Estimated Trends In Legal Process Outsourcing (lpo) For 2010 And Beyond

LPO (legal process outsourcing)is the hot new trend in the legal field that allows law firms and corporations to obtain operational and administrative support and services from outside (sometimes overseas) providers rather than internally. This process has demonstrated huge growth in the past few years within the United States and the UK, and offers a unique path for companies to get the administrative services that they need, including document review, legal research, patent services, and drafting of pleadings and legal briefs. Often, Legal IT or Legal Technology is also brought into play.

Countries like India and the Philippines have proven to be very successful in this area, offering their services to anyone who needs them. The main purpose of legal process outsourcing is to cut costs as much as possible and have the same quality of work product. So far, it has been a successful endeavor for many firms.

What is the future like for LPO? As of July 2009, some of the largest firms in the world are using LPO services to handle their legal needs, but will it hold up? The services offered are very effective and affordable, but what will happen in the years to come? Specifically speaking, the trends for 2010 and beyond in the legal process outsourcing industry are of a key interest. Attorneys and law firms within the U.S. and other major markets often charge $150 -$350 an hour for services like the ones offered by outsourcing entities, which can do the same work at a fraction of the cost. As such, it is estimated that LPO will continue the massive growth, even through the current recession.

The work done by outsourcing services in the legal field is mostly work that is time-consuming and chore-like for the U.S. and UK based firms that seek out these overseas services. Legal process outsourcing providers have the advantage of providing a broad spectrum of services and being exposed to new theories, the best practices, and the latest laws and defenses available because of the work that they do. Some of the services offered by LPO companies include:

1. Case management, which includes the collection and review of documents, along with providing answers to client questions
2. Legal research, which is time-consuming and laborious for U.S. firms to handle on their own
3. Medical records reviews
4. Billing management
5. Patent services
6. Contract management
7. Expert witness services, including those who serve as witnesses and consultants in various matters and who can provide reports and expert testimony in Federal and State court trials and legal proceedings

Many other tasks that are time consuming and expensive to have done at home are also assigned to these LPO services on a firm-by-firm basis. In some cases, there are limitless possibilities as to what work these companies can provide to law firms and corporations.

Legal process outsourcing is not without its flaws and critics. One of the biggest points of concern for many is the potential confidentiality breaches that can take place. People who are performing these services overseas may or may not be bound to the same ethical standards and code that U.S. and UK based lawyers are subject to, which can cause conflicts of interest. The American Bar Association recently offered its own ethics opinions that laid down a framework that would allow for ethical LPO services across the country and around the world.

While confidentiality is a major concern, it’s going to be a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils in many cases. This might be taking valuable work away from the country’s own lawyers and legal advisors, and it could potentially cause a conflict of interest within the ethics and confidentiality area. However, LPO provides many legal entities a way to get services they desperately need at rates they can afford – sometimes as low as 15% of what they may pay if they were to handle the tasks “in house”.

The work is cheap, which is why many firms choose this method for their legal needs. The steadily decreasing rates of LPO services in India are a large area of concern, because the quality and value of the services might be in jeopardy if the rates become too low. When the world revolves around getting what is paid for, how can anyone expect quality services when they’re paying next to nothing? Many people claim that they know quality when they see it, but many others feel that talents should reach farther than legal skills and provide U.S. specific and client/service/project specific training.

This service gained its popularity because it was affordable. When clients can get rates of $20 to $50 per hour for various legal services, rather than paying five times that with U.S.-based services, what is there to lose? Over the next few years, the LPO industry is projected to grow exponentially, allowing people to find everything they need outside their own country at a much reduced cost factor.

The legal process outsourcing industry has driven a revenue growth of 495% in 2009 alone. In response to increasing legal demands such as foreclosures and bankruptcies, the industry has been a popular choice for many in recent times. Forrester Research, which is an independent market research and technology company, forecasts that the LPO industry will create more than 79,000 jobs by 2015, all around the world. A small number of U.S. Census Bureaus also estimated that more than $184 billion in revenue generated by the legal services industry in the U.S. would generate more growth and job creation for legal process outsourcing services and providers.

