AMP ready to go off panel for LPO, says Salter

By Olivia Collings | Tuesday, 3 April 2012

AMP general counsel Brian Salter has given his strongest indication yet that firms not embracing alternative methods of legal work will miss out.
Salter reviewed the general legal panel for the organisation, which merged with AXA in 2011, late last year and has since appointed three new specialist firms to the panel of four which provide services in a particular area of law, mainly on fixed fee arrangements. He is now looking to expand the specialisation rule further afield to litigation and says the organisations’ next significant piece of litigation will involve the use of a Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) provider. “It’s a broader issue around law firms constantly reengineering and reviewing their business model, in order to drive efficiencies and pass those efficiencies on to us,” said Salter.
AMP has a separate litigation legal panel with three firms and according to Salter, if a firm does not have an LPO offering “they will not be eligible” to run the litigation. “I don’t necessarily mean an Indian or offshore alternative but a specialist provider for litigation,” he said. Salter has also spoken to his team about engaging a firm for litigation that is not on the panel, such as Corrs Chambers Westgarth, as a result of them having not one, but two LPO agreements. “I have indicated to my people that we would consider them, for our next major piece of litigation,” said Salter. Currently one firm on the panel does not have an official LPO agreement.
King & Wood Mallesons, announced late last year that they had signed an exclusive agreement with Integreon. Director of legal logistics at King & Wood Mallesons, Michelle Mahoney, says that so far a number of matters have been run successfully incorporating Integreon. “We have been very happy with the results so far. I think they [clients] have been pleasantly surprised as to how well it has worked,” said Mahoney. “We have been able to integrate it into litigation and we are now looking at using it in other areas. The thing about LPO is identifying streams of work that repeat.”
Having successfully integrated it into litigation, the firm and their clients are now looking for other areas to use the service. “We have scoped out some opportunities for contract work, which are about to kick off,” said Mahoney. “I think that is definitely the next area we are focusing on very seriously.”

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