Outsourcing—systems and controls for law firms
Outsourcing—systems and controls for law firms

The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Outsourcing—systems and controls for law firms
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Pre-contract compliance checks: stages 1–6
  • Negotiating the contract: stage 7
  • Final pre-contract check: stage 8
  • Execute outsourcing agreement: stage 9
  • Complete outsourcing register: stage 10
  • Check quality of work by outsourcing supplier: stage 11
  • Auditing your outsourcing provider: stage 12
  • Staff training
  • more

Before you engage in outsourcing activities, you will have to navigate a complex compliance obstacle course dictated by:

  1. SRA requirements

  2. data protection requirements

  3. other legislation, eg Equality Act 2010

  4. general risk management best practice

We have attempted to simplify this in our Outsourcing compliance lifecycle diagram.

This Practice Note provides high-level guidance on the four key compliance phases, which are further divided into 12 practical stages to correspond with our Outsourcing compliance lifecycle diagram:

  1. pre-contract (stages 1–6)

  2. negotiating and executing the contract (stages 7–9)

  3. post-contract record keeping (stage 10)

  4. post-contract quality checking and auditing (stages 11–12)

Regulatory requirements

For guidance on regulatory requirements that are specific to the legal sector, see Practice Note: Outsourcing and offshoring 2019—law firms.

For guidance on data protection requirements, see Practice Note: Data protection and outsourcing under the GDPR.

For guidance on general risk management best practice, see Practice Notes:

  1. Due diligence in outsourcing

  2. Limitation of liability in outsourcing

  3. Outsourcing remedies—step-in rights, service credits, liquidated damages and termination

Pre-contract compliance checks: stages 1–6

There are several compliance activities you should consider before entering into an outsourcing agreement. The order suggested below reflects our Outsourcing compliance lifecycle, although you may prefer to vary the order for operational reasons.

Stage 1: internal due diligence

One of the most common reasons that outsourcing projects fail is a mismatch of