Another independent market research firm, ValueNotes, estimates that LPO revenues will grow from a projected $640 million in 2010 to more than $4 billion by 2015, which is a big jump in revenues for this fairly new industry. Like many other types of outsourcing that have been practiced by U.S. companies for decades, the LPO industry simply works by taking the ‘chore work’ that legal firms and services have and sending it to providers that can do it for a much more affordable rate, and still provide the same high quality service and confidentiality that is needed in handling legal paperwork and proceedings.

It seems, due to the current research and projected forecasts, that the estimated trends for legal process outsourcing are quite good. The industry has grown nearly 500% in revenues in 2009 alone, and is projected to be an industry worth well over $4 billion by the year 2015. In an economy where the US is in recession, things need to be affordable. Many law firms are looking to hand these various services off to someone who can do them properly, but for much less than professional services offered in the U.S. or the UK.

It is a race to see who can do things smarter, faster, and more effectively in order to see the most growth in their own businesses. Law firms are essentially handing off the tedious, chore-like work to services that can perform the work properly and affordably, while maintaining their own abilities to focus on their clients and other more important aspects of their legal firm or corporation. Considering all the new services being developed and the increased popularity of this type of service acquisition, it appears that legal process outsourcing has a very promising outlook for the next five years at least.

Employment Law: Attendance Rewards – Legal Ramifications

If you were thinking of offering your employees special rewards as incentives for having good attendance records, then you must read on. In fact, employers that offer attendance bonuses may find themselves falling foul of the law.

The Royal Mail introduced a rewards scheme for staff that did not to take time off sick. Under the Royal Mail’s scheme, workers with full attendance records were entered into a prize draw to win Ford Focus cars or holiday vouchers worth £2,000. As a staff incentive, it seemed to work. The Royal Mail says its overall sickness absence levels fell during a nine-month period (between August and April) by 11%.

However, such schemes could have serious ramifications from a legal viewpoint, and leave employers vulnerable to a variety of legal claims.

Discrimination

Employees could bring discrimination claims on the grounds of disability or sex. The success of these claims would depend on each employee’s particular circumstances and needs, whether in relation to their family, religion or health.
Alternatively, qualifying employees could bring claims for being subjected to detriment treatment as a result of asserting their statutory rights, for example, for:-

Time off for dependants and antenatal care;
Time off for study or training or time off for jury service
Maternity leave;
Adoption leave; or
Paternity or parental leave;

Disability discrimination may occur if, for example, an employee had time off connected to a disability and this was not taken into account by the employer under the reward scheme. The employee might claim that the failure of the employer to set aside his/her absence for disability related reasons amounted to less favourable treatment.
How can employers protect themselves from such claims?

Employers can avoid these pitfalls by including a list of exceptions in the reward scheme, for example, jury service or study leave, taking into account any statutory rights to time off; or
Pay bonuses to employees connected to performance in their job rather than implementing an attendance reward.
Employers should be wary of adopting an attendance bonus scheme without legal consultation.

Legal Consultant In Costa Rica – A Costa Rica Abogado

A legal consultant in Costa Rica is called an abogado. This is the term for lawyer in this Central American country. You should learn as much Spanish as you can so that it will be easier to understand the terms that are used in Costa Rica, if you are not already familiar with this language. However, you can find a Costa Rica abogado who speaks English well and will be able to help you with any legal issues you have in Costa Rica.

Because there are so many investment opportunities in Costa Rica, there are a great deal of companies who are seeking to open businesses in this part of Central America. The land is well priced and the climate is wonderful all year long. It is warm and inviting in Costa Rica, which makes it an ideal place for vacation or travel. Many companies are opening up resorts, bed and breakfast hotels, as well as spas in Costa Rica. In order to do this, however, you need to have the advice of a legal consultant in Costa Rica.

