Outsourcing

(2007) Ontario Bar Association’s Sole, Small Firm and General Practice Section Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 2.
Some innovations, like the internet, will stand the test of time. Outsourcing promises to be one of those innovations. The term ‘outsourcing’ originated around 19802 and it means simply: to purchase (goods) or subcontract (services) from an outside company or individual, rather than hire internally. Work can be outsourced ‘offshore’, ‘near shore’ or ‘home shore’/ ‘on shore’.3 In the Canadian legal context, these terms have taken on the following meanings:

  • Offshore refers to legally trained individuals who are located overseas, like India;
  • Near shore refers to service providers who are in different countries but are relatively close in proximity, have similar cultures and speak English without a strong accent. For example, Canadians would refer to American mid-west lawyers as being ‘near shore’; and
  • Home shore/onshore are interchangeable terms that mean, essentially, practicing lawyers4 located in Canada.

Written by A. Van Wees