K&L Gates Chairman Sees Outsourcing as ‘Gnat in an Elephant’s Ear’
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Oct 26, 2010, 02:20 pm CDT
Law firm consultants say legal process outsourcers are here to stay, but their predictions aren’t alarming the chairman of K&L Gates.
“I wish LPOs nothing but the best, but they are a gnat in an elephant’s ear when it comes to K&L Gates,” law firm chairman Peter Kalis told the Legal Intelligencer.
Law firm consultants see a bigger impact. They told the Intelligencer that law firms are facing more competition as outsourcers hire seasoned, high quality lawyers. “Trends come and go all the time,” consultant Jordan Furlong of Edge International told the publication. “This one I think is here to stay. I think it’s driven more by clients than by lawyers, but mainly just by the marketplace.”
Janet Stanton, a partner with Adam Smith Esq., agreed that LPO work is never going back to law firms, and said the companies are searching out more opportunities—and depositions could be one area of interest.
Those predictions don’t worry Kalis. He said there is more talk than action when it comes to LPOs, and they aren’t a threat to K&L Gates.
“If you, within your platform as a law firm, can localize a lot of back office services and more routine-type services for clients in low-cost venues, you can achieve the same sort of outcome without risking attorney-client privilege, without worrying about transporting certain IP across national lines … and without having the long-distance management problems that always characterize those sorts of relationships,” Kalis told the Intelligencer.