The concept of unbundling, also known as discrete task assistance and limited-scope representation, views legal work as a bundle of tasks to be ‘unbundled’ and then parcelled out to external legal providers (outsourced), kept in-house (insourced) or undertaken by the client. Whilst unbundling is certainly driven by innovation, technology and changing client needs and expectations, in practice there is nothing substantially new about lawyers providing limited or discrete legal assistance. For example, lawyers may assist with the preparation of court documentation but not act in the substantial proceedings.
The Centre’s research will focus on unbundling in the delivery of both commercial and pro bono legal services, unpick the various regulatory, ethical and practical issues for lawyers and investigate options for regulatory reform drawn from other jurisdictions. Watch this space!