In Law Firms Offered Outsourced Support Staffs the New York Law Journal reports (6/7/04) that consulting firm Hildebrandt has inked a joint venture with the outsourcing group OfficeTiger

I could not find a reference to this joint venture on either the Hildebrandt or OfficeTiger web sites, though Hildebrandt has previously indicated its intent to enter the business (see my Hildebrandt Report on Outsourcing posting). According to the NYLJ article, the joint venture will focus on administrative functions but “also will be able to provide staff for legal and non-legal research functions.” It will not offer outsourced lawyers, though holds open that possibility in the future. A Hildebrandt director who will manage the JV estimates that “30 percent to 60 percent cost savings in support tasks” is possible.

Hildebrandt is widely known and trusted among many large law firms, so in my view, its backing of outsourcing could significantly affect the decision in at least some firms. One question is what role Hildebrandt will play in the operation. My sense is that outsourcing works best in connection with re-engineering how work is performed; perhaps Hildebrandt will help with the process and cultural changes that may be required to support outsourcing (for more on the process issues, see my Article Offers Practical Tips on Offshoring posting).

I am eager to see the impact of and on technology of outsourcing. Technology is a critical enabler of outsourcing and I expect it will play an important role in moving and managing work. Outsourcing can also directly affect technology operations, for example, by outsourcing network operations or help desk functions. The entry of Hildebrandt in this space bears watching.