Archive for October, 2011

Bills to make BPO sector more investor-attractive pushed

A series of bills in the House of Representatives seeks to make the BPO industry in the Philippines, which includes call centers in the Philippines, more attractive to potential investors.

According to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., among the bills already “moving” inside the House of Representatives are the Data Privacy Act, creation of the Department of Information and Communication Technology, and the Anti-Cyber Crime Act. These bills seeks to boost the position of offshoring Philippines.

Gov’t commits to opening more industries to foreigners

In the mid-year economic briefing last September 30, 2011, Economic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga said that the Aquino government has now committed to allow foreigners to invest more in the industries under the negative list and allow more foreign professionals to practice in the Philippines.

Paderanga said that the government would be working on the Foreign Investment Negative List to make the local investment environment more attractive to foreign investors.

“Our aim is to make the Foreign Investment Negative List as short as possible. Those that will remain on the list are those that are covered by constitutional restrictions,” Paderanga said.

Although hourly billing is still being practiced by many lawyers, its fate remains appears to be limited at best.  In turn, value-based, flat-fee billing as a result of legal process outsourcing providers in the Philippines has increasingly become an alternative mode of billing by lawyers.  In fact, according to American Lawyer magazine, 91 percent of all U.S. law firms agreed to flat billing for at least some or all legal matters in 2010.

According to Susan Hackett, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel, “value-based billing options are becoming institutionalized and will likely increase steadily year over year.”  While skeptics may argue that value-based billing as a result of offshore legal outsourcing to the Philippines may end up decreasing the overall revenue of law firms, other see value-based billing their offshore legal outsourcing as an opportunity to increase revenue.  For example, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, a firm that handles Cisco’s commercial litigation nationwide reports that 40 percent of its revenues are billed through alternative fee arrangements as a result of offshore legal outsourcing.