Talking Outsourcing With Hew Campbell

A Retired Site Lead from a global legal services provider has given insights into a fascinating career and shared some of his legal sector expertise.

Hew Campbell, formerly of Axiom, began by outlining a career path which led to working in Belfast as part of a team delivering innovative approaches to vital processes in the legal industry.

How can global professional services help companies?

After training in a niche corporate commercial firm in Glasgow, Hew moved to an Assistant role with McGrigors (now Pincent Masons).

“I was approached by a client in recruitment to join a whisky company called Invergordon Distillers Group which had just floated on the Stock Exchange.

“At quite an early stage of my career I moved out of private practice and into commerce and industry. I had four very happy years but the company was eventually taken over by Jim Beam and become part of the Whyte and Mackay Group.

Sector Innovation with Hew Campbell

“I was looking around and ended up joining RBS Group as Deputy Secretary and I guess I spent the bulk of my career there.”

Around six months before “everything went pear-shaped” due to the banking crisis of 2008, Hew had moved to an engineering group and then a pension scheme provider.

He also worked for a telecoms expense management company and, most recently, with Axiom.

Hew outlined his work with the legal services provider in Belfast by explaining that the business is one of a number of legal services companies to “focus on merging commercial contracting work with technology.”

“The work they do falls firstly into insourcing, where they provide legally qualified individuals to support or enhance a client’s existing legal team.

“Secondly, there’s outsourcing where they set up a team within Axiom to take on part or all of a client’s legal work.

“Finally there’s what I would categorise as projects, which are shorter-term assignments where they complete a discrete piece of work.”

Hew’s role, after joining Axiom in 2014, was to “set up and lead an out-sourced financial services team”.

“It was multi-jurisdictional work covering a mix of legal contracting and specialist company secretarial and regulatory compliance work.

“Latterly I was the site lead, so I managed the whole Belfast site office.”

He explained that role taught him the importance of culture in an organisation.

“It made it so clear to me how important culture is in an organisation. To get things done and grow things so rapidly you have to have a very distinct and focused culture everyone is a part of and no one person is going to succeed on their own. It really is a collective effort.

“If you can harness that kind of energy you can do extraordinary things.”

What tips would Hew give to other businesses following his own experience within a company experiencing rapid growth?

“It’s important to make sure that you don’t get too carried away with yourself, that you do things by incremental steps otherwise you frighten yourself with the bigger picture.

“You always have to keep the bigger picture in mind, but also make it manageable, so breaking it down into bite-sized chunks rather than trying to deal with everything at once.

“It’s the ability to prioritise and to keep prioritising, don’t just have your list and that’s it. You have to keep adapting and changing that.

“There’s almost a sense of surprise when you look back and see what you’ve achieved.”

He also reflected on leadership.

“Going back to my RBS experience, it has become quite clear to me over time that there are different types of leader for different situations.

“People who are very good at growing businesses at not necessary the best people at managing a steady state or dealing with market challenges.

“I think you have to be very clear in terms of the type of people and the team that you put together to manage the organisation’s growth at a particular time.

“What works now might not necessarily work as you get larger.”

To discover more insights from Hew see our full ProfileTree video interview.

Hew Campbell – LinkedIn

In-Demand Service Areas in Global Professional Services: Expanding Your Outsourcing Options

The world of global professional services offers a vast array of expertise, and choosing the right partner can elevate your business to new heights. To help you navigate this landscape, let’s delve into some of the most sought-after service areas:

1. IT Outsourcing:

  • Software Development and IT Infrastructure Management: Leverage skilled developers and technicians for custom software creation, cloud migration, network maintenance, and more. Consider Nearshore Software Services as a cost-effective and collaborative option to access this expertise.
  • Cybersecurity and Data Protection: Secure your digital assets with advanced threat detection, data encryption, and incident response expertise.
  • IT Helpdesk and Support: Outsource your first line of IT support for efficient issue resolution and user assistance.

2. HR Outsourcing:

  • Recruitment and Talent Acquisition: Access a global talent pool and find the perfect fit for your workforce needs, from executive search to mass recruitment.
  • Payroll and Benefits Administration: Ensure accurate and timely payroll processing, manage employee benefits programs, and comply with local regulations.
  • Human Resources Management: Delegate non-core HR tasks like onboarding, training, performance management, and employee relations.

