The problems with outsourcing legal work to India

The problems with outsourcing legal work to India

February, 01, 2011 • Posted by 0 Comments

Legal process outsourcing is on the rise, with many US firms looking to outsource to India. UK firms are slowly but surely picking up on the trend. Outsourcing to India typically means your legal work will be carried out by (usually) a trained person who can expect to earn between $6,000 and $30,000 annually for doing this job. It’s understandable therefore that these companies can charge around $60 an hour which, given hourly rates in the US and UK, does look very attractive. So does offshoring your legal work have any implications?

Whilst as a lawyer you may feel some obligation to save your clients money and indeed, consider outsourcing your legal work to India to cut costs and stay competitive, there are ethical considerations. One such consideration is that the ethical rules that bind US attorneys and UK lawyers have no force in India.

Speaking to Time International, Mary C Daly, Dean of St John’s University School of Law in NYC said: “Lawyers are being seduced by the business end of outsourcing and are not being concerned enough with the ethical issues it’s raising. I’m deeply troubled that outsourcing companies do not understand the scope of a lawyer’s duty to confidentiality, nor are they familiar with conflict-of-interest rules,” says Mary C. Daly, dean of St. John’s University School of Law in New York City.

Whilst companies in India promise security and confidentiality, there’s no guarantee.

Another issue is how well the work is carried out. Gregg Kirchhoefer, a partner in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis, said to Time: “We don’t do, haven’t done and don’t plan on doing this. The name of the game for us is quality.” Daly, the law-school dean, says an ethical breach is only a matter of time. “We haven’t seen any documented problems crop up yet, but I’m sure they’re there,” she says. “We’ve certainly seen problems on the domestic side. It would be foolish to assume they’re not on the global side as well.”

So is there an attractive alternative? Yes. Legal Researcher is a UK-based research company offering the services of UK law graduates and lawyers, and of course, if you request a UK lawyer, they will be bound by professional ethics. They can carry out a wide variety of legal tasks at a rate competitive to offshoring, and they can use most popular online law research tools to meet the needs of your law firm. To chat about your needs or to get a free quote without any obligation, get in touch with the team: 01159 667991.

References: Call My Lawyer … in India. Full Text Available By: Barlyn, Suzanne; Robinson, Simon. Time International (Atlantic Edition), 5/12/2008, Vol. 171 Issue 19, p99-100, 2p, 4