WHO ARE YOU – AND HOW DID YOU END UP IN THE LEGAL BUSINESS?

HARRY BUCK

I am the Co-Founder and CEO of Legal Outsourcing 2.0.  In some ways, you could say I am the mad scientist behind the scenes who was involved in putting the various parts of LO2 together.

I didn’t have a lot of choice in getting into the legal business generally.  My parents met at NYU law school.  I was largely raised in the suburbs of New York City and many of our family friends were lawyers. For me, going to law school was more of a matter of continuity, rather that the subject of some “ah-hah” moment or epiphany.

DAVID BATT

I am Legal Outsourcing 2.0’s first Director of Solutions and Deliverables based in India. Graduating from university, I knew I wanted an international career but didn’t have a strong inclination to any specialized line of work. Knowing that law applies to every imaginable industry, I went to law school to keep my options open. When I graduated from law school, I still didn’t know what exact field I wanted to work in so I moved back to my adopted homeland and started my legal career at GZH Notaires, a French real estate law firm in Paris with a focus on American, British and other English-speaking clients. I learned more than I could ever expect at this job and realized above all that my talents were best suited to bridging cultures and helping clients navigate often confusing foreign legal landscapes.

“We are an American tech company that employs lawyers.”

DEREK STEGELMEIER

I am a Director of Solutions and Deliverables for Legal Outsourcing 2.0 based in India. I began my career working in document review and later at a large Manhattan law firm before coming to LO2. I always wanted to be a lawyer since the time I was in elementary school and read The Firm. I came to eDiscovery as it was a perfect combination of my love of business and law.

BEN FRIEDMAN

I am Legal Outsourcing 2.0’s Vice President of Client Relations and Development. Growing up in a family with a Dad who was a lawyer, it was a natural thought as far back as I can remember that I too would be lawyer. Unlike my Dad’s practice that was primarily real estate related, I wanted to be a litigator and so out of law school I joined a large plaintiffs’ firm as an associate. A few years into my litigation days, a good friend of mine joined Lexis-Nexis and persuaded me to also join Lexis and be part of the revolution occurring between law and technology. Those early days at Lexis were truly exciting times, it was a time when PC’s and the Internet were just coming on-line, up until then the way law was practiced was almost indistinguishable from the way it was practiced in Abraham Lincoln’s day. At Lexis, it was my role as a business development specialist to be an evangelist and agent of change to law firms and transform forever the way law was practiced. It was a great gig and in 2006 when the new FRCP eDiscovery rules took effect, it was the next logical step to get into eDiscovery. Accordingly, prior to joining LO2, for the past 10 years I held key business development positions for leading eDiscovey companies Kroll, Autonomy and HP eDiscovery, where I provided innovative solutions spanning the entire spectrum of the EDRM.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION YOU’RE PART OF – WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR YOU IN JOINING THE ORGANIZATION? WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT IT MOST?

HARRY BUCK

Legal Outsourcing 2.0 is the second generation of legal outsourcing.  The first generation of legal outsourcing are companies that are largely labor arbitrage plays.  They operate like law firms, with all of the associated lack of creativity and productivity caused by the almighty “Billable Hour”.  We are an American tech company that employs lawyers.

Our goal is to become the best legal outsourcing company in the world. We are still scaling so we can provide the highest quality services to the world’s best and largest companies.

Within our first year, we performed a document review for the lawyer who won the 2018 award by the ABA Section on Intellectual Property for contributions to Intellectual Property Law, acquired our first Global 100 client and performed a document review for our first Am Law 100 law firm.

The idea behind the company came from my experience working in the early days of Legal Outsourcing.  I saw a lack of understanding of the basic difference between law (a product of history and politics) and coding (science).  The two require very different business structures to be successfully outsourced.  I also witnessed an amazing lack of awareness of what to me was the obvious. 

