It appears that Magic Circle firms have fallen in love with outsourcing. Most American associates will hope that like Mad Cow disease, the outsourcing craze stays on English side of the ocean. The Lawyer reports:
Allen & Overy (A&O) has become the first magic circle firm to outsource legal work as an increasing number of UK firms embrace legal process outsourcing (LPO) in a bid to reduce their overheads.
The firm has partnered with LPO provider Integreon to outsource basic litigation document review to teams in New York and Mumbai, in what could generate a 30-50 per cent cost saving.
Anybody think we’ll see some geographic hypocrisy in the comment thread? Outsourcing to New York = good, outsourcing to Mumbai = bad? Or will everybody simply agree that outsourcing = apocalyptic?
After the jump, The Lawyer has an excellent chart that shows us where British firms stand with regards to outsourcing.
Outsourcing could be a disaster for Biglaw associates. And it hasn’t even started in earnest yet:
This is the first time that a magic circle firm has outsourced legal work. Rivals Clifford Chance and Linklaters have both outsourced support functions, while Clifford Chance has a wholly-owned Indian subsidiary that carries out document review work and other legal support tasks previously undertaken by onshore paralegals and trainees.
The Lawyer posts an overview about outsourcing at major British firms:
Are the English giving us a preview of our American legal future? I don’t know, but I’m starting to put two of every kind of junior associate on a big ass boat, just in case.
A&O signs outsourcing deal with LPO provider Integreon [The Lawyer]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of outsourcing