A Costa Rica abogado has a vast knowledge of Costa Rica law and will be able to help you with your legal issues. If you are looking for legal advice in Costa Rica, for whatever reason, you need to seek out an attorney who understands the law. You should not rely on your law firm in the United States or other country to help you in these matters as they are most likely not aware of the law in Costa Rica.

If you are considering any type of business venture in Costa Rica, go online and seek out a legal consultant in Costa Rica who will be able to help you with your venture. They should be able to answer your questions regarding opening a business in this country, buying property or any tax issues that you may have. If you are planning on opening a business in Costa Rica, then your Costa Rica abogado will be able to advise you on employment law in the country. It is important to get as much legal information as you can before you consider opening up a business in Costa Rica.

Your Costa Rica abogado will be able to advise you on tax issues as well as other legal issues when it comes to your Costa Rican business. If you are planning on developing property in this country, which many developers are considering because of all the undeveloped land, then your Costa Rican attorney will be able to help you with that matter as well. No matter what type of business advice you seek, you can find a legal consultant in Cost Rica who will be able to help you.

Developing property and opening a business in Costa Rica is not much different than anywhere else. It is prudent for any business owner to take the advice of legal consultant in Costa Rica before embarking on any investment or business opportunity so that they will be doing everything within the means of the law.

Legal Services Can End Up Costing a Substantial Amount

Access to lawyers and advocates is often only an option for those with money. Litigation is expensive and the availability of legal services to less wealthy citizens is often problematic. In a democratic society, however, fairness and justice should be the same for everyone, whether they are rich and poor. As such there are ways to ensure that you are treated fairly, without necessarily having to revert to the major expense of lawyers in the case of litigation.

The most obvious is access to legal services by subscribing to a legal aid organisation, for those that can afford a reasonable monthly premium from eighty to about a hundred and fifty rand per month. These organisations offer access to legal services through a network of appointed lawyers and an annual limit of legal expense is guaranteed. In reality this is another form of insurance and should be considered by people who believe they may well use the services of lawyers in litigation from time to time. These services clearly wouldn’t include transfer of property and such issues, but will assist in dealing with the secondhand car dealer that sold you a ‘bum’ car and so on. The service is rendered by a panel of regular lawyers appointed countrywide by the service provider.

By subscribing to legal services by means of a legal aid organisation, you basically have access to your own legal specialists 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week, simply by picking up the telephone. In many instances a bit of “over the phone legal advice” is all that’s required to quickly resolve a distressing matter. In other words, if you are not sure of how to address a specific situation, you do not have to make an appointment with a lawyer; you can simply contact your legal advisor by telephone and ask advice. Obviously, if the matter requires a bit more than just straightforward advice, your legal professionals can also assist further

Legal services should not only be seen as an actual court case. If that was the case, not a lot of people would ever require the services of qualified legal professionals Legal services can range from something as basic as a lawyer writing a letter on your behalf, to the more severe court battles. For this reason, you cannot go about life with the thought that “I will never do something drastically wrong, so I will not ever need legal advice”. As mentioned earlier in this article, you might buy a car from a dealership and 3 days later the car literally fall to pieces. The car salesmen will not necessarily smile and hand you back your money – you might in fact need legal advice and possibly even a court case In other words, never say never Make sure that you are protected against the unforeseen, no matter of how responsible you go about your daily existence

Legal services can range from labour law to immigration law, property law, criminal law and even family law. Don’t allow legal costs to get your down – take the necessary action as soon as possible

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6746331

Is It Safe to Rely on Online Legal Services?

If you are looking for free legal services online, you need to make sure that the online company is reputable considering that the Internet abounds with information that are unreliable. One question lurks in the minds of people: Is free online legal assistance safe?

