QuisLex: Offering Strategically Salient Legal Support Services for Corporate & Litigation Work
Date: Wednesday , December 21, 2016
Outsourcing non-core business functions has been the norm for organizations for decades and has gone from basic cost reduction mandates to providing improved processes and real value-add. Now, companies have started outsourcing their legal work too. And like BPO, while the original driver may have been cost savings, legal process outsourcing (LPO) has gained broad acceptance and earned its staying power through the innovations they bring and the value creation inherent in their process-driven approach to legal services.
While BPO and LPO are similar in that they manage processes on behalf of their clients, LPO comprising legal research, legal analysis, drafting contracts, patent applications, or managing compliance programs for example, is less commoditized than many BPO services and highly integrated into the strategic initiatives of corporate legal departments and law firms. Furthermore, this work needs to be done by the supervising, licensed attorneys along with many other highly trained specialists and subject matter experts. But hiring these professionals requires you to burn more oil, especially in the U.S. and Europe, where there is a strong focus on controlling legal costs without giving up quality. The need to control cost along with the requirement for large pools of highly skilled professionals, is driving significant growth in this high-end industry in countries that are more pocket friendly, for which India is uniquely suited. There have always been reservations about non-U.S. legal professionals performing complex and strategically relevant legal work, but QuisLex put paid to this concern through the client-success stories it has been creating since inception.
While new competition is emerging in the form of captives and other affiliations in jurisdictions that allow law firms to operate in such a manner (to establish their own LPO-style divisions and attempt to compete directly on the basis of reduced cost) India is by far and away the leader in terms of scale and experience. Leveraging India\'s enormous pool of highly talented well-trained legal professionals as well as deep expertise in the requisite outsourcing and process disciplines that are crucial to success, QuisLex has grown from three to more than 1200 employees and currently has footprint on three continents. QuisLex CEO, Ram Vasudevan believes that it owes its tremendous growth to are lentless commitment to quality, an employee-driven culture of innovation, and industry-leading processes and best use of technology: \"Our willingness to be out in front of the market and make future-oriented investments (not simply respond to current demands and trends) sets us apart, said Ram.
Positioned at the premium end of the LPO and alternative provider market, QuisLex is one of the only three companies to be ranked as a Band One LPO by Chambers and Partners in every year that Chambers has ranked LPOs: 2016 marks its sixth consecutive year. Unlike other LPOs who mostly perform routine legal work, QuisLex is routinely called upon to perform highly complex and strategically relevant services for both corporate and litigation matters that require a capability maturity that sets it apart from its competitors.
An Evolutionary Idea
Founded on the idea that even complex and intricate legal support services can be delivered more effectively and efficiently by introducing scalable, repeatable, well-managed process to legal work, QuisLex opened its doors on the April Fools\' Day, 2004. The fundamental precept of its founding has not changed and remains the cornerstone of the company and the value it provides. Coming out of initial startup challenges, this bootstrapped company was prepared to deliver high quality legally demanding work from the outset.
However, gaining acceptance of this evolutionary concept of offshoring legal process services and the idea that legal work benefited greatly from process discipline remained a Herculean task. This challenge was met through the incorporation of QuisLex score values in everything it does. Being an independent employee-own identity helped: QuisLex has never had to conform to the quarterly goals of a corporate parent or the short-term demands of outside investors allowing QuisLex to continually think long-term, and keep its clients front and center. Organic growth driven by client references and the many industry recognition and awards testify to the merit of this approach. As one client told Chambers, \"I have not worked with any comparable firms\".
Just as BPOs take over the management of certain business operations, QuisLex services area comprehensive management of various end-to-end legal processes. The concept of managing legal services like a business operation has been gaining ever-widening acceptance and many large corporates have now established legal operations as a formal discipline. More recently, leading law firms around the globe are adopting this approach. QuisLex has been front and center in helping these forward-looking organizations develop the policies and procedures that form the basis of their legal operations and provides the expertise and resources to execute and manage legal operations on a long-term basis. QuisLex does so in several strategically relevant areas of legal work.
QuisLex services can be broadly categorized into four major offerings: Litigation/investigation, contract lifecycle management, compliance, and legal department operations. Known equally for its corporate and litigation work, QuisLex\'s managed document review services for discovery is one of its oldest service lines. While it is the primary service for which law firms engage it, QuisLex performs a significant amount of this work for corporates as well.
The company fully manages the review and analysis of documents collected in response to litigations, investigations and regulatory requests that may need to be produced to the opposing party as evidence in court. It has reviewed more than six billion pages of such documents as well as hundreds of thousands of hours of audio recordings. QuisLexhas worked on legal matters before courts in most major jurisdictions and regulatory agencies worldwide.
