracts effectively in the following ways:

Understanding the scope of the contract: Many companies find it difficult to understand the limitations of the contract and it leads to confusion with respect to the specific-performance of either of the parties. In such cases, an LPO can assist.

Cost-effectiveness and maintaining competition in the market: Foreign firms from the UK and the US outsource their work to Indian LPOs so that they could remain competitive in the market and manage their expenses effectively.

Legal assistance during emergencies: During urgent situations, where work needs to be done in less time, outsourcing work offshore to Indian LPOs can prove resourceful and is cost-effective too.

Dispute resolution: LPOs, due to the time-zone differences between their foreign client and themselves, can effectively prepare contracts and resolve the disputes arising from the misunderstanding between the two parties. 

More effective: In addition to the points mentioned above, LPOs review contracts as per standard position and map deviations at less cost. LPOs ensure client satisfaction and manage contracts efficiently.

Benefits of contract abstraction

Contract abstraction involves extracting important dates, clauses, and other pertinent information from paper documents. The advantages are:

  • For lengthy documents, a concise and a bird’s eye view of the important points of the contract are highlighted. 
  • Efficiency is ensured because time is managed well and the work is effectively completed.
  • It is easily available because the work can be effectively done by the LPOs and they make the Terms and Conditions of the contract easy to understand. 
  • The foreign clients are aided in decision making with the precise document presented before them by the LPOs. 
  • Contract management has now become one of the core work of the LPOs and it reduces legal risk.

Contract review and Risk management

The process of reviewing contracts involves clarifying the facts, measuring the possibility of the circumstances and predicting the risks. Predicting risks help the company take measures so that there is no damage or financial loss to the company in the long-run. Reviewing ensures that the company is prepared for the future. In this way, contract reviewing and risk management and complementary and related to each other. 

As mentioned above, LPOs help in Contract Management which proves cost-effective for the foreign clients and help them remain competitive in the market. 

Scope of e-discovery in LPOs

LPOs are efficient in providing litigation support to their foreign clients, who outsource their work to remain competitive in the market. Due to its easy availability, high-profile and ability to store abundant data, electronic discovery is making its way into legal services. Recent figures and surveys show that many foreign firms store excess data as e-data; hence LPOs assist them at minimal cost while taking care of the quality of work.

Advantages of E-Discovery to Foreign Clients are:

  • Access to offshore facilities;
  • Low-cost labour;
  • Effective allocation of work and;
  • Assessment of work.

Advantages of E-Discovery to LPOs are:

  • Substitute high-cost labour for a combination of lower-cost labour;
  • Effective disintegration of work;
  • Use of technology for communication;
  • More strategized work and;
  • Increased speed in delivery of the legal service by allocation and standardisation of work.

Risks involved

Some of the risks involved are:

  1. The junior lawyers must be foreign-trained and must be ready to dedicate their time and energy so that the quality of the work is not compromised. All their work progress could be communicated via the internet.
  2. It must be ensured that security and confidentiality are maintained through agreements between foreign firms and LPOs. Any leaking of information can lead to legal penalties.
  3. There are issues of ethical implications and conflicts of interests and the LPOs must ensure that its duties and obligations with one client do not conflict with that of others.

LPOs like Aeren uses E-Discovery for the following processes:

  • Layered approach of filtering;
  • Analysing;
  • Legal research;
  • Library services;
  • Bucketing/coding and;
  • Categorization and validation to inform decision-making.

Other fields in which they use E-Discovery include: Litigation support, Corporate Investigation, Compliance with electronic communication laws, Data exporting as per legal requirements, Data management and analysis and Evidence lifecycle.

Because of the increasing number of law-graduates working in LPOs and Legal Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO/s), the Supreme Court has declared that they cannot practice law in India anymore. This means that only Indian lawyers enrolled under respective bar councils and actually practicing law are entitled to provide LPO/legal KPO, consultancy, litigation, non-litigation, agreement drafting and vetting and all other legal services in India.  This is related to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) related legal fields. Hence, E-Discovery has come a long way in India and lawyers are expected to be updated about the same.


With the changes happening in the world, and the increasing scope of the LPO industry, the lawyers working there are required to adapt to the latest technological advancements. Technology has assisted the lawyers in more ways than one as mentioned in the points above. In order to provide customers with efficient services, the lawyers are required to be informed with the latest legal developments with respect to E-Discovery.

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