Browsing the World Wide Web brings you to many companies that offer free online legal help. First, you need to download DIY legal forms, fill them up and submit them after which legal representatives of the online company will then assist you. However, before you take up the free legal service, you can read the legal advice options that the company offers and even have a chat with one of their lawyers.

When looking for free legal help, it is very important to know the difference between “legal advice” and “legal information”. These things shouldn’t be confused with each other. A great deal of legal information can be found on the Internet which can provide you knowledge regarding credit card frauds for instance and such information is very reliable.

Legal advice, on the other hand, differs from legal information in the sense that the former is expensive and you can rarely find free online legal advices that are reliable. Legal advice has to be given by a qualified legal counselor who possesses the knowledge and experience to guide you through the legalities required.

One reason why it would be rare for anyone to find free online legal help is that an attorney, who usually would have the needed expertise in the subject matter at hand, would require adequate time and effort to analyze your particular legal concern within the context of the law after which he would be prepared to give you his legal advice. Do not lose hope though because you can still come across free online legal help via consultations or some basic questions shed light on. However, from that moment on, an attorney will then charge you his fees because he usually makes his living by rendering legal services.

Online legal services have occasionally earned the ire of some people for lacking the reliability that a law in person has. However, it must be remembered that it is the client’s decision whom to hire as his lawyer, how much he is willing to spend and what type of work he wants done. Furthermore, as long as the legal representatives working in these areas have the necessary qualifications and competencies required each year of their profession, there can be little doubt as to the growth that these services will exhibit in the near future. Add to this the younger generations’ familiarity of newer technology which adds to the strength of and demand for online legal services.

Presently, many senior members of the legal profession oppose moves to go online because it lacks the reliability of traditional forms of communication such as mail, telephone or fax and unfamiliarity with technology hinders its fast adoption. However, as more and more people adopt technology, there is no way for the future of online legal services but forward.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7302857

SABC board active, MPs told

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi stunned parliamentarians on Tuesday by insisting the SABC board was functional and could take decisions despite having only three members.
SABC board active, MPs toldMuthambi also defended the reappointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as group executive for corporate affairs, arguing that he had the requisite qualifications and experience to hold the senior post.

The board, which is meant to have 12 members, requires at least nine to reach a quorum.

Inquiry

Two board members, Krish Naidoo and Vusi Mavuso, resigned in October during the board’s presentation in Parliament at which it justified Motsoeneng’s reappointment.

A few weeks later, the deputy board chairwoman, Leah Khumalo, resigned after MPs gave the remaining members an ultimatum: quit or be forced out through a parliamentary inquiry.

The remaining board members – chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe, Aaron Tshidzumba and Nomvuyo Mhlakaza – have indicated they would not resign. Parliament’s communications portfolio committee is preparing to hold an inquiry into the remaining SABC board members’ fitness to hold office.

Companies Act empowerment

Muthambi said the provisions of the Companies Act catered for the remaining three board members.

“The SABC board exists and is empowered by the Companies Act to operate and, therefore, the SABC board is operating under the remaining board members,” she said. The act trumped the Broadcasting Act in SABC matters, she argued.

The Broadcasting Act stipulates the 12-member SABC board should have at least nine members to reach a quorum.

According to Muthambi, the Companies Act stipulates that the failure of a company to have a minimum number of board members “does not limit the authority of the board or render invalid any decision it takes”. The act stipulated “where there is a conflict between two acts the Companies Act will prevail”.

Muthambi’s interpretation of the two acts governing the public broadcaster appears to be at odds with that of Parliament’s legal services unit. In 2015, the unit issued a legal opinion that the Broadcasting Act trumped the Companies Act when it came to SABC matters.

Media Monitoring Africa director William Bird said Muthambi’s interpretation of the acts was “convenient and cynical”. The Broadcasting Act was the main law governing the SABC as a public broadcaster.