3. Accounting & Finance:

  • Bookkeeping and Financial Reporting: Maintain accurate financial records, generate reports, and ensure compliance with accounting standards.
  • Tax Planning and Preparation: Optimize your tax strategy and minimize liabilities with expert guidance from international tax specialists.
  • Financial Analysis and Forecasting: Gain valuable insights into your financial performance and make informed business decisions based on data-driven analysis.

4. Legal Services:

  • Contract Drafting and Review: Protect your interests with professionally drafted contracts and legal document review by specialists in your industry.
  • Intellectual Property Protection: Secure your patents, trademarks, and copyrights through strategic IP management and litigation support.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Navigate complex legal landscapes and ensure your business meets all relevant regulations, from data privacy to employment laws.

5. Additional In-Demand Areas:

  • Marketing and Creative Services: Access skilled copywriters, graphic designers, and digital marketers to elevate your brand and reach new audiences globally.
  • Customer Service and Support: Outsource your customer service operations to multilingual teams capable of delivering exceptional support 24/7.
  • Content Creation and Translation: Create engaging content and localize it for international markets with the help of experienced writers and translators.

The landscape of global outsourcing is constantly evolving, with new trends and technologies reshaping the way businesses access talent and expertise across borders. Let’s dive into some of the most exciting emerging trends:

1. Automation and AI Revolutionize Outsourcing:

  • Repetitive Tasks Automated: Robotic process automation (RPA) and AI are taking over routine tasks like data entry, accounting processes, and customer service inquiries, freeing up human talent for higher-value work.
  • AI-Powered Talent Matching: Advanced algorithms are streamlining the process of matching businesses with the ideal outsourced partner based on skills, experience, and cultural compatibility.
  • Smarter Project Management: AI-powered platforms are optimizing project management, predicting potential issues, and suggesting course corrections for improved efficiency and outcomes.

2. The Rise of Niche Service Providers:

  • Hyper-specialization for Complex Needs: Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all solutions. Businesses are increasingly turning to niche providers with deep expertise in specific areas like blockchain technology, data science, or digital marketing.
  • Micro-tasking Efficiency: Platforms are emerging that connect businesses with a global pool of highly skilled individuals for short-term, specialized tasks, offering greater flexibility and cost-effectiveness.
  • Local Expertise for Global Reach: Businesses are utilizing local specialists within specific regions or countries to gain market insights, navigate cultural nuances, and ensure compliance with local regulations.

3. Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Take Center Stage:

  • Enhanced Security Measures: As reliance on global teams grows, robust cybersecurity protocols and data encryption technologies become paramount to protect sensitive information.
  • Compliance with Evolving Regulations: Outsourcing providers must demonstrate adherence to strict data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA to ensure client trust and compliance.
  • Transparency and Communication: Building trust through open communication about data security practices and incident response protocols is crucial in the age of heightened cyber threats.

4. Focus on Sustainability and Ethical Practices:

  • Responsible Sourcing and Labor Standards: Businesses are increasingly prioritizing ethical sourcing practices that ensure fair wages, safe working conditions, and respect for human rights within their global outsourcing partnerships.
  • Environmentally-Conscious Operations: Sustainability considerations are shaping outsourcing decisions, with businesses seeking partners committed to reducing their environmental footprint.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives: The rise of ethical outsourcing also includes promoting diversity and inclusion within global teams, creating a more inclusive and equitable work environment.


  • Staying informed about these emerging trends can help you make informed outsourcing decisions and leverage the latest advancements to your advantage.
  • Embrace innovation and technology, but prioritize security, ethical practices, and a focus on human talent when navigating the evolving landscape of global outsourcing.

Technology and Tools for Effective Outsourcing: Bridging Distances and Enhancing Collaboration

In today’s global outsourcing landscape, technology plays a pivotal role in connecting teams, streamlining workflows, and ensuring secure collaboration across borders. Here’s a breakdown of essential tools and technologies to consider:

Collaboration Platforms:

  • Unified Communication Hubs: Platforms like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom provide real-time messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing, and file sharing capabilities, fostering seamless communication and collaboration among global teams.
  • Project Management Tools: Organized task management, progress tracking, and deadline monitoring are facilitated by tools like Asana, Trello, Basecamp, and Jira, ensuring everyone stays focused and aligned on project goals.
  • Knowledge Management Platforms: Centralized knowledge bases like Confluence, Notion, and Guru enable teams to store, share, and access information effectively, promoting knowledge transfer and collaboration across different time zones.

