Will Law Libraries ever be the same again?

Yesterday brought some very interesting news from CMS Cameron McKenna. As reported in Legal Week and The Lawyer. Cameron McKenna have signed a deal with Integreon (the global outsourcing company) which will see ALL support services outsourced to Integreon.

That Cameron McKenna is outsourcing their support services isn't surprising given that most Law Firms have outsourced some element of their support services in the last couple of years. The surprise is the scale of the outsourcing, which will affect ALL support services, including Knowledge Management and Library Services. According to the report in the Lawyer, Cameron McKenna will sub-let one of the floors of their main office to provide accomodation for outsourced staff.

So what are the implications for Law Libraries? Well this certainly sets a precedents in terms of both the size and number of staff being outsourced and the fact that Cameron McKenna are based in London provides Integreon with a "base of operations" in the capital from which they can sell their services to other London based Law Firms.

As most Law Librarians are aware Library Services from a number of Law Firms have already outsourced their work to Integreon, these firms include Osborne Clarke, Beachcroft and TLT Solicitors. Although strategically this makes a lot of sense for Cameron McKenna, for Law Librarians it will be deeply worryingly and may well be the start of trend which sees more London based Law Firms adopt this approach for their support services.

Only time will tell.

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    # by Sara - Sunday, May 16, 2010

    I suppose outsourcing is better than redundancy. It will be interestinng to find out how the librarians' roles are affected longer-term: career development and progression as well as relationships with the rest of the firm. I'd be fibbing if I didn't admit that I am more concerned than I was last week about my own future on the back of this news.

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    # by James Mullan - Monday, May 17, 2010

    I guess we'll have to wait and see but the article in the Lawyer already mentions redundancies. But like you say being outsourced is better then being made redundant. I feel for all of the support staff at Cameron McKenna, moral must be so low & now they have 3 months worth of uncertainty until they know their fate.