Professor Richard Susskind’s prediction that law firms could find themselves competing with legal publishers moved a step closer to reality today after Thomson Reuters moved into legal process outsourcing (LPO) by acquiring ambitious provider Pangea3.
Pangea3 is headquartered in New York and Mumbai, India, and has 650 employees. Clients include big US law firms and leading companies. Its work focuses on legal document review, corporate transactions, intellectual property and risk management and compliance.
Speaking to Legal Futures recently, Professor Susskind said that though some legal publishers are the biggest legal businesses in the world, they seem to fly under the radar. In the new introduction to his book The End of Lawyers?, he writes that “law firms and publishers may come to compete in the provision of online legal services”.
Also speaking recently, Sanjay Kamlani, co-CEO of Pangea3, said that in the same way that some law firms, like Clifford Chance, have set up their own outsourcing captives in India, he could see LPO providers offering direct legal advice in time. “Anything that doesn’t require a physical presence can be done offshore,” he said. “The evolution will occur over a 10-year time span as it did in the software industry. Will there be a time when lawyers in India will be drafting M&A documents? I think there will.”
Peter Warwick, president and chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters, Legal, said LPO adds a vital strategic complement to the Thomson Reuters portfolio of specialised information and workflow solutions, and will be key to helping law firms and corporate legal departments be more responsive and cost-effective.
“Pangea3 is true to our mission to help the legal system perform better, every day, worldwide; we will now bring to the legal marketplace a responsive, high-quality, transformative resource for a broad range of legal support work. This is particularly important as law firms and general counsel adjust to the realities of the ‘new normal,’ where efficiency, quality and responsiveness are paramount,” he said.
“Joining forces with Thomson Reuters will further accelerate and expand our ability to provide impactful and transformative solutions to our corporate and law firm clients,” said a joint statement from Mr Kamlani and his co-CEO David Perla. “Thomson Reuters is the perfect partner for Pangea3’s clients and team-members to continue to grow and solve the increasingly complex and expensive challenges facing legal professionals around the globe.”
Pangea3 was founded in 2004 by Mr Perla, formerly Monster.com vice president, business & legal affairs, and Mr Kamlani, who was OfficeTiger CFO and general counsel, using Six Sigma methodologies. They will continue in their current roles.