Project Management Tools:

  • Cloud-Based Project Management Solutions: Tools like, Wrike, and ClickUp offer features for task prioritization, resource allocation, Gantt chart creation, and real-time status updates, keeping projects on track and within budget.
  • Agile Development Tools: For software development projects, Jira and Azure DevOps facilitate agile methodologies with sprint planning, backlog management, and task boards, enabling flexible and adaptive approaches to project execution.
  • Time Tracking and Reporting: Tools like Time Doctor, Toggl Track, and Harvest monitor time spent on tasks, generate detailed reports, and provide insights into team productivity and resource utilization.

Security Protocols and Solutions:

  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs): Secure remote access to sensitive company data and resources is enabled through encrypted VPN connections, protecting data in transit.
  • Data Encryption: Strong encryption standards like AES 256-bit protect sensitive information both at rest and in transit, mitigating the risk of data breaches.
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Additional security layers are added to login processes through 2FA, requiring a secondary verification method (e.g., a code sent to a mobile device) for account access.
  • Secure File Sharing Platforms: Platforms like ShareFile, Dropbox Business, and Box provide secure file sharing and collaboration features with granular access controls and audit trails, ensuring data confidentiality and integrity.

Additional Considerations:

  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Choose tools that work seamlessly across different operating systems and devices to accommodate diverse team setups.
  • Integration Capabilities: Ensure smooth data exchange and workflow automation by selecting tools that integrate well with your existing software systems.
  • User-Friendliness and Training: Prioritize tools with intuitive interfaces and invest in training both in-house and outsourced teams to ensure optimal adoption and utilization.
  • Regular Security Updates: Stay vigilant about data protection by regularly updating software and security patches to address vulnerabilities.

Cost-Benefit Analysis Framework for Outsourcing: Weighing Your Options Before You Leap

Deciding whether to outsource a specific task can be a complex equation. While cost savings are often the initial motivator, the decision requires factoring in various benefits and potential hidden costs. This framework provides a structured approach to assess the true value proposition of outsourcing:

Step 1: Identify the Task(s) for Consideration:

  • Define the specific task(s) you’re considering outsourcing, outlining their scope, complexity, and current in-house resources allocated.
  • Evaluate the task’s strategic importance to your business. Is it a core competency or a non-essential support function?

Step 2: Quantify Current In-House Costs:

  • Calculate the total costs associated with performing the task internally, including:
    • Direct costs: Salaries, benefits, training, software licenses, hardware, and any variable costs associated with the task.
    • Indirect costs: Overhead expenses like rent, utilities, and management time allocated to the task.
  • Consider opportunity costs – how could the freed-up resources be utilized for higher-value activities within your organization?

Step 3: Estimate Outsourcing Costs:

  • Research potential outsourcing vendors, comparing their rates, service offerings, and track record.
  • Factor in additional costs:
    • Contract fees, setup costs, potential minimum commitments, and any integration expenses.
    • Communication and travel costs associated with managing the outsourced team.
    • Currency exchange fluctuations, if outsourcing internationally.

Step 4: Evaluate Tangible and Intangible Benefits:

  • Go beyond cost savings and consider potential benefits including:
    • Increased Efficiency and Productivity: Improved turnaround times, access to specialized expertise, and potentially larger bandwidth for your own team.
    • Enhanced Quality and Innovation: Leveraging external expertise and staying ahead of the curve with access to new technologies and trends.
    • Scalability and Flexibility: Accessing resources on demand to manage seasonal workloads or specific projects without fixed long-term commitments.
    • Risk Mitigation: Offloading responsibility for specific tasks and potentially accessing talent with specialized skills in niche areas.

Step 5: Compare Costs and Benefits:

  • Compare the total outsourced costs with the total in-house costs, factoring in all tangible and intangible benefits.
  • Use a cost-benefit analysis template or a simple cost-benefit ratio calculation to quantify the potential advantages.

Step 6: Consider Additional Factors:

  • Cultural compatibility and communication challenges with potential outsourcing partners.
  • Data security and intellectual property concerns associated with sharing sensitive information.
  • The potential impact on employee morale and internal team dynamics.


  • This framework is a guide, and the specific factors you consider will vary depending on your business and the task in question.
  • Perform a thorough analysis and involve key stakeholders before making a final decision.
  • Monitor and regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your outsourcing partnership to ensure it continues to deliver desired outcomes.

