Capita moves into legal process outsourcing after Pinsents deal

Business process outsourcer Capita has moved into the legal process outsourcing (LPO) market after sealing a deal with Pinsent Masons to handle document review work in Poland.

Pinsents last November instructed Capita to review documents in relation to a large dispute case, with the work sent to the company’s 550-seat operation in Krakow.

The project, which was carried out on a one-off basis, saw Capita put together a team of 85 in a three-week period to handle the work, while Pinsents sent three lawyers to Poland to oversee the operation.

Following the successful test run, Capita is now planning to expand its LPO operation by targeting other law firms looking to cut costs.

Capita’s head of legal services outsourcing James Cowan said: “In the midst of a recession and at an increasingly litigious time, law firms are facing downward cost pressures along with demands to increase their value contribution to litigation case management.

“Having entered the LPO market at the very top end, we see clear opportunities to help innovators throughout the wider industry, including forward-thinking personal injury lawyers and related medico-legal professionals.”

Pinsents construction and engineering partner Andrew Denton said the decision to outsource the work to Capita was based on cost efficiency and the time in which the vast number of documents could be reviewed.

Denton said: “Capita’s outsourced legal services arm offered us an attractive proposition from a cost point of view. It also provided flexible services, an accessible and secure location, quality management and a high calibre of reviewers that were mobilised quickly. In the course of the document review process the reviewers catalogued 1.6 million documents.”

A number of law firms have recently taken steps to cut costs by sending  work to offices outside of the City. Both Allen & Overy and Herbert Smith Freehills have recently opened up bases in Belfast to handle back office and support work, while last August Mills & Reeve opened a low-cost paralegal unit in Norwich, following similar initiatives by Addleshaw Goddard and Dundas & Wilson.

Pinsents also has a longstanding relationship with LPO provider Exigent, and in 2009 signed a deal to send litigation work to the company’s outsourcing centre in Cape Town, South Africa