QuisLex\'s process and quality management expertise, highly regarded within the industry, draws on its proprietary methodologies that include a patented quality control schema, Six Sigma and Lean processes and a highly specialized and well-trained workforce that includes specialists in the areas of linguistics, data analytics, search and retrieval, technology, Lean and Six Sigma, law, project management and a host of other disciplines. The institutionalization of these diverse skillsets and the unique alignment of intellectual capital, process discipline, and technological savvy, allows the company to take on the highly complex and mission critical work for its clients. \"We have been in a leading position for a long time and we have not lost sight of what brought us here and will keep us ahead of our competitors into the future. It is never our goal to be all things to all people, we will always focus on the goals of measurable quality and dedication to excellence to the benefit of our clients,\" says Ram.
The founders and current leadership of QuisLex represent the intersection of law, quality and operations, and brings experience from top Am Law 100 law firms and large global corporate legal departments. This multi-disciplinary background gave rise to the idea that legal work should not only be subject to the same discipline as other business functions (such as cost control and process efficiency), but would greatly benefit from them. This founding idea remains unchanged and the leadership team has been scaling the business in measured and deliberate growth in conformance with this fundamental principal.
En Route to the Future
A diverse organization, QuisLexians represent more than 10 countries and 29 languages, each of whom is inculcated to ensure focused growth to meet the current and anticipated challenges of its clients. This diversity drives its innovation and helps to establish the high-performance teaming that defines QuisLex. The company has a 100 percent merit-based culture and its motto is work hard, play harder.
\"Innovation is written into our very founding. To meet new challenges and operate under the principals of continuous improvement, QuisLex understands the latest industry trends, marketplace evolution and technological developments,\" asserts Ram. \"However, rather than just keeping up with these trends and changes, we seek to be ahead of them, anticipating new strategies and prepared to leverage them\".
To prepare for the future, QuisLex provides an extensive training regimen that includes formal instructor-led classroom-based training as well as departmental rotations, mentoring and other skill expanding initiatives that enable its employees to understand service delivery from multiple vantage points. This is absolutely critical to enabling new insights that lead to innovations in service delivery, technology, and develop new lines of business that address emerging customer challenges. All of this is done within a Six Sigma framework and client delivery system that insists on continuous improvements from problem solving through execution to ongoing management.
QuisLex continues to solidify its leadership position in the LPO space providing industry leading capability in terms of depth of services, positioning at the higher end of the value chain in legal process services, and the consistent high quality of deliverable which are undisputed and highly regarded. The company continues its expansion having opened a new office in San Francisco, and a large delivery center in New York. A second operations center in Bengaluru is slated to be operational by first quarter, 2017.
Expanding its service lines to address the emerging challenges faced by corporate legal departments, QuisLex is significantly increasing its operational & delivery capabilities in the area of legal department operations. This year, it formally introduced a legal spend management service line that has been warmly received. To help do this, and position itself well for the future, it continues to add both operational personnel as well as subject matter experts in various fields to ensure measured and deliberate growth that not only retains, but continues to improve, delivery capabilities at the highest standards.
Ram Vasudevan, CEO
Ram has presided over QuisLex\'s rapid growth since its inception and has over 16 years of experience providing high-quality services to his clients in a variety of settings. Prior to joining QuisLex, Ram spent eight years advising clients on corporate and M&A transactions with Skadden Arps and Sidley Austin in New York. Prior to joining Sidley, Ram worked as a Project Manager for a multi-national consulting company, managing projects for large financial services clients.
Offices: New York, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Hyderabad & shortly in Bengaluru
Managed Document Review Services (supporting litigations, investigations, and regulatory requests)
Contract Lifecycle Management
Contract Summarization and Abstraction
Pre- and Post-Merger & Acquisition Due Diligence
Open Source License Compliance
Legal Operations (our newest service being Legal Spend Management)
Awards & Recognitions:
Chambers Global Band 1 designation (6 consecutive years which is every year that Chambers ranked LPOs)
National Law Journal: Litigation Trailblazer (QuisLex COO, Sirisha Gummaregula)
National Law Journal: Legal Business Trailblazer and Pioneer (QuisLex CEO, Ram Vasudevan)
New York Law Journal Reader Ranking: Top 3 LPO (5th consecutive year in 2016)
New York Law Journal Reader Ranking: Top 3 Managed Document Review Service Provider (3rd consecutive year in 2016)
International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP): 2016 Global Outsourcing 100 company
International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM): 2014 Outstanding Service Provider
India Business Law Journal: Company of the Year, Best Overall LPO 2015
When VMware\'s Legal Department Operations team engaged with QuisLex to improve operational efficiency across all geographies without an increase in their internal headcount or operational cost and re-engineer contract lifecycle management and other legal department operations, QuisLex\'s use of analytics and the introduction of process disciplines like Six Sigma and metric-based reporting became an exemplar. So much so that VMware\'s Legal Operations Group was recognized by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) for the legal operations innovations introduced.