Corporate Counsel Cutting 70% on Large-Scale Document Review Projects by Outsourcing to U.S. Licensed Contract Attorneys

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Cutting legal fees is one of the hottest topics in corporate boardrooms. Though outsourcing some services to cheaper offshore labor markets is a common option, one San Francisco based company is presenting U.S. companies with a viable Â?onshoreÂ? solution. Black Letter Discovery (BLD) cuts legal fees associated with litigation by providing experienced, U.S. licensed Contract Attorneys for discovery projects.

Discovery is an essential aspect of litigation during which documents are reviewed for key issues, which are noted in a database (issue coding) according to a protocol developed by outside counsel. This is time-consuming work, and when bills are being generated on an hourly basis, costs can skyrocket rapidly.    Increased efforts by in-house legal departments to cut litigation costs and maximize shareholder value have led to a rise in onshore legal outsourcing. One of the main forces driving this trend to cut legal fees is the DuPont Legal Model.

The Legal Model emphasizes the benefits of outsourcing legal work to companies other than law firms and saved DuPont $8.8 million in legal bills in 2002. Companies like BLD are leveraging the large pool of underutilized U.S. licensed legal professionals and the recent public backlash against offshore outsourcing. These companies provide corporate counsel with qualified U.S. licensed attorneys for document review and issue coding projects at a fraction of the cost of their law firm counterparts, while providing an equivalent and even superior level of quality and reliability.

John Sanchez, President of BLD, says, “Our service allows corporate legal departments to take control of costs associated with certain aspects of litigation that can be delivered to their outside counsel pre-billed. They can do this knowing that quality and integrity will not be compromised. Our Contract Attorneys are bound by professional rules of ethics and conduct. They are experienced, licensed in the U.S, and are sensitive to issues related to confidentiality and privilege. You can’t get this from a foreign labor force. Moreover, unlike full-time associates that are reluctant to be assigned to document review work, our Contract Attorneys choose to do it. This attitude increases productivity and quality.”

In the context of large-scale document review and issue coding projects, reducing litigation costs by cutting document review fees translates into millions of dollars in cost savings. In a recent project, BLD provided 25 Contract Attorneys for a large-scale document review and issue coding project. Over a 3-month period, BLD delivered a highly accurate work product for a Global 100 company and estimates saving it over $1,500,000 in litigation fees.

Black Letter Discovery is headquartered in San Francisco, California and draws from a nationwide database of approximately 30,000 prospective candidates that have a broad base of experience with numerous practice areas, e-discovery and litigation management technologies and language fluencies. It maintains a dedicated 2,500 sq ft facility in San Francisco and collaborates with document imaging, data repository, and coding software companies to provide its clients with a fully operational coding facility within a short time frame.

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Arun Mistry
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