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British law firms outsource to India in a big way

November 05, 2008 14:36 IST

Britain's biggest law firms are outsourcing jobs related to conveyancing, accident claims and due diligence investigations to India to cut costs.

Thousands of Indian lawyers and fresh law graduates have reportedly been employed by British firms for a fraction of the cost if the work were done in Britain.

Clifford Chance, reputed to be world's largest law firm, has set up its own offshore centre in New Delhi. Eversheds, another leading British law firm, has confirmed it was making use of India-based legal resource centres.

Several other legal companies have expressed an interest in outsourcing hundreds of millions of pounds worth of high-volume work, a report in The Independent said.

"The often negative image of call centres is increasingly being replaced by more accurate perceptions of the quality of legal work available from professionals in India," it said.

Nearly 80,000 English-speaking law graduates pass out from Indian institutions every year. Young Indian lawyers are considered very competent and also Indian legal system is largely based on English law.

CPA Global, a legal process outsourcing company (LPO), said that more than 30 law firms and company legal departments were in talks to use its legal support base in India, which employs 450 graduates and lawyers.

CPA is one of the biggest providers of LPO services in India and counts Microsoft among its clients.

The downward pressure on legal costs in the economic downturn had forced the once-conservative legal profession to consider radical means for delivering legal services to clients who wanted fees to be fixed, rather than billed at an hourly rate, the LPO company said.

Indian firms have responded by offering American and British law firms litigation support and compliance work at around 100 different legal outsourcing centres, the report said.



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