An Outpost In India Serving DuPont Legal

Saturday, November 1, 2008 - 00:00

Editor: Mary Ann, tell us something of the history of the relationship between OfficeTiger and DuPont.

Kim: In 2006 OfficeTiger was integrated into the RR Donnelley Financial Group, and is now known as RR Donnelley Global Services. We are a pioneer in providing outsourcing solutions to the legal community. We enable real-time, mission critical services to be delivered on an outsourced basis - even under the most complex and regulated conditions. Our clients include some of the world's leading law firms and large in-house legal departments. Our legal teams operate within our clients' offices throughout the world and within multiple facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. In Asia, most of our legal support services are provided through facilities in India and the Philippines. Given RR Donnelley's global footprint, it is common for us to develop "hybrid" solutions which provide clients with support both domestically and offshore as part of an integrated solution. Our services fall within three main areas: (i) Legal Document Services, (ii) Data Processing and Hosting Services and (iii) Document Review and Contract Management. Specific services we provide to our law firms and in-house legal clients include legal word processing, translations, e-Discovery, data hosting and large scale document review (in both corporate and litigation contexts).

Editor: Why did DuPont decide to team up with OfficeTiger to perform its outsourcing work, originally in India and the Philippines?

Catanzaro: As a global company DuPont was looking to expand using its outsourcing initiative. This seemed a logical choice in view of the fact that DuPont has locations in more than 70 countries around the world and the fact that DuPont has always been a globally focused company, looking towards other markets for services that could help us in areas where expertise and manpower of third parties could add value.

Editor: How has Office Tiger transformed itself since we first spoke with you in 2006 about its engagement?

Catanzaro: Other than the obvious acquisition of OfficeTiger by RR Donnelley, we have focused more of our legal analytical services to their Manila shop in the Philippines. One reason for this is that Philippine culture is more western-based. Their legal system and the training of their lawyers is more similar to that of the American legal system than that of India. There are such things as comparative law classes in their law school curriculum that focus Philippine lawyers more closely on U.S. law.

Editor: Is OfficeTiger using other lawyers in other countries other than India and the Philippines for doing some of this work?

Kim: We provide services to DuPont primarily out of India and the Philippines. But RR Donnelley operates worldwide. So if DuPont were to require a review almost anywhere in the world, we could most likely accommodate it, and locate a team within secure, in-country infrastructure wholly owned by RR Donnelley.

Editor: What kinds of professional support services does OfficeTiger perform for DuPont and its group of supporting firms?

Kim: Today, we perform a large volume of high-end review services for DuPont - mostly in the areas of litigation review and records review. We combine these services with some of the traditional litigation support outsourced by organizations (i.e., scanning, coding, data processing and hosting to offer an end-to-end support platform for DuPont. In a market (litigation support) that has been historically fragmented with a plethora of providers offering only part of the solution, our end-to-end strategy creates numerous benefits for DuPont. The first is in the area of accountability. Most of our clients are tired of hearing why the problem is some other service provider's fault. As an end-to-end provider, we take complete responsibility for the total solution under the power and tradition of the RR Donnelley brand. We are responsible for meeting specific service levels and we alone are accountable to DuPont for meeting those service levels. The second benefit is in the area of efficiency. As a single source provider, we are an integrated part of the DuPont team. By participating in DuPont's strategy and planning sessions, we are able to collaborate to design the most efficient process possible for the full duration of the project in question. In cases where a provider is supporting only part of the process, it is difficult to add value to this degree.

Editor: I gather some of the outsourcing firms don't do the high-end intellectual judgment-based support that OfficeTiger does.

Kim: Correct. Some vendors might only provide e-discovery conversion or the hosting piece. We actually provide these services plus the high-end review service, which is the final step.

Editor: What services are performed at OfficeTiger's center in Chennai?

Kim: Our Manila and Chennai offices are mirrors of each other, and so whatever service we offer in Chennai, we offer in Manila and vice versa. If we are assigned a litigation review project, we can offer to do this in either Manila or Chennai, or depending on the volume, we might be able to leverage both areas. Any services we offer can be replicated in either area.

Editor: What types of professionals are engaged in performing this work?

Kim: The answer to this question is based on the specific services in question. As outlined above, our support services fall into three main areas: (a) administrative (i.e., word processing, translations), (b) technical (i.e., data processing) and (c) review services. In general, we are utilizing trained professionals with substantial backgrounds and experience in their respective areas. In the latter category, we are using professionals with legal backgrounds (with credentials and experience as law students, practicing attorneys, etc.). It is important to note that RR Donnelley is not licensed as a law firm and as a result we are not allowed, nor do we attempt to, provide clients with legal advice or opinions. However, given the support services that we do provide to our clients (who are licensed attorneys), we acknowledge the necessity of using professionals with strong legal backgrounds. Utilizing our offshore facilities, we are often able to conduct reviews employing professionals with more experience than the professionals offered by traditional domestic staffing companies because our cost structure is lower. This allows us to provide a multi-tiered value proposition - not only lower cost, increased scalability and reduced turnaround times, but also the potential for added quality (because more experienced reviewers are being used).

