Top British law firms outsourcing back office to India

Top British law firms outsourcing back office to India


London: In a dramatic shift, ten of England’s top 30 law firms have outsourced back office functions or legal work to India, a consulting firm claimed in a report today.

The RSG India Report 2008, a definite 200-page analysis of the current legal market in India, showed that this market is evolving at break-neck speed.

India now has its own “magic circle" of leading law firms with senior corporate lawyers earning incomes comparable with those of partners in medium to large-sized London firms, a report in The Times said today. But as the study noted, there is a dearth of experience and attrition rates are high.

RSG emphasised the increasing purchasing power of general counsel in Indian companies, most of whom favour liberalisation of the legal market - unlike the Bar Council of India and many of the top law firms. Only 40% of the latter actively support liberalisation.

The report noted that, since the start of this year, there has been a dramatic shift in attitude towards outsourcing among top English firms, with initial resistance weakening considerably.

The Law Process Outsourcing (LPO) companies employ Indian legal graduates with starting salaries of about $7,000 a year, while top Wall Street firms pay their newly qualified associates about $160,000 for the same duration.

As RSG showed, clients too are outsourcing legal work. Deutsche Bank, BT, Sun Microsystems among others, are presented as case studies.

LPO businesses incur reduced labour costs in delivering routine and repetitive legal work. In turn, the result can be a cheaper legal service.