In Out of the Box: Fundamental Change in School Funding , David Monk discusses the idea of schools providing a limited base program but then allowing parents to pay for extra services not deemed part of the base (such as music). For such an idea to work, Monk acknowledges that schools would need to create a closer link between these extra services received and prices paid. Similarly, Frederick Hess and Bruno Manno call for “unbundling” services, whereby schools might contract out some of the services they provide as a way to open up demand and encourage new suppliers of school services. For instance, schools might contract with local providers to offer electives or sports and might pay a distance-learning provider to offer AP courses.
Therein lies the problem so far as costs work is concerned. The majority of solicitor firms’ files are still, at least in part, paper based. Access to all relevant documents is essential to properly prepare a bill of costs. Unless, and until, firms move over to fully paperless offices it is unlikely outsourcing of costs work will catch on. By that stage, most cases will be subject to fixed fees in any event and the economies that might be achieved by offshoring volume costs work will no longer be available. There is likely to be limited demand for offshoring a relatively small number of higher value (and thus more important) costs matters.