Editor: How has DuPont's oversight of the work done by OfficeTiger changed since OfficeTiger has been a part of RR Donnelley?

Catanzaro: We like to employ the team concept to discovery. As part of this process we ask not only our service providers, in this case OfficeTiger, but our primary law firms to be engaged with our in-house DuPont legal teams to ensure that discovery is done pursuant to our guidelines. That means we have internal management of the process through our Discovery Management Team which focuses our internal expertise onto the project. What we have is discovery managers who work in concert with associates, paralegals and partners from our law firms as well as management from the OfficeTiger/ RR Donnelly side, including people like Mary Ann domestically and their team leaders in Manila or Chennai. As a team we'll manage the expectations of what the litigation requires, we'll make sure all the documentation is in place to assure that decisions are made and questions answered on a timely basis and that the review is internally consistent. This allows our law firms to be satisfied that the end result of the review that occurs offshore is as good as if it would be done domestically, including the law firms own premises, since they too are involved in every step of the discovery phase.

Editor: What legal protocol is used in deciding what kind of legal work will be outsourced to India as opposed to outsourcing in the Philippines?

Catanzaro: We would like to have as much work go offshore as possible because of the cost advantages and the fine quality we're getting out of the work done abroad. We have some limitations on what can be sent. Export control demands that people who are not U.S. citizens cannot review a particular level of technical work that might be related to national security. Based on the specifics of the case and the products at issue, we decide with our internal experts whether a specific case can be sent overseas for review.

Editor: Now that OfficeTiger is part of RR Donnelley, does RR Donnelley undertake to provide the strict security of information that was practiced prior to its acquisition?

Kim: Fortunately, the integration of OfficeTiger into RR Donnelley has given clients greater comfort around security issues. RR Donnelley is a 60K employee, NYSE-listed company that has a long heritage of handling and managing extremely confidential information. Specifically the Financial Services Group (which we are now a part of) has built its business around handling confidential information for companies around the globe. Activities such as filing with the SEC, hosting confidential documents in a virtual data room and printing transactional (i.e., S-1s, S-4s) or compliance (i.e., 10-Qs, 10-Ks, Proxies) documents for multi-national corporations are the day-to-day activities performed by the company prior to the integration of OfficeTiger. RR Donnelley's client base includes over 90 percent of the Fortune 100, prominent investment banks and large law firms who continue to trust them to process confidential information. If anything, RR Donnelley has raised our security protocol to another, higher level from the impressive levels we enjoyed under OfficeTiger.

Editor: Are the same security arrangements still observed in restricting personnel to work on DuPont matters? Are they restricted to only DuPont matters?

Kim: They're not restricted to only DuPont matters. If there is not a project currently, we move them to other projects, but we do have a team dedicated to DuPont, and so far we haven't had to send people to other projects without bringing them back. We do very strict training and background checks. We really work with DuPont to make sure all applicable security measures are covered.

Editor: Vince, how do you visualize the future in terms of U.S. firms being committed to more and more outsourcing of challenging and highly technical assignments?

Catanzaro: DuPont Legal specifically has been committed to outsourcing for many years and, more specifically in the last few years, to offshoring those outsourced resources, so I don't foresee us going back in time when we didn't have as much control over the discovery process as we do now. I see DuPont Legal's role in offshoring and outsourcing continuing to evolve over the next years and decades. What I expect from other corporations is that now that organizations such as the New York Bar Association and the ABA have issued opinions that offshoring of outsourced services does not present a significant ethical problem that there will be more companies interested in exploring the outsourcing advantages they can get by moving their operations offshore.

Editor: Mary Ann, do you expect RR Donnelley's outsourcing business to grow?

Kim: Yes. We have seen substantial growth in the past year in all areas of legal review as well as doing word-processing and other high judgment-based projects.

Catanzaro: I agree. For RR Donnelley, as well as other providers of off-shoring services, as more and more companies and their legal departments and law firms become comfortable working in a global environment, there is only going to be an increase in work being done by people outside the United States. These may be U.S.-based firms, or international firms that are doing some work in the U.S. but also have employee bases elsewhere. Much of what's happening in the legal services industry is no different than what is happening in desktop publishing and the other services that we use. More and more people are becoming more comfortable with dealing in a global environment.

Please email the interviewees at vincent.m.catanzaro@usa.dupont.com or mkim@officetiger.com with questions about this interview.