As a growing number of law firms look to contract with third-party vendors to outsource business operations, a $128 million lawsuit filed by LeClairRyan’s bankruptcy trustee against UnitedLex makes it clear that the risks to both sides can be high when a firm is already on thin ice. 

LeClairRyan’s trustee alleged in a suit filed in Virginia bankruptcy court Tuesday that the terms of the deal with UnitedLex, which resulted in the creation of a joint venture to handle support services, served only to push the cash-strapped firm “further into insolvency.” Now UnitedLex itself faces substantial liability for allegedly sucking money out of the firm, at the expense of LeClairRyan’s other creditors. 

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