Current crisis

Motsoeneng’s appointment in October sparked the current crisis at the SABC when two board members abruptly resigned in protest. In October, the DA launched a court application seeking to have Motsoeneng’s appointment as group executive of corporate affairs invalidated. The party wants him removed from the SABC.

Motsoeneng was shifted to his old position after losing his job as chief operating officer in September when the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed his application for leave to appeal against a ruling by the High Court in Cape Town setting aside his permanent appointment. The SABC then announced that it had reappointed Motsoeneng to his previous post as group executive for corporate affairs.

Muthambi said: “When his [Motsoeneng’s] appointment was legally challenged, the SABC was legally bound to reappoint him to his old position … It [the position of group executive for corporate affairs] was not vacant … the SABC used its discretion to reshuffle, which meant there was no need for the position to be advertised.”

It emerged in Parliament in October that Bessie Tugwana, who had occupied the position of group executive for corporate affairs, was shifted to the position of acting chief operating officer at the SABC.

Quizzed by MPs about Motsoeneng’s qualifications, Muthambi referred to the SABC’s annual report, which states he completed a Leadership Development Programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

National cleantech innovation winners announced

Yolandi Schoeman of Baoberry took the top prize at the 2016 awards ceremony of the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa (GCIP-SA) for her innovation aWetbox.
aWetbox – or a wetland in a box – is a cost-effective, nature-based grey water treatment system that eliminates 99% of disease-causing micro-organisms and improves water quality for household use by up to 80%.

National cleantech innovation winners announced

Pamela Alborough of SanAqua HCA, with a waste-water treatment enhancement solution, and Martin Ackermann of Thevia, with roof tiles made from 99% waste materials, were the runners-up.

Schoeman received a cash prize of R120,000 while Alborough and Ackermann each received R60,000. In addition to the cash prizes all three contestants will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Silicon Valley in the US where they will compete against top performers of other GCIP programmes from across the world in February 2017.

Schoeman also received the award for the most promising woman-led business, while the award for the most promising youth-led business went to Sandiswa Qayi of Amahlathi Eco-Tech, who developed the Hot Spot for geysers, an innovation that supplies 50-litres of hot water within 30-minutes. The Innovation for Social Impact award went to Louise Williamson for the safe and fuel-efficient Mashesha syngas stoves specifically designed for use in schools and community feeding schemes. The three special category winners each received R20,000 in prize money.

Showcasing an innovative nation

Delivering the keynote address at the awards ceremony in Pretoria, Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor said that the GCIP-SA has been contributing to the development, promotion and deployment of clean technology innovations through its various activities and continuous engagement with stakeholders.

“The programme also creates a platform for linking South African entrepreneurs with investors, business and commercial partners, potentially resulting in the commercialisation of new products and services and ultimately job creation.

“This cleantech programme has showcased an innovative nation. Innovation adds momentum to the structural economic change that is needed for economic growth, job creation and an improved quality of life for us all,” she said.

8 African startups awarded grant funding from HiiL

Eight African startups, alongside others from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ukraine, will share EUR160,000 (US$176,000) in grant funding after being named winners of the Innovating Justice challenge run by the HiiL Justice Accelerator.
Source: Disrupt Africa
Source: Disrupt Africa
More than 450 applications were received for the challenge, with the winning startups chosen after a four-month selection process.

The 10 winning startups come from eight countries, and tackle justice issues as diverse as rural birth registration in Ivory Coast to emergency legal help in Ukraine. They walk away with funding as well as intensive acceleration support.

Four of the winners participated in the Family Justice Challenge, and another four in the SME Empowerment Challenge. Two additional winners were strong general legal tech solutions.

The winners include Nigerian online legal platform AnthonyRhodes; Kenyan SMS legal information service Famalia; Ugandan crime tracking platform J2P; and South Africa’s Legal Legends, an e-commerce platform for legal services.

