Corporations Now Outsourcing M&A Work to India

Outsourcing In a threat to big law firms, lawyers in India are carrying out the due diligence work for an upcoming corporate acquisition financed by the major UK bank.  We all knew this day was coming and the book The World is Flat predicted it: legal services are being sent offshore just like telephone call services and being performed by cheap foreign labor.

According to the April 12 Financial Times (see the LawMarketing Portal for the full story), this essential M&A work is being handled by New Galexy, a Mumbai, India, company with lawyers in India who are qualified to UK law practice standards and who are paid only $12,200 to $21,000 per year.

Typically this due diligence work is handled by junior lawyers at giant mega law firms who have a starting pay of $125,000.  I think their jobs are in big danger now.  Robert Glennie, New Galexy's founder, says the Indian company offers the same quality of legal support work for half the cost charged by top firms in London's legal establishment.

Offshore companies like New Galexy are also taking over other from law firms:

  • E-discovery services, where lawyers scrutinize voluminous quantities of e-mail to find evidence or embarrassing disclosures for use in litigation.
  • Sarbanes -Oxley compliance work.

Corporations find it too expensive to assign the work to traditional law firms, the FT said.  "US and UK corporations therefore regard the India option with relief."  Financial Times also quotes Liam Brown, CEO of Integreon, an offshore legal service provider with a staff of 900 in India.  Brown says that mega firms are under pressure to cut costs and face the reversal of the trend to farm out litigation support to costly private law firms.

Here's the silver lining in all this bad news: the smart US law firms will link up with the Indian-based legal providers and pass along the savings to their corporate customers.  The will be able to use to market and differentiate themselves.  They also won't have to hire so many $125,000 associates.

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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Razib Ahmed - April 13, 2006 11:07 AM

Outsourcing is becoming a nightmare for many people in the west. We may see a reverse trend in which many Americans
will go to China and India for finding works.

800 Americans are now working in ICT companies in India and this figure will
only increase. I think that within a few years working in USA and India will have little diference to many Americans.

rameshwar Singh Jamwal - November 5, 2006 1:42 AM

I am a practising advocate of Jammu Kashmir High Court in India with about eighteen years experience in dealing with civil criminal and other legal matters.I am also associated with various social organisations and also heading a N.G.O and attended several national and international level seminars.I want to work with some law firms who want to outsource their work. IS THIS POSSIBLE.If yes please send all details.

Chidanand Kapil - December 5, 2006 11:27 PM

We can process the legal documentation in India at very competetive rates.

Shruti Dixit - January 28, 2007 1:45 AM

I am a practising lawyer in the Rajasthan High Court and the Supreme Court of India. I head a group of associates who are highly qualified in the field of legislative drafting, policy-making, documentation, contracts, arbitration, court-room backup work including research and drafting. We also have highly influential and experienced associates who work on all government and public authority related work for corporates. Inter-corporatenegotiation is our speciality. We also have the infrastructure for advising corporates on all their legal requirements in every country with English Common Law heritage. We challenge anyone in the world to match our quality.

Mark Ross - March 28, 2007 3:52 PM


I thought that you may find my legal outsourcing blog interesting:

I am a UK attorney and former partner at Underwoods and now director at LawScribe a relatively large LPO (currently 80 employees).

I firmly believe that given the hourly charge out rates of UK and UK lawyers that clients will increasingly demand that their lawyers look to the offshore solution.

The majority of legal work undertaken in corporate due diligence, litigation, class action, estate planning, private client - does not merit charges of $400 + per hour. This work can be done efficiently and cheaper in India or South Africa.

Please have a look at my article on "time to stop time recording" on my blog.

Best wishes

Mark Ross

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