I was working in the Legal AI area when I was contacted by a lawyer in India who had come to learn of my take on the proper way to structure a legal outsourcing venture.  After a few conversations, I flew to India, met with the lawyer and the Investor, came up with a business plan, we came to a consensus and we were off to the races.

Our plan, create a US tech company in India, employing on site in India very high-level US legal talent to enable the company to do higher level work than is currently being done in India at very competitive pricing.  We would only employ experienced Indian legal talent who had worked in other LPOs and we would maintain a balance of US to India legal talent so that the work was actively monitored by US lawyers and all conversations with US clients is with a US licensed attorney.

What I have enjoyed the most is executing on our plan. 

Our first hire was David Batt, a New York licensed attorney whose pedigree includes being a capital markets associate at Baker McKenzie, heading up document reviews in the US at AM Law firms and spending 2 years at Google doing document reviews including string searches. He was living in India, fresh off of heading up the foreign language document reviews for Quislex, a 1000+ lawyer document review factory.  He was an easy choice.  He wanted to be in India, was multi-lingual (has been published in French and fluent in Russian) and had experience in the metrics driven world of a document review factory.

Our first client was one of the two types of clients we initially targeted. 

We targeted doing work for legal tech companies involving AI.  We knew we could do the annotation work for creating algorithms and also understood once they created their software products, many of their clients would want a third party to use the software and return to them a deliverable.  We also targeted doing more secure, high quality, low cost, document reviews.  As it turned out, our first client was a legal AI company, LegalSifter. While we have obtained other legal AI clients, most of our work now involves document review.

“The legal brains of the operation are in India, as they should be.”

DEREK STEGELMEIER

I came upon this organization by chance. The combination of international resources they use is what interested me in the company. I have always been intrigued by international law and cooperation, having worked overseas several times previously. I enjoy the innovative attitude and commitment to absolute quality that is exhibited by LO2. I also appreciate that they have such a strong commitment to treating their employees and clients with the utmost respect. 

DAVID BATT

Legal Outsourcing 2.0 is a full service LPO based in Kolkata, India, mainly focusing on the usual combo of document review and contracts management. My main inspiration for joining was three-fold. After leaving Quislex in Hyderabad, I really wanted to remain in India, where I had spent an extremely interesting (to put it mildly) two years. Second, after spending over ten years in the e-discovery space, I knew I had accumulated the experience and skills to do it better than anywhere else I had previously worked… with the exception of Google. I wanted to be in control of implementing best practices from my time at Cravath, Quinn Emanuel (on the Apple v. Samsung case), Google and Quislex, while foregoing often over-rigid and cumbersome processes. Most importantly for me, however, it was a chance to explore cutting edge AI approaches to linguistics. I used to be somewhat techno-phobic, but as a lover of languages and literature I was thrilled to learn that our very first client would be an industry-leading US company specializing in NLP-powered contract extraction and analysis. We are currently training machine learning algorithms to read text, identify specific concepts and even provide legal advice based on the input of internationally recognized contract drafting experts. The software can also be used by non-lawyers to analyze contracts and prepare for negotiations by highlighting omissions, inconsistencies and other dangers, and even suggesting alternative language. Talk about 22nd century data science democratizing the legal services sector in a big way.

BEN FRIEDMAN

As the name suggests, Legal Outsourcing 2.0 is the next generation of Legal Process Outsourcing. We provide technology-enabled outsourcing services to law firms and legal departments. In the first generation of legal outsourcing, the focus was on achieving cost savings by shifting work traditionally done by law firms to lower cost third-party service providers. We take legal outsourcing to a whole new level, LO2 redefines the strategic value proposition of legal outsourcing as something more than simple cost cutting. Our goal is to constantly push for improving efficiency through an optimal balance between technology and staffing. Not only do clients benefit from the major cost savings resulting from the labor wage arbitrage, our next generation approach provides the highest quality results at a fraction of the cost.
 
My inspiration and what I like most about being a part of LO2 is a combination of what I saw as a great opportunity, coupled with a great team. In my very first conversations with Harry he outlined his vision and plan for LO2 becoming the LPO that performs better than anyone else in the industry. Fast forward a little over a year later and we have made major strides in realizing that vision. On the client side, we have built strong and referenceable relationships as the vendor of choice for Am Law 20, Fortune 100 and leading Legal AI clients. On the operations side, we have also achieved incredible success, including having 2 former superstar Am Law eDiscovery attorneys on-site in India managing all projects, all our India team members are full time highly skilled attorneys with a minimum of 2 years LPO experience, and we recently moved to new world class offices in Calcutta with the capacity for over 200+ employees.

DESCRIBE YOUR TEAM – WHAT DO YOU (EACH) BRING TO THE TABLE? WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF THE TEAM DYNAMIC YOU EXPERIENCE?

DAVID BATT

I call our CEO (and head of sales) Harry Buck, and my co-director Derek Stegelmeier the Sage and the Sponge, respectively. I’ve always had an aversion to salespeople because in the greater part of my experience I found them to be too pushy or dishonest (and often both). Which is why I was relieved to see that Harry does business differently. His approach is 110% legit, with full transparency; never tweaking reality for our benefit. I love his no nonsense approach and how he focuses on mutual benefits while presenting our solutions as a win-win proposition. Regarding people management, his wisdom, nurturing approach and subtle psychological strategy are truly remarkable, and get people to initiate positive change from within. My favorite quote of his is “It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear”. Contrary to accepted logic, these are two very different things and being in tune with this difference has changed and improved my approach (and that of my managers) to more delicate personality-related issues for the better.

Derek’s ability to absorb large amounts of data and complex (and sometimes inconsistent) client feedback is most impressive. Even more impressive is how he distils this information into the most succinct and clear form before transmitting it to our review teams, which is absolutely crucial in our line of work.

DEREK STEGELMEIER

We all bring different experiences and management styles to the table. Harry has several years of experience with all types of legal technology. He understands the best way to reach out to clients and manage a team. David is a people person. He knows how to manage a team and keep them on task. He is great at getting a team to meet a deadline and providing a quality work product. 

HARRY BUCK

The legal brains of the operation are in India, as they should be.  David has a top level legal and document review pedigree as well as experience working in a document review factory. Derek has performed the role of litigation staff attorney at two Am Law 100 law firms, the role of the person on behalf of the law firm that supervise outsourced document review services.  David’s metrics training was hands on.  Derek has an MBA.  Both of them have significant multi-cultural experiences and are multi-lingual.  David in French and Russian, Derek in German and Dutch.  It is their combination of top tier legal talent, a multi-cultural orientation, language skills and metrics orientation, that make things work.

The brawn, or should I say the legal business acumen side of the business, is in the US.  Ben Friedman practiced law for about 10 years and has been in legal technology sales for 20 years.  He has worked for most of the major players in the electronic discovery space.  His industry knowledge allows him to identify partnership opportunities.  His confidence in his and our abilities helps us punch significantly above our weight class.

The best part of our dynamic and what makes us successful is the deep-seated belief that what each of us do is important to achieving our common goal, becoming the best LPO in the world.  None of us can get there individually, none of us has all the answers, but collectively, collaboratively with the rest of our team, we will accomplish our goal.

“A year later the team grew ten-fold and we had a team of 15 lawyers who were doing a review of 400,000 documents for a $100,000 billion company with an Am Law 50 law firm on a DOJ matter.”

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN WHAT YOU’RE SEEKING TO ACHIEVE – AND WHY? FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR FAVORITE INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE OR ANECDOTE.

HARRY BUCK

I like to build things.  There is a great deal of satisfaction when you work through something from an idea to a plan to OMG its working.

When I started out, I was hesitant to share the full scope of my plans, because frankly to others they would likely have sounded crazy. To me, they were reasonable. 

How do you tell a newly hired team of 6 Indian lawyers siting in an office on the ground floor of a house in downtown Calcutta on their first day of work that we are going to create the best LPO in the world?  Seems kind of crazy, but I believed we could do that, and that is just what we are doing.

Two weeks later they are creating annotations for a Legal AI pioneer to help create algorithms to find legal concepts in unstructured data. 

A year later the team grew ten-fold and we had a team of 15 lawyers who were doing a review of 400,000 documents for a $100 billion company with an Am Law 50 law firm on a DOJ matter.

If two people are in an identical situation and one believes they can succeed and the other doesn’t, they are both right.

DAVID BATT

Having spent most of my childhood and teenage years in inspirational international schools, I knew the true calling of my professional life would be to continue building bridges between people of different backgrounds, cultures and languages. I was pleasantly surprised when, after years of being a doc review contract attorney, the opportunity arose to make a permanent career out of it. I am most proud of the fact that in under a year and a half, Legal Outsourcing 2.0 has grown from employing 6 Indian attorneys to now over 70. We are the only major LPO in Kolkata and it feels great to see how we are giving back to the local community by providing so many talented Bengali lawyers an opportunity to come back home from Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Noida and other outsourcing hubs. In India, family is everything (way more than in the west), which makes it all the more rewarding.

DEREK STEGELMEIER

Seeing new places in the world and meeting new people. Realizing the more you see the more there is to discover and when it all boils down that people are just people no matter where they live or what they have experienced. It inspires me to always learn and explore. That’s one reason I love being a part of a large international team.

WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST FAILURE – WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT AND HOW HAVE YOU APPLIED IT IN YOUR WORK?

DEREK STEGELMEIER

My greatest failure would be not working hard enough my freshman year of college. It was my first time away from home and I let the pressure get to me. I also did not adequately understand how much more difficult college would be from secondary education. Because of that, it took several about a year to make up for my lack of effort that first year. It taught me that I cannot ever let my guard down or become lackadaisical, because even a slight moment of not giving something your all can lead to much more effort after the fact to make up for it. I have used this in my professional career to always be at the top of my game and never take anything for granted.  

DAVID BATT

Not being in a financial position to save my family house in Portugal from being sold. I realized that maybe I should have focused on a more stable career path rather than globetrotting for work or pleasure. I’m happy to say that time has vindicated my initial instincts and I’ve now struck the perfect balance… so give me a few more years in India and I’ll surely be able to buy the house back.

WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS – AND, SIMILARLY, HOW DID YOU LEVERAGE THE EXPERIENCE?

DEREK STEGELMEIER

My greatest success is to be able to always grow in my career and to continue to learn. I can see a distinct difference in my abilities from the time when I left law school until now. I feel like every year has given me more chances to understand the industry and learn new technology. Working at LO2 has given me even more opportunities to grow my management skills and technology skills. 

DAVID BATT

My greatest success was heeding and applying my father’s advice to ignore what society or other people think of me. As law school was drawing to a close, I was advised by professors, mentors and peers to follow the traditional path of cutting my teeth in the US for a handful of punishing years at a major law firm. I was also warned that “international law does not exist” and that I would be little more than a “glorified translator” if I moved directly abroad after finishing my legal studies. For a number of years (and from the look of my ever-disparate and unusual resume) I wondered if they may have been right, but then I found my niche when I joined Baker & McKenzie’s Singapore office in early 2008. Although they are very few and far between, there are some great openings out there for lawyers who can lend their unique blend of professional and cultural skills to help foreign investment-oriented clients navigate potentially treacherous legal landscapes.

HARRY BUCK

My greatest success, outside of being married to my wife for over 35 years and our great daughter, is probably my role as CEO of LO2.  It is the first role where I can honestly say almost all of my eclectic experiences in life have played a meaningful part in my success.

My parents were both lawyers so I grew up in the culture of law.  My father was an international lawyer and I spent much of my adolescence growing up in a foreign culture.  It was not a tough assignment, Switzerland, but it was very different for a kid from New York. That experience made me sensitive to the navigation of different cultures that is needed to make LO2 work.

In college, Brown, the focus of my studies was the history of American science and technology. The effects of emerging technology have always been interesting to me and I was attracted to legal tech companies and AI. Those companies were some of our earliest clients.

When I practiced law, I was a litigator, being first chair in over 20 civil matters that went to trial and elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates. The litigation process is intuitive to me.  I have some experience in discovery and document reviews.  Document review is another important part of our business.

I migrated into electronic discovery over 10 years ago, became certified as a litigation support professional and I currently am a Board Member of the NY Chapter of ACEDS.  Knowing a bit about e-discovery has been very helpful in my role.

I started working in legal AI for a tech company about three years ago and that experience has been very helpful in my role.

About the only parts of my background that do not provide a good fit for my role involve food and pronunciation.  I hate spicy food and I am legendary for killing Indian names.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL CLIENT LOOK LIKE – WHAT ARE THE ISSUES THEY’RE FACING?

HARRY BUCK

We really have two typical initial client profiles.  One is a US legal technology company that needs help in scaling their AI efforts.  The second are companies and law firms that are facing cost issues in litigation matters and are looking for a lower cost, secure and high-quality document review solution.

DEREK STEGELMEIER

Most of our clients are either law firms or large corporations. They are looking for solutions which are affordable, but also offer them the highest quality product they can find. They want to know that at the end of the day they may rely fully on the work they receive and that it is defensible.

DAVID BATT

Wow, this is an impossible question as we are too new to have carved out a niche. Legal Outsourcing 2.0’s clients include everyone from highly advanced AI and Fortune 500 tech companies, to Am Law top 20 and small US law firms, to technology vendors, US municipalities and even a dermatology clinic. The common thread is the desire, and often the imperative need to cut costs and meet deadlines, while going through mountains of documents and maintaining excellent quality.

IN YOUR WORDS, WHAT NEW OR BETTER OPPORTUNITY DO YOU CREATE FOR LEGAL INDUSTRY CLIENTS?

HARRY BUCK

We allow clients to take advantage of a highly-trained and educated work force that is overseen by a fully integrated, onsite quality US legal team, so that their work is performed to US quality standards, using the best available technology, world class security protocols, all at a fraction of the cost of performing the same work in the US.

DEREK STEGELMEIER

We create work which is just as reliable as any work they may receive from a large law firm and that they can receive it at a fraction of the cost. We also provide solutions which saves them overall time and increases the accuracy of the product. It is all about giving clients something valuable and accurate all while saving them time and energy. 

DAVID BATT

This one’s easy: highest quality work product for a fraction of the price of onshore solutions.

“At its heart, the idea behind LO2 is to provide the legal community with a high quality, more secure and less expensive way to perform and deliver routine legal processes.”

BEN FRIEDMAN

At its heart, the idea behind LO2 is to provide the legal community with a high quality, more secure and less expensive way to perform and deliver routine legal processes. When Harry set out to build LO2 he took a step by step approach to addressing and overcoming each of the basic weakness he saw in his years of experience working with first generation LPOs. Essentially there are five areas that truly distinguish LO2 from earlier LPOs. First is the communication piece, although India lawyers speak fluent English and their grasp and understanding of legal concepts is on par with any US attorney, Harry understood that because of cultural communication differences, such as accents and etiquette, that in order to avoid anything ever “getting lost in the translation” all communication between LO2 and its clients would only be done between LO2’s US licensed attorneys and American staff only. Another major innovation is the way we assure quality, Harry understood unlike most Indian LPOs that have between 1 US licensed attorney on-site for every 200/300 India attorneys, LO2 would provide a richer mix of onsite US legal talent. Accordingly, unlike our competitors whose ratio is as effective as a picture of the US attorney on its conference room wall, LO2’s ratio of US Lawyers on-site to Indian lawyers is capped at 1 to 50. The next big improvement is the fact that all our employees are full time vs. transient per project attorneys. As a result, not only is LO2 able to immediately staff projects without the delays inherent in recruiting lawyers on a per project basis, LO2’s clients are able to leverage the retained knowledge of our teams. Our attitude towards adoption of technology is also a huge differentiator and can be summed up by this equation: [Technology + Labor Arbitrage] > Labor Arbitrage. What this means is unlike most LPOs whose business model is based around hourly billing, which is a disincentive for adopting technology, LO2 embraces and adopts technology to create efficiencies. The result is our solutions are better, faster and less expensive. Last but certainly not least is the way we handle security. We understand the paramount importance of security. Accordingly, our quality management practices have been certified as compliant with ISO 9001:2015, and our information management systems, which are designed to keep information assets secure, are certified as compliant with ISO 27001. Moreover, we have put in place security processes and procedures to assure that our security is not just as good as our domestic counterparts but is in fact better.
The Results – A Better Mouse Trap: More Secure. Better Quality. Lower Price.

DESCRIBE YOUR SOLUTION – FROM A CLIENT’S PERSPECTIVE – NOT YOURS. HOW DOES IT HELP YOUR CLIENTS?

DEREK STEGELMEIER

LO2 provides high quality solutions from experienced attorneys at a fraction of the cost of other solutions. They have technological solutions and institutional knowledge from around the world and various organization and companies which allows them to understand and provide exactly what we are looking for at a price that is unbeatable. 

DAVID BATT

Apologies for repeating myself but the answer to this one is pretty much the same as the previous question: We use labor arbitrage and technology to provide the highest quality deliverables. Derek and myself are onsite in India to maintain a clear channel of communication between our review, contracts and annotation teams, and our vendor partners, law firm clients and end clients to ensure nothing is lost in translation.

BEN FRIEDMAN

As a result of today’s digital age, the legal industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation.  The explosive amount of electronic data as well as the analytic and automation promises of artificial intelligence have created a demand by the legal industry for a “cheaper, better, and faster” way to manage and perform the support tasks associated with legal related services. Every day we work with law firms and corporate legal departments who are trying hard to do more with less.

“Derek and myself are onsite in India to maintain a clear channel of communication between our review, contracts and annotation teams, and our vendor partners, law firm clients and end clients to ensure nothing is lost in translation.”

WHAT STAGE ARE YOU AT? HOW’S IT GOING? GIVE US A SENSE OF THINGS – THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

HARRY BUCK

We are rapidly growing and about six months out from break even. We grew 600% last year and expect to slow down and only grow 300% this year.  We have gone from our “basement” or “garage” start up stage and now are housed in world class office space that seats 200.  It has been a fun ride.

DEREK STEGELMEIER

Right now we are in a growth phase. We have had a lot of success with our clients this past year and are getting word out to more and more companies. This has allowed us to add several new people to the team recently and are looking for more constantly. This is both good and demanding. It is nice to have the extra work to justify more people, but there are always challenges in ensuring new hires are up to speed and work well with the existing team members. It also means extra time needs to be spent training the new members on the protocols and cases we have.

DAVID BATT

Given that we have only been around for a year and a half, we are still an early phase startup. As far as the good goes, we started off labeling contract data (a.k.a. contract annotation) for an AI company and excelled at it, despite the high difficulty level and numerous challenges. In addition, we were lucky that our first document reviews were straightforward cases for less sophisticated clients, so we had the advantage of an easy way to prove ourselves by doing a lot of hand holding (one of the best ways to impress a client). As for the bad and the ugly, as with almost all startups, sales were an initially an issue. When that ball started rolling, and hiring picked up, we realized that we sorely needed an experienced finance, HR and admin department. There is a lot that 8 or 10 smart lawyers and a talented techie can do, but they can’t do everything…

WHAT ASPECT(S) DO YOU FIND BUYERS ARE MOST RECEPTIVE TO?

HARRY BUCK

For our legal tech company buyers, I think they are most receptive to our quality standards and our spirit of partnership.  For our document review buyers, once they get past that it is a long-distance phone call to speak with our US lawyers, it is price.

DEREK STEGELMEIER

From my side of things clients are often most interested in knowing the product will be as perfect as possible and that it will be completed on time. I think this is the main concern with any type of legal work, time and accuracy. When we focus on these two aspects clients respond positively.

DAVID BATT

The fact that all of our production employees are qualified lawyers, our air-tight physical and data security (including project room-specific biometric restrictions), and the wealth of accumulated and diverse subject matter expertise, from our directors all the way down to our first level reviewers. 

BEN FRIEDMAN

The key word in legal process outsourcing is “process”. LO2 examines a legal task, breaks that task down into its component parts, and looks for ways in which those individual parts could be performed more efficiently. Our aim is to match each element of a legal task with the best combination of competence and cost-effectiveness, while managing the entire process against a set of budgets and timelines.

WHERE DO YOU SEE MORE QUESTIONS OR PUSH-BACK?

DEREK STEGELMEIER

With any group of overseas attorneys, clients are concerned about whether the attorneys understand American law and how good their work product will be. That is why we only hire those attorneys who have extensive previous experience and who have great credentials. Once the clients see the actual accuracy and timeliness of the work then they are more than happy and this assuages their fears. My background in a large law firm also helps me to understand what types of things will help put them at ease and show that the team has a deep legal knowledge.

DAVID BATT

Most likely with regard to providing comfort about the fact that we have mainly Indian lawyers working on mainly US subject matters. The vast majority of our lawyers, however, have multiple years of previous experience working at Thomson Reuters, Quislex, Mindcrest, Integreon and other major LPOs. These powerhouses have the most sophisticated end clients in the world, involved in some of the most complex financial and regulatory matters out there, so no matter the subject matter, process or workflow-related challenges thrown our way, our collective experience allows us to grasp all of the substantive and technical subtleties… and to plan, communicate and calibrate accordingly.

BEN FRIEDMAN

We find the more sophisticated and larger the client (both law firm and corporate) the more receptive they are to the benefits of how we can help them achieve their goals of efficiency and productivity. Most of the clients on that level no longer feel threatened by LPOs or have the misconception that just because its offshore it’s of less quality. On the other hand, smaller less sophisticated organizations are where we often see push back, which is mainly a function of lack of experience and understanding of the services and processes we provide. Once properly educated the push back begins to disappear.

The key word in legal process outsourcing is “process”.

WHICH DO YOU THINK IS DRIVING MOST ACTIVITY FOR CLIENTS: COST SAVINGS, TIME SAVINGS, ACCESS TO BETTER TOOLS – OR WHAT ELSE?

DEREK STEGELMEIER

Quality is the most important thing for clients. If we can deliver something that is up to the quality, they are looking for at a savings then they are ecstatic. Even more importantly if we can show them a tool at the same time which will save them time and make things easier then they are even more satisfied. 

DAVID BATT

Time and cost savings (often due to leveraging technology) … without compromising quality

BEN FRIEDMAN

I think it’s a combination of all those drivers. Legal process outsourcing is often simply and wrongly described as “sending legal work to India.” In reality, a LPO is the legal industry’s version of business process outsourcing (BPO), the enterprise theory that revolutionized the corporate world decades ago by applying workflow and supply chain principles to the tasks that businesses undertake every day, with the goal of improving efficiency, enhancing quality and lowering costs.

DO YOU FIND LEGAL INDUSTRY BUYERS TO BE RECEPTIVE TO INNOVATION? HOW READY FOR CHANGE DO YOU THINK THE LEGAL INDUSTRY IS?

DEREK STEGELMEIER

I believe the legal industry is always looking for new and exciting technology. The difficulty is balancing new technology with the needs of their employees and way of doing things. The best way to prepare legal clients for change is to show them that new technology can be just as good as how they did things previously, but could also save them time and energy.  

DAVID BATT

Most non-Silicon Valley law firms and end clients are averse to innovation… until they give us an opportunity to show them otherwise. Not all document reviews or contract solutions require innovation. The trick is highlighting the cases where technology, used in a defensible way, can dramatically reduce the number of hours required to go through huge quantities of data.

HARRY BUCK

Our legal tech company clients are all about innovation.  That is their business. 

On the document review side, law firms continue to milk the system and fight innovation at every turn.  They make their money by being inefficient, billing for associates to make lower level coding decisions, so innovation to them is largely an illusion they espouse to clients while taking their money.

On the corporate legal department side, they are ready for change and are pushing back against the law firms that claim to be acting in their interest.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS BEING THE GREATEST CHANGE IN THE LEGAL INDUSTRY IN THE NEXT DECADE?

DAVID BATT

A leveling of the playing field: the biggest law firms will be forced to lower their rates (often by using technological advances) … or lose business.

DEREK STEGELMEIER

I believe the change is already happening, but the legal field will continue to embrace technology such as cloud services and integrated work across multiple platforms and continents. As the ability of technology grows so will the adoption by the legal community.

FANCY RESTAURANT OR GASTRO FOOD TRUCK – WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO FAVORITE FOOD?

DEREK STEGELMEIER

I love a good fancy restaurant. It just feels like an experience unto itself. It also gives you a chance to chat with whoever you are with and get to know them better. There’s also nothing better than the different tastes one can experience from a good chef. 

DAVID BATT

Gastro food truck, because I prefer to save my money for travel.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? JUST ONE. AND WHY?

DEREK STEGELMEIER

Gattaca. It shows that no matter what advantages or disadvantages one is born into that there is a possibility to become whatever you want and to achieve whatever dreams or goals you have. 

DAVID BATT

“The Godfather”, because of the timeless story of family and power, and the sublime acting, dialogue and music.

HARRY BUCK

My cousin Vinny.  Vinny Gambini and Mona Lisa Vito, two out of place New Yorkers pursuing justice in small town America.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE HOBBY WHEN YOU’RE NOT BUSY IMPROVING THE LEGAL INDUSTRY?

DEREK STEGELMEIER

Video games. I love to get lost in other worlds and think about all of the work that went into creating those worlds and try to look behind the curtain at how it was done. 

DAVID BATT

Travelling to naturally and culturally unique and beautiful locations, well off the beaten tourist path.

IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT ONE BOOK WOULD YOU WANT?

DAVID BATT

“Narziss and Goldmund” by Hermann Hesse and “Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut. It was hard enough picking just one movie so please bear with me because I would need both of these books: the latter to make me laugh and the former to make me cry.

DEREK STEGELMEIER

The High King by Lloyd Alexander. The characters and the setting could make you forget any issue you are having, including being stranded on a desert island.

BEN FRIEDMAN

Well, other than the best book ever written on raft building, I’d choose the Bible as a source of inspiration, hope and good story telling.

A FERRARI, A PRIUS OR A BICYCLE – WHICH WOULD YOU PICK?

DAVID BATT

A Prius, because it pollutes less than a Ferrari but can take me to more distant horizons (and fit my dogs!).

BEN FRIEDMAN

A Ferrari, I live in Boca Raton or what is also known as NY’s 6th Borough and those of you who’ve been here know a Ferrari is as everyday a car as a Toyota, though don’t know how practical it would be for running errands and hauling around my 3 kids – ok it’s nice to fantasize – I guess like Harry I’ll just stick with my SUV.

HARRY BUCK

A SUV.  I spent 15 years in Wyoming and now live in the suburbs of New York City.  I like to see where I am going and getting there in one piece.

DEREK STEGELMEIER

A bicycle. I am a terrible driver and really hate driving. I also love the idea of getting around wherever I want with only my own muscle power.