Cultural Intelligence and Communication Tips: Building Bridges Across Borders

Effective communication with global teams is vital for a successful outsourcing experience. But navigating cultural differences can be a complex dance. Here are some tips to bridge the gap and foster seamless collaboration:

Developing Cultural Intelligence (CQ):

  • Embrace Openness and Humility: Recognize and respect cultural differences without judgment. Be open to learning and adapting your communication style.
  • Invest in Research: Learn about the cultural norms, values, and communication styles of your global partners. Understand their preferred communication channels, time zones, and acceptable nonverbal cues.
  • Build Personal Relationships: Invest time in getting to know your team members individually, understanding their strengths and weaknesses, and fostering mutual trust.

Communication Strategies:

  • Clarity and Conciseness: Avoid jargon and complex language. Be clear, concise, and direct in your communication, minimizing ambiguity to prevent misunderstandings.
  • Active Listening: Pay close attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues. Be patient and allow time for processing and response, especially with culturally diverse teams.
  • Empathy and Sensitivity: Be mindful of cultural sensitivities and avoid humor or references that might be misinterpreted. Show empathy and understanding for different perspectives.
  • Regular Communication: Maintain regular communication channels, even for small updates. Overcommunication is better than undercommunication when working with a global team.
  • Embrace Technology: Utilize video conferencing, collaborative platforms, and instant messaging tools to bridge physical and time zone gaps, fostering real-time interaction and connection.

Additional Tips:

  • Show Respect for Time Zones: Schedule meetings at mutually convenient times, considering different time zones and potential limitations. Be flexible and adjust your schedule when necessary.
  • Utilize Cultural Liaisons: If possible, identify team members who can act as cultural liaisons, assisting with translation, navigating customs, and providing insights into cultural nuances.
  • Celebrate Diversity: Embrace the richness of diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Encourage open communication and knowledge sharing across cultures to foster a collaborative and inclusive environment.
  • Provide Continuous Feedback: Offer constructive feedback regularly, but be mindful of cultural norms around directness and criticism. Focus on open dialogue and mutual learning for growth.


Building cultural intelligence and fostering effective communication with global teams is an ongoing process. By adopting these tips, showing patience, understanding, and a willingness to learn, you can pave the way for a successful and rewarding outsourcing experience, bridging cultural differences and reaping the benefits of collaboration across borders.

FAQ: Global Professional Services

Q: What are Global Professional Services?

A: Global Professional Services encompass a diverse range of services provided by specialized firms across international borders. This includes expertise in areas like IT outsourcing, HR outsourcing, accounting & finance, legal services, marketing, design, and more.

Q: What are the benefits of using Global Professional Services?

A: Outsourcing specific professional services can offer numerous advantages:

  • Access to Specialized Expertise: Gain access to skilled professionals and niche experts you might not readily find in-house.
  • Enhanced Efficiency and Cost Savings: Improve operational efficiency and potentially reduce costs compared to building and maintaining in-house teams for specific tasks.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: Easily scale your resources up or down based on project demands without fixed long-term commitments.
  • Global Reach and Market Insights: Leverage international expertise and gain valuable insights into new markets and cultures.

Q: What are some important considerations when choosing Global Professional Services providers?

A: Careful selection is key:

  • Clearly define your needs and desired outcomes.
  • Research and shortlist providers based on their expertise, track record, client testimonials, and cultural alignment.
  • Evaluate security measures, data protection protocols, and intellectual property protection policies.
  • Negotiate a clear contract outlining roles, responsibilities, communication protocols, and performance expectations.
  • Consider factors like time zone differences and potential communication challenges.

Q: Are there any potential risks associated with using Global Professional Services?

A: Be aware of potential challenges:

  • Communication and cultural differences: Proactive communication and cultural awareness are crucial for smooth collaboration.
  • Security and data privacy concerns: Choose providers with robust security measures and ensure clear data ownership agreements.
  • Vendor lock-in: Diversify your service portfolio and negotiate flexible contracts to avoid over-reliance on single providers.

Conclusion: Embracing Global Expertise for Growth

In today’s interconnected world, Global Professional Services offer businesses a powerful tool to access specialized expertise, optimize operations, and unlock new growth opportunities. By understanding the landscape, carefully selecting partners, and establishing effective communication and collaboration practices, you can confidently navigate the global professional services landscape and leverage its full potential to achieve your business goals.

Remember, building trust and strong partnerships with reliable providers is key to a successful and rewarding journey.

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