Other African winners were Ivory Coast birth registration platform Moh Ni Bah; Ugandan legal platform for farmersPuliida; Kenyan mobile trade information and social accountability service Sauti; and Malawian human rights reporting service Ufulu Wanga.

How To Select A Legal Service Provider For Your Legal Needs

Legislations and laws are enforced every now and then to be abided by the individuals, firms and businesses. In order to follow these policies and legislations one needs a legal representative or an advisor for his or her guidance.

There are many legal service companies in the UK which have been fulfilling the legal needs of the people at national and international level, giving a seamless global service. An extensive range of legal and business services is provided by the UK’s leading firms, practicing legal services in the various areas including corporate sector, employment pensions and benefits, finance and projects, litigation & regulatory, real estate, technology, media and commercial sectors.

There are many online legal advice services to help solve your legal issues ranging from free ask-a-lawyer services, free law forums, legal forms and much more. The UK SearchMe4 business directory and a local informational service is designed to give you access and contact details of the UK’s best legal services and providers throughout the UK and Europe. Find information about contemporary practicing law firms to meet your legal needs.

There is a growing demand for experienced, impartial advice and consultancies about the risks, insurances and claims in the UK, which is being delivered by professional and lawful support services. BCL Burton Copeland is a market leader in the UK which has been providing specialist advice and representation in all areas of fraud, crime, dispute resolution, regulatory enforcement, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering meeting national and international laws and regulations.

Lee Bolton Monier-Williams, Marten Walsh Cherer Ltd, Flaxman Partners Limited and DLA Piper UK LLP are other independent leading legal firms providing successful legal practice to a broad spectrum of clients.

There are several youth legal rights providing centers and organizations established in the UK. The Children’s Legal Centre is one of the influential, independent national charities to make a positive change in the lives of the youth. They aim to promote awareness and safeguard the interests and rights of the children and have been making efforts to represent their legal rights in various laws and legislations.

For more information on Legal Services, visit our UK business directory

Choose Pre Paid Legal Services Carefully

It is not easy to choose between pre paid legal services and legal insurance plan. They both work in different ways. Depending on the plan you choose the feature can be different. Typical features are: access to a database of legal forms and documents, discounts on legal services, free legal service etc. The free legal service is usually given for simple wills or for the property deeds. It is quite usual in this filed for subscribers to drop out before the year is over. Most people only take pre paid legal services when they need it; some just think that the price is too high.

Whichever type of legal services you are considering, you should carefully find out everything that the plan covers. If you think there will be no legal needs for a particular coverage in the coming year than you should not take that plan. You should be cautious when you are thinking of taking advantage of a service under a plan of your choosing. For example: you want to use the service of preparing a simple will, which is usually free. The attorney who accepts the plan can give you upgraded service and thus nullifying your advantage. Most of the times you do not get much benefit from upgraded service; it only acts as a way of preventing you from exploiting the system. If you do not go through your legal services plan thoroughly, you may end up with an attorney that you do not like and with no way of changing to someone else during the ongoing phase. You may also be in a situation where no other attorneys are available in your area for that particular plan. This is why it is wise to inquire about attorneys in your area first before purchasing a plan. It is recommended to purchase plans directly from the corporation that sponsors the plan. In case you purchase plans through an independent representative, you pay extras attention to the written language of the plan which is made up by the representative. Plans that are sold through multi-level marketing will not bear any accountability of the false promises made up by a representative. You should keep in mind that independent representatives are more motivated by their commissions than your best interests. Your employer can help you gain eligibility for pre paid legal services. In case that is not an option, you can look at plans that are sponsored by other reputable organizations.

Some legal services solicit members of the public to sell plans via multi-level marketing. Multi-level marketing experience is usually not enjoyed by most and people tend to drop out before their time is up. Those who remain are attracted by the opportunity that it offers. They usually find a niche in their business where selling these plans benefits both them and the buyers. You should be very careful here because plans that engage in this type of network marketing report that almost half of their members failed to sell a single plan.