LPO vs. Co-Employment: What is the optimal talent engagement approach for the legal industry?

How do law firms make the right choice when it comes to global talent engagement?

This latest infographic dives deep into the benefits and disadvantages of Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) and co-employment to help you make the best legal talent engagement decision.

What is the optimal talent engagement approach for the legal industry?

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is a popular engagement strategy for tapping global talent in the legal industry. But in the past few years, other models such as co-employment has been making their mark in the legal space, giving law firms more options when it comes to hiring international human capital. But how can law firms make the right choice among the two business models? Let’s discuss the difference between LPO and co-employment.

What is Legal Process Outsourcing?

Legal process outsourcing is the practice of delegating legal tasks to external service providers. It involves hiring specialized professionals outside the organization to handle activities such as document review, research, contract management, and more. LPO helps law firms and legal departments improve efficiency, reduce costs, and access specialized expertise.

What is Co-Employment?

Co-employment is a strategic partnership between a company and an employment service provider, where both share responsibilities and obligations. The hiring law firm retains control over the workers’ daily tasks, performance and day-to-day operations, while the employment services provider handles the administrative functions such as benefits management, payroll, taxes, benefits management and more.


Now, let’s take a look at the top benefits of working with LPOs and co-employment providers so you can compare which one is best for your law firm’s needs and goals.

Legal Process Outsourcing

Reduced Cost

LPOs are often located in parts of the world with lower labor costs, allowing law firms to access skilled professionals at a lower rate. This helps firms manage their expenses and increase profitability than hiring people locally.

Improved Efficiency & Productivity

Since they specialize in certain legal tasks, most LPOs invest and use technology-driven solutions such as legal research databases, document management systems, and AI-powered tools to streamline processes. These tools can help law firms deliver faster and more accurate results, enhancing overall productivity and efficiency.

Access To Specialized Expertise

LPO providers typically have expertise in specific areas of practices. Law firms can leverage these specialized knowledge and skills to help them get access to professionals with experience in particular areas that may not be available in their in-house team.

Focus on Core Competencies

By outsourcing repetitive and time-consuming tasks to LPOs, law firms can free up their existing resources to focus on A-activities such as client counseling, strategic planning, and managing cases. This can enhance overall productivity and the quality of legal services being provided.


Higher Cost Savings

Co-employment allows law firms to hire human capital in countries with lower labor costs. Plus, this generates more economies of scale since law firms won’t have to shoulder all necessary expenses needed to pool and hire in other countries.

Flexibility & Scalability

Co-employment provides law firms with the ability to adjust their workforce size easily. The co-employer can easily help you hire needed human capital while ensuring compliance to your firm’s processes and quality control system.


Access to a Broad Talent Pool

Co-employment enables law firms to tap into a larger pool of talent beyond their existing employees. This allows firms to access specialized skills and expertise that may not be available internally, helping them meet specific project requirements or expand their capabilities.

Reduced Administrative Burden & Risk Mitigation

Co-employment providers handle various administrative and compliance tasks such as HR and regulatory compliance management. This relieves law firms of these responsibilities and the risk of non-compliance to human capital local regulations, which enables law firms to focus on core activities to grow the business.


To help you make an informed decision, here are the top disadvantages of working with an LPO company and a co-employment provider for your law firm.

Legal Process Outsourcing

Data Security Risks

LPO involves sharing sensitive legal information with external parties. That’s why it’s important for firms to assess the data security measures and confidentiality practices of LPO providers to ensure the protection of client data and maintain attorney-client privilege.

Quality Control Challenges

Maintaining consistent quality and ensuring the accuracy of outsourced legal work can be a challenge. So when working with LPO’s, firms may need to invest time in establishing robust communication channels, providing clear instructions, and implementing quality control systems.

Cultural Differences

Most LPO providers are from different regions which can lead to potential cultural and communication barriers. These can impact collaboration and the ability to work effortlessly, so this may require additional effort and effective communication strategies for your law firm.

Regulatory Complexities

With the strict regulations and specific requirements of the industry, outsourcing legal processes in different jurisdictions can introduce challenges related to compliance, legal ethics, and professional standards. Law firms must ensure that the LPO provider operates within essential legal and regulatory systems.


Confidentiality Challenges

With co-employment arrangements, law firms can limit access to confidential client information to the co-employer.  Law firms need to establish clear confidentiality agreements with the co-employment provider to ensure the protection of sensitive business strategy and operations data.

Employee Monitoring Concerns

Because of time difference and geographical barriers, law firms must adjust how they monitor day-to-day tasks.  Hence, it is important to work with a co-employment partner that lets you implement project management strategies and shift scheduling agreements.

Potential Cultural and Operational Mismatch

Co-employment providers may have their own culture and operational practices that may not align with the law firm’s work environment. Law firms must work with a co-employment partner that has industry-specialized training program in place to help the co-employed staff onboard seamlessly into the firm.

More Employer-Related Responsibilities

Co-employment enables more control over the employees’ quality of work and professional standards. This requires the firm to set quality control systems. Find a co-employment partner that has performance management support protocols in place.

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