A thoughtful issue raised by Fronterion about the effect of law departments hiring LPOs that law firms must use

Fronterion’s recently released Top Ten Trends for Legal Outsourcing in 2012 is worth reading. One point it makes relates to the increasing frequency with which law departments will retain LPOs and insist that their law firms rely on the work of the LPO. Law departments will butt into their law firms’ concerns about quality and professional liability.

“In the coming year, however, in-house legal departments will increasingly contract directly with legal vendors creating conflicting concerns for law firms. For example, how can law firms oversee, and be responsible for, services provided by a vendor with which the firm is not even contractually engaged? These new structural relationships and resulting work products are often beyond what the law firms’ insurance policies were designed to cover.”

Neither concern, I submit, either quality of work or insurance coverage for it, will slow the trend. The full version of the report is at Fronterion’s website.

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