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It’s finally happened. A magic circle firm has taken the decision to outsource less complex litigation work offshore.
As we reveal today, A&O has signed a deal to outsource document review work to an LPO provider in Mumbai and New York City, with any UK work involved likely to go to India rather than the States because of concerns around data protection (see story).
But unlike Pinsent Masons and Simmons & Simmons - both of which have inked deals to have dedicated teams carrying out this quasi-paralegal work - A&O will outsource on a case-by-case basis and pending individual client approval.
This is partly because there’s not always the work to sustain employing people full-time, but also because “some clients may feel uncomfortable with it,” according to A&O litigation support specialist Vince Neicho.
Some of this discomfort is possibly prejudice relating to bad experiences paying a premium rate to listen to Edelweiss for 45 minutes while trying to get your computer fixed.
But as those involved in offshoring to the BRIC giant will explain, there are still problems to overcome, which relate more to cultural differences than quality of training or individual employees.
Nevertheless, with in-house teams eager to ensure that firms are sharing the responsibility of cost-cutting, expect to see more and more deals of this kind.