The Future of Legal Process Outsourcing in Sri Lanka

By

Rushika Paulas

As businesses worldwide strive for efficiency and cost reduction, Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) has emerged as a strategic solution. Sri Lanka, with its unique blend of skilled workforce, favorable business climate, and technological infrastructure, is rising as a significant player in the LPO domain. 

 

Sri Lanka’s legal system, which is rooted in British Commercial Law principles, offers familiarity and reliability to Western clients– particularly those from the UK. This alignment is further strengthened by the country’s adherence to international treaties on intellectual property rights and a comprehensive IP regime.

 

The LPO services in Sri Lanka cover a broad spectrum, including legal drafting and documentation, legal research, legislative support, and virtual legal assistant services. These services are not only cost-effective but also adhere to high standards of precision and reliability, characteristics that are vital in legal processes. The expertise of Sri Lankan professionals in finance and accounting outsourcing, recognized globally, adds another layer of competency to the LPO services offered.

 

Sri Lanka: A Strategic Outsourcing Hub

Sri Lanka, with its strategic location at the crossroads of major maritime routes connecting the Middle East, Europe, and East Asia, is uniquely positioned for success in the LPO industry. Here’s why:

 

Skilled Workforce

Credit: Daily Mirror

Sri Lanka offers an abundant supply of unskilled and semi-skilled laborers, making it a cost-effective option for various industries. It is estimated that 8.2 million people are employed in Sri Lanka as of the second quarter of 2022. The country also provides trained manpower meeting international standards at competitive rates, making it an ideal choice for creating back offices for high-cost geographies.

 

Time Zone Advantage

Sri Lanka’s GMT+5:30 time zone aligns favorably with Western regions, enabling real-time communication and efficient collaboration. This time zone compatibility is a valuable asset for seamless outsourcing operations.

 

Low Attrition Rate

Sri Lanka has a low attrition rate of 5-15%, which is far lower than the industry average of 30-35%, when compared to other offshore destinations in the region. This consistency attests to the dependability of the labor force in the area.

 

Educational Attainment

Credit: The Sunday Observer

The computer literacy rate among individuals completing secondary education in Sri Lanka is an impressive 71%. Moreover, the share of ICT industry employees with graduate or higher degrees has increased from 63% in 2013 to 85% in 2018, ensuring a highly skilled pool of professionals.

 

Foreign Investment-Friendly

Sri Lanka encourages foreign investment, allowing up to 100% foreign ownership in various sectors. Furthermore, there are incentives such as Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECA) and exemptions in Customs Duty, Port & Airport Levy (PAL), CESS, and Value Added Taxes for registered foreign investors.

 

Economic Resilience

Sri Lanka has demonstrated resiliency and the ability to rebound economically despite setbacks. Sri Lanka’s economy is expected to grow by 1.7% in 2024 after contracting by 3.8% in 2023. It is anticipated that the nation’s dollar revenue and export industries, particularly the hotel sector, will quickly rebound.

 

Business-Friendly Policies

Sri Lanka is ranked 99th out of 199 economies in the Ease of Doing Business Index, showcasing its commitment to creating a business-friendly environment. The country offers zero income tax rates in several sectors, including agriculture, technology, livestock, IT, and enabling services.

 

Free Trade Zones

With 15 free trade zones managed by the Board of Investments (BOI), Sri Lanka provides opportunities for export-oriented companies to import materials and inputs without customs import duties.

 

Robust Banking Sector

Sri Lanka’s strong banking presence, with 25 commercial banks, offers financial stability and support for businesses.

 

Investment Remittance Policies

Sri Lanka’s relaxed investment remittance policies under the new Foreign Exchange Act enable easy remittance of corporate profits and dividends for foreign enterprises.

 

The Economic Landscape and Future Prospects

Despite recent economic challenges, Sri Lanka is projected to grow economically. The country’s resilience and adaptability are evident in its recovery plans and the anticipated rebound of key sectors like tourism and exports. Sri Lanka’s business-friendly policies, coupled with its strategic location and skilled workforce, are poised to drive significant growth in the LPO sector.

 

The Future of LPO Solutions in Sri Lanka

The favorable conditions mentioned above make Sri Lanka an attractive destination for LPO solutions. But what can we expect in the future?

Growth in LPO Services

Sri Lanka is poised for a significant uptick in the LPO sector. With its skilled workforce, competitive rates, and excellent infrastructure, it will continue to be a preferred choice for law firms and corporations looking to outsource legal processes.

 

Technological Advancements

The LPO industry in Sri Lanka will likely leverage advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain to enhance efficiency and accuracy in legal processes.

 

Expansion of Services

As the country recovers and diversifies its economy, the scope for LPO services will expand beyond traditional legal processes to include newer domains like intellectual property, e-discovery, and contract management.

 

Global Collaboration

Sri Lanka’s strategic location and favorable time zone will encourage increased global collaboration, providing clients with real-time support and efficient project coordination.

 

Conclusion

The future of LPO in Sri Lanka is bright. With its skilled workforce, Sri Lanka is poised to become a preferred choice for outsourcing legal processes. The country is likely to embrace technological advancements like AI and blockchain to enhance legal process efficiency. Additionally, the expansion of services and increased global collaboration are on the horizon, leveraging Sri Lanka’s strategic position and time zone advantage.

In conclusion, Sri Lanka is rapidly becoming a key player in the global LPO industry. Its combination of skilled labor, strategic location, and business-friendly environment positions it as an attractive destination for companies seeking efficient and cost-effective legal process solutions. Keep an eye on this island nation, as it is set to significantly influence the future of the LPO sector.