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If offshoring raises fears of security breaches, consider US commonwealths and territories [by guest author Robert Unterberger, Esq.]

Law Department Management Blog is pleased to welcome a new guest author. Robert M. Unterberger, a litigator for more than 20 years, has more recently been CEO, Head of Legal Solutions and Consultant to U.S., U.K., Canadian and Indian-based start-up, boutique and large LPOs. An adjunct law professor, Bob has been profiled in publications including Entrepreneur, New York Law Journal, Lawyers Weekly, and Law Technology News. He may reached at 302-562-2535 or

A consistent objection to LPO is the potential exposure of client confidences and data to third parties. Add to that the concern that national security might be compromised by offshoring, particularly at a time when government resources are trying to defend against cyber attacks, and a reasonable person might just say: “Why bother with LPO?” But I offer a concept that has been the buzz of conversation among my LPO peers: Offshoring to U.S. commonwealths and territories.

Think about it, LPO performed “by Americans, in America” – but by Americans who will take the job for less, possibly much less.

What’s not to like? Offshore LPO performed “on shore”. Our shore, though conveniently not one of the 50 states. This LPO model is particularly compelling where patent searching, support and drafting involve highly regulated industries subject to export control (think aerospace and other defense industries).

As someone who has operated in domestic and foreign outsourcing for two decades, I completely understand this – for want of a better term – “offshore but our shore” model. But it should apply on a case-by-case, one size doesn’t fit all basis. My fear, and that of my LPO provider peers, is that this model feeds into the antipathy, fear and defensiveness toward LPO that good men and women have been working to erase.

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3 responses to “If offshoring raises fears of security breaches, consider US commonwealths and territories [by guest author Robert Unterberger, Esq.]”

  1. We have been talking about “onshoring” for quite a while and it has been well underway:

  2. Brahma Swarup says:

    Dear sir,
    There are no limits for fear and suspecian , you may go on doing it endlessly but even then you may not be convinced and still feel more fear for breach of confidentiality and data security by outsourcing legal support services to India. But please tell me if entities in US commenwealths and territories breach the confidentialities and data security and you are not able to sense it,what would you do? So , my views are that there should not be a blanket fear and suspecian for all LPO units in India. Action should be on valid grounds after looking at the antecedents and assurances hold out by any entity in it`s offer of doing a legal support services job by India based LPO. With regards.

  3. Beyond national security, export control, and other statutory or regulatory reasons data cannot leave the US, I believe the offshore security fear is purely an empirical question. Plenty of US offices of US law firms have suffered security breaches so onshore is no guarantee of security. And reputable LPOs (I work for one of them, Integreon) have tighter physical and computer security in India than any firm I’ve seen in the US or UK.
    Integreon views the whole location as somewhat of a red herring since one can outsource onsite, onshore, near shore, or offshore. Our blog post Choosing the Best Document Review Approach and Location at discusses the location issue.