In the current economic climate, corporations everywhere are looking for ways
to save money. This top-five global investment bank was no exception. As with
many financial organizations, its ever-increasing legal spend was high and it was
critical for the company to find ways to control these costs by reducing the
amount of work sent to outside counsel.
As a people-driven process performed on web-based platforms, legal document
review was a logical area of focus. In addition to requiring document review for
a high volume of litigation, the client also had a significant amount of
compliance work, including SEC inquiries, Financial Industry Regulatory
Authority (FINRA) inquiries and third-party subpoenas. Outsourcing document
review would shift the work from outside counsel in high-cost cities to lowercost
onshore and offshore facilities.
To help the client significantly reduce its legal costs, Integreon initially set up a
secured facility in Manila, Philippines, with a dedicated team of ten full-time
employees (FTEs). The dedicated delivery center was built to client
specifications, based on a demanding set of security and compliance
requirements. Soon after, Integreon set up a similar facility in Integreon’s
Fargo, North Dakota, location to deliver onshore document review services.
The teams have since expanded to 40 FTEs in Manila and 11 FTEs in Fargo.
In addition to the dedicated FTE model, Integreon provides scalability through
its team of project attorneys. During periods of high work flow, Integreon will
add client-approved and cleared project attorneys to assist in the workload of
the dedicated team. As of February 2013, Integreon has more than 75 active
project attorneys in its Manila location, assisting on a variety of projects.
Integreon review attorneys provide a first-line document review on the client’s
selected platform, which is then followed by quality control (QC), with outside
counsel performing the second-line review. The teams work in dedicated,
locked-down areas of Integreon’s facilities and inside the client’s firewall to
maintain security of the company’s confidential and proprietary information.
Integreon appointed a legal account manager (LAM) in its New York office,
which is in close proximity to the client’s legal and compliance headquarters.
The LAM serves as the relationship manager and ensures client satisfaction
with delivery of Integreon’s services. The LAM is a fully dedicated non-billable
resource and is responsible for the day-to-day management of the account
across multiple locations.
Unlike outside counsel, where junior associates are juggling the multi-faceted
tasks of document review in addition to many other responsibilities, the
Integreon team is comprised of seasoned review professionals who are solely
dedicated to this one function. This structure provides for greater efficiencies
and quality, as well as allowing the attorneys to become experts in the banking/
regulatory matters which are typical of an investment bank. The dedicated legal
team works four overlapping shifts, across multiple time zones, providing the
client with an essentially non-stop, follow-the-sun, document review process.
Outsourcing legal review and related services has enabled the client to realize
significant cost savings and, thanks to the uniformity of the review process,
without any increase in risk. For document review services, Integreon uses
service-level agreements (SLA) to ensure an accuracy rating of 98 percent and
an on-time delivery target of 98 percent, neither of which Integreon has ever
failed to meet. On a standard document review project, accuracy is typically
well above 98%. And as the dedicated teams build deep familiarity not only
with the client’s systems and processes but also with the types of matters – for
example, regulatory review of trading activity – the client benefits from
continuous improvements in productivity and excellence. Integreon also works
with the client’s internal business units to develop, monitor and report SLA
As a result of the client’s satisfaction with Integreon’s competencies, coupled
with the cost savings, the client has imposed a mandate on their Legal &
Compliance internal counsel to transition work from expensive outside counsel
to Integreon. The business unit even incorporates an internal attorney’s
utilization of Integreon on legal review work as part of his or her annual review
A recent cost analysis between outside counsel rates and Integreon rates found
that Integreon offers an 80% cost savings. In a typical review of 100,000
documents, where Integreon performs 100% accuracy checks and outside
counsel performs 10% quality checks, Integreon’s cost would be $100,000
whereas outside counsel’s cost would be at least $550,000.
Because of the cost savings and quality of work, the client made the decision to
expand the relationship with Integreon to include business and research
services. We currently have more than five dedicated teams in our Manila
delivery center providing a wide variety of support services to the client,
including desktop publishing, investment research and analytics, records
management and contract administration. Integreon has also embedded
several associates into the client’s corporate headquarters to assist with
procurement and training management.
In general, Integreon’s client dedicated teams have seen an increase in work
and expansion in scope, which has not only saved the client money, but has
also ensured the reliable and timely delivery of quality work.