Sunday, May 11, 2008

Washington Post says Legal Outsourcing "The next big thing in Indian business"

Legal outsourcing in India made a big splash in the U.S. media today. In an article in The Washington Post, arguably the most influential newspaper in the United States, the headline reads, “U.S. Legal Work Booms in India – New Outsourcing Industry Is Growing 60 Percent Annually.” As reported in the article -- already spreading like wildfire through the media and the blogosphere --“legal process outsourcing is being called the next big thing in Indian business. It marks India's climb up the chain of outsourcing jobs -- from low-end, back-office service functions in call centers to high-value, skilled legal work.” The article reports on lawyers from such legal outsourcing firms as Quattro and SDD Global Solutions, referring to them as “part of a booming, new outsourcing industry in India that employs thousands of English-speaking lawyers… to do legal work at a small fraction of the cost of hiring American lawyers.” Here’s a quote in the article from Ashish Sharma, a recent LPO recruit whose father “had visions of seeing him argue in an Indian court and eventually become an honorable judge”:

"It is much better than going to court in India and dealing with all kinds of rough people. Working in legal outsourcing is a happy career move for me, although my father does not fully understand what I am doing here after my education in Indian law," said Sharma, who began working in February for an outsourcing company called Quatrro. "I am getting valuable exposure to the American judicial system, corporate law and their way of working."

Also featured is SDD Global Solutions. The article reports that SDD Global “handled much of the legal work for the film ‘Borat,’" that “other clients include the Washington-based law firm Appleton & Associates and U.S. movie studios and television networks,” and that lawyers at the Mysore-based company “recently researched and drafted the motion papers for the dismissal of a libel case against the producers of HBO's ‘Da Ali G Show.’” The article points out, regarding the libel suit against HBO, that “if it had not been for the cheaper option of outsourcing, the producers would have settled.” The article quotes SDD Global’s Chairman in Mysore as follows: "people in India can do everything from here, except sign an opinion letter and appear in an American court." As for court appearances and legal opinions, no problem. They can be handled by the company’s U.S. parent law firm, SmithDehn LLP. A good press day for legal outsourcing!