Legal Process Outsourcing
Legal process outsourcing allows you to increase or decrease your capacity in response to fluctuating demand.
Time and work pressures in employment and industrial law matters can come from numerous sources, including:
- tight and work-intensive programming orders issued by the courts and tribunals;
- the fact that some industrial tribunals do not consider the availability of lawyers in setting down timetables;
- staff taking holidays and/or sick leave;
- client and witness availability; and
- several unrelated cases all being programmed around similar times and dates.
There are two ways that law firms can get around these issues. The first is to hire an army of employment and industrial laws to sit around waiting for that inevitable busy period. The second and more efficient method is to unbundle and outsource parts of the work to external lawyers.
The second option is where I can help. I accept instructions from other lawyers. If you are stuck in a busy period and need assistance with an employment or industrial law matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.
What is unbundled work?
Most legal proceedings can be broken down into smaller components. For example, in an unfair dismissal claim in the Fair Work Commission the proceedings can be divided up as follows:
- the drafting of the application/response;
- if there is a jurisdictional objection, then:
- preparation of witness statements and submissions for use in a jurisdictional hearing;
- advocacy in the jurisdictional hearing;
- advocacy in a telephone conciliation conference;
- the preparation of witness statements, outlines of submissions, and lists of authorities; and
- advocacy at the final hearing.
The process of breaking a legal matter down into discrete parts is called unbundling. Those discrete components can then be outsourced to other lawyers under a limited scope retainer.
Unbundling your legal work during busy periods can increase the efficiency of your firm, and make your business more competitive. This is because you do not need to employ spare lawyers to cover work absences and busy work periods.
Of course there are some risks associated with unbundling legal work and limited scope retainers. This is because the outsourced lawyer will not have all of the background knowledge of the matter necessary to provide comprehensive advice to your client about the risks associated with the proceedings. Outsourcing unbundled legal work will not remove the duty of care and diligence that you owe to your clients.