Global Strategies in the Legal Services Market: Institutional Impacts on Value Chain Dynamics

Sako, Mari (2009) Global Strategies in the Legal Services Market: Institutional Impacts on Value Chain Dynamics. Novak Druce Centre for Professional Service Firms.

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What alternative strategies are being pursued by firms to capture profit in global value chains? In what ways are the sources of competitive advantage changing as they move up the value chain from low end to high end work, potentially changing the structure and boundary of the existing industry? This paper examines these questions by focusing on the outsourcing and offshoring of legal services, known as Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO). Legal services were chosen for study in order to highlight the relevance of both technological and institutional factors that influence value chain dynamics. In particular, the study examines how the nature of professions impact on make-or-buy decisions and industry structure. The legal services value chain is conceptualized as consisting of three blocks, namely knowledge and information management (KIM), consultative advice and representation (CAR), and client relationship management (CRM). The study shows that legal services are being unbundled, with the KIM component being separated by ownership and geography from CAR and CRM components. To assess the actual extent of disintegration, the study identifies the conditions under which demand and supply for LPO services is generated. Those conditions on the demand side include the corporatization of law firms and pressures on global corporations to cut legal costs. From the supply perspective, the study identified three distinctive strategies for LPO providers to capture profit, depending on their mode of entry influencing their initial capability mix, and whether or not the value chain is driven by a corporation or a law firm.

Item Type: Other Working Paper
Keywords: global value chains, professional services
Subject(s): Professional services
Centre: Centre for Professional Firms
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2013 13:49
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 11:33

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