CC makes savings by offshoring paralegals to India

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  • The end is nigh.

    Sounds like the end of London fee-earners to me. Soon, there'll be no point to having anyone in London but a couple of partners swanning around, inserting instructions into a computer and sending them around the world to get done. Brave new world.

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  • One more door closes

    Paralegalling was about the last way for many people who had their legal qualifications to break into a very closed profession. I've paid as low as £7.00 an hour (and charged out at £80) so not sure what the "margin" problem is for outfits like CC.

    Another sign of the meanness and greadiness of these giant client-screwing machines.

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  • Graduate Trainees?

    How could this not affect trainees?

    The start of the article even talks about them being affected.

    If low level work is outsourced what is left for the trainee to do? As it is there is little substantive work for them.

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  • good move

    Seems like a reasonable move. After all, every other industry is doing it / has done it. If low-end UK jobs aren't competitive enough, that's surely the UK's problem, not India's.

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  • shopping

    To me that sounds like a sweatshop they're running in India - hold on, what - you mean to say they're running a sweatshop in Canary Wharf too?

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  • Protect the equity

    Al Dous - exactly. The professions is on an inexorable drive to concentrate the equity in as few hands as possible, to maximise the profits for those precious few.

    It's creeping, but it's getting there. The profession will end up eating itself. RIP

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    Oh DEAR GOD. Tell me it' ain't so...

    Not content with charging me £600 an hour for partner time, and taking home over a million pounds a year each the CC partnership now sees fit to outsource work to India to improve their paltry PEPs even further.

    Are they going to have these unfortunate Indian people sewing footballs with their feet, to further bolster profitability, one wonders?

    An avaricious act fuelled by nothing but greed. I shall find a firm that treats its staff with a little more respect, and a bit less like a lemon to be squeezed until the pips squeak.

    As I said, if this is true, it's revolting.

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  • Stop whining

    No-one is forced to use expensive law firms, so those that choose to shouldn't complain.

    As this very website makes clear on a daily basis, there are hundreds of other law firms that want your business, many of which are prepared to offer a lower charge-out rate to get it. My advice is to use one next time.

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  • Re : Stop Whining

    Don't worry, CC is off the list, sunshine.

    Don't you see the how this looks? Multi-millionaire partners sacking UK workers to make a few quid more on their PEPs.... What's the matter, yachts getting a bit more expensive this year are they? So much for "ethical behaviour......."

    Perhaps they'll be requiring these poor Indian fellows to

    spend their two week's holiday a year working in the kitchens of the senior partners? You know, for a break..... This is a nonsense and will come back to haunt the firm in time. You wait and see. Ethics are for life, not just for Christmas.

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  • Law firms are businesses

    Working long hours for the wage they get might seem a bad deal to us in the West, but to the people in India who get these jobs it's compartaively well-paid and a far better deal than back-breaking farm labour or working in a factory.

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  • Come on!

    Wake up: law firms are businesses.

    Like all businesses, they seek to make the most money possible for their stakeholders. And if farming out work to where it can be done more cheaply is possible, then any business would do that unless there is a good business reason not to.

    Likewise any other move that can cut costs, provided it's legal.

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  • Re : Come On

    "Stakeholders....." Swallowed that US management book you bought at the airport have you? Get out of my sight with the bingo nonsense.

    For years, firms like this have grown their talent in house.

    What's more, they've charged out trainees that they pay a pittance to at £100 per hour in some cases, so they GET PAID TO TRAIN THEIR STAFF sportsfans!

    This is short sighted greed which will ruin the lives of many, in order for a few wealthy equity partners to trouser another £5k each on top of their million plus.

    Where do the graduates go now? Where do the paralegals go now? Sorry, this is nonsense management.

    What do I, as a GC do? Do I go to a firm which uses on site UK employees who are supervised and nurtured, and who become my friends, and the Senior Associates of tomorrow, or do I use a faceless "sausage factory" where my work is nothing more than a means to extract money from my "stakeholders" [euch]?

    Exactly. CC have shot themselves in their handmade brogues here. Repulsive decision.

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  • Astonishing arrogance

    City Partner speaks for his kind very well. As does Malcolm. The saddest thing of all is that people like you do not fully appreciate that the law is a PROFESSION. And a noble one at that.

    If it is to survive, it needs to put in place a sustainable business model and invest in the people who will be its future long after people like you have headed off into the sunset. Like your predecessors used to.

    The big city firms are sadly now utterly unable to see any other priority than maximising PEP. It is, frankly, pathetic.

    Who do you think, in the long term, will want to go into this profession? Why would anyone?

    Seriously, this is the kind of arrogant attitude that has killed off other businesses/industries before you. I'm just glad that I am now out of it and part of a proper business with proper business sense.

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  • City partner...

    you're not forced to eat at any particular restaurant, stay at any particular hotel, fly with any particular airline, etc, etc, so I'm guessing you've never complained in your life? I love your logic. I can see how you made it to the position you're in now...with all those lowly fee earners keeping you in the style to which you have become accustomed, and to which you obviously think you have a divine right.

    I can only encourage other GCs like me to vote with your feet, do your research and use firms you know do the right thing. Practising law is NOT manufacturing widgets.

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  • Bad for Business

    Malcolm - there IS a good business reason not to do this - see various comments below.

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  • Get real.

    Get real - I never really understood why certain mindless 'legal' work was being done by humans anyway, and legally qualified ones at that. Filing 395s, "cloning documents" and shell company conversion could surely be done by anyone with half a brain and a resistance to boredom.

    If I was a CC London trