Fifty-one percent of law firms and 60 percent of corporations are using Alternative Legal Service Providers (ALSPs) in at least one service category with an additional 21 percent of law firms and 14 percent of corporations planning to use an alternative legal service provider in the next year.
The findings from a new study released by Thomson Reuters, Georgetown Law & Oxford Saïd Business School also showed that specialised expertise, not cost, was often the key driver.
For law firms, access to specialised expertise not available in-house was the most commonly cited reason for ALSP use. For some uses, meeting peak demand without having to increase permanent headcount was also rated as more important than cost in driving ALSP use.
Similarly, for corporations, access to specialised expertise, not available in-house, as frequently cited as the primary reason for using ALSPs, rather than cost.
According to the study, corporations are most likely to use ALSPs for regulatory & compliance services (29%) and specialised legal services not available in-house (21%) while law firms most commonly use ALSPs for litigation-related projects, including e-discovery (34%), document review (31%) and investigative support (29%).
Alternative Legal Service Providers: The Newest Segment of a Changing Legal Market conducted by Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford surveyed more than 800 law firms and corporations - primarily US-based and included many with international and global operations.
Eric Laughlin, Managing Director, Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services, said: “The report shows there are tremendous opportunities for growth not only for ALSPs, but also for law firms, who can use – and are using – ALSPs as partners to expand their business.”