It isn’t uncommon for international corporations to employ an assortment of law firms or outside counsel to meet different local and regional legal needs. In doing so, a significant amount of money will inevitably be spent on legal translation strategy and services for cross-border or multi-country dealings.
Often, corporations leave these legal translations to their outside counsel to handle. While this may seem the simplest solution, it forfeits an opportunity to simultaneously keep costs under control, improve efficiency and data security, and ensure absolute quality across all legal translations. This is where a centralized language service provider (LSP) can make all the difference.
Three downsides to uncoordinated legal translations
A corporation that allows outside counsel to handle its legal translation work faces three distinct challenges:
- Cost — We know of corporations whose network of third-party attorneys contracted up to 140 different translation services in 2021 alone. That’s a significant annual spend! Unfortunately, with translations spread out this way, a corporation has no visibility into cumulative expenditures – let alone an opportunity to benefit from the discounts that such a hefty billing should merit.
- Quality — With each law firm (presumably) vetting and hiring its translators, the corporation cannot guarantee consistent terminology or accuracy in the translations upon which its business activities heavily rely. In addition to bearing the potential for undermining the success of current activities, inaccurate translations in legal documents can lead to significant problems in the future and potentially hurt your corporation’s reputation. As it has been proven time and time again, word choice can mean everything in litigation, and with each local law firm hiring a different translator, the corporation lacks the means to mitigate such risks comprehensively.
- Vetting — Lastly, there is no way to be confident that third-party agents are selecting translators strictly based on quality and pricing and not due to some unstated relationship that has nothing to do with the corporation’s interests.
Five benefits of a consolidated legal translation strategy
Corporations that choose to consolidate their legal translation services under a single LSP benefit in the following five ways:
- Translation projects gain enhanced transparency — On a micro-level, the corporation gains the ability to track the progress of translations during production and to make last-minute changes should a legal strategy shift occur. On a macro level, the large amount of work being tracked across the organization, when combined, can qualify for significant cost savings.
- Accountability becomes straightforward — By selecting a certified translation service with rigorous internal quality control processes, the corporation recovers control of translation quality, thus ensuring that all legal translations are produced at the highest level and with the maximum protection as they guard against future issues.
- The corporation gains control of consistency — Corporations can work with LSPs to create customized glossaries that will ensure the constant and correct use of preferred terminology for products and other standard references in every relevant language.
- Translation memory discounts — Over time, an LSP will be able to incorporate dedicated translation memory tools for further cost reduction through efficiently re-using previously translated material. The longer the relationship between the corporation and the LSP, the larger the company’s translation memory grows and the greater the savings that can be achieved.
- Centralized & easily repeatable processes — An LSP’s account services may be able to lead the corporation through each project, consulting on best practices and providing advice that helps ensure friction-free, strong, and successful legal translations.
Taking control of translations
International corporations who use outside counsel can make use of these benefits without causing any complex internal changes or creating any additional work for counsel. Choose a reliable and experienced LSP to handle organization-wide translations and then tell each law firm under contract to obtain all future legal translation services from that LSP. Outside counsel can instruct the LSP on your behalf, which will immediately achieve greater efficiency, consistent quality, and cost savings for your corporation.
Morningside, a Questel Company is a recognized leader in comprehensive legal language solutions and eDiscovery services for the legal industry. We provide the world’s largest law firms and corporate legal departments with a full suite of services, ranging from legal document translation, contracts and compliance documentation to full-scale multilingual litigation requiring certified translation and foreign language document review to supporting complex eDiscovery projects. We deliver customized legal document translation solutions based on your case’s size and budget requirements, utilizing industry-leading technology to ensure accuracy, lower costs and faster turnaround times. Find out why 97% of the Am Law 200 and 90+ leading global brands rely on Morningside.