EAGAN, Minn. – Among all the trends reshaping the legal marketplace, perhaps the area of greatest change involves the growing use of managed services providers to perform an expanding set of tasks traditionally done by law firms and corporate counsel, but with greater efficiency and at a lower cost. To support the growing demand, Thomson Reuters, the leader in legal managed services, is expanding its US-based operations with a new delivery team based in its Eagan, Minn., office.
“Minnesota has great law schools and a major Thomson Reuters presence in Eagan, so we have talent and infrastructure,” said Greg McPolin, COO of Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services, a new business that combines the legal services and process expertise of Pangea3 with Thomson Reuters advanced technology. “We already have work under way in our new center with financial services firms, corporate counsel and law firm clients.”
Thomson Reuters first expanded its Legal Managed Services business in the United States in 2011, adding an office in Dallas to complement its offshore team in India. It has since grown to provide legal and compliance solutions globally. The Minnesota office brings the number of Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services locations to seven, with more than 1,500 attorneys in New York, London, Dallas and Eagan, as well as Mumbai, Delhi and Pune, India.
Responding to Dramatic Growth in Managed Services
While traditional legal process outsourcing work such as eDiscovery, document review and advanced fact finding are still core solutions of Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services, the team also has broadened the ways it serves the legal market and other professionals, notably compliance functions, according to Eric Laughlin, managing director of Legal Managed Services. “Today, our fastest growing practice area is Risk and Compliance Solutions. For example, we help the world’s largest banks with regulatory change management and financial trade documentation,” he said. Other growing practice groups include contract management solutions, which offers contract drafting and review, contract risk management and contract due diligence.
Some of the growth in managed services can be attributed to another trend: law firms contracting directly with the Legal Managed Services business to support their efforts to drive quality and innovation, while lowering costs. “We don’t have to go back too many years to remember when legal process outsourcing was considered controversial in law firms,” said McPolin. “Three years ago, for instance, we had just seven firms initiate an engagement with Pangea3 compared to hundreds of engagements with corporate counsel. Last year, we had 25 law firm-initiated engagements and we had 29 just in the first half of this year.”
“Most often, we think of innovation as a novel application of technology,” Laughlin added. “This is the kind of innovation that makes headlines. But we also see innovation in new approaches to how, where and by whom work is performed – and in driving opportunities for our clients to innovate. Our Legal Managed Services business is emerging as an innovation leader by partnering with law firms and legal departments to perform work better, more quickly and much less expensively than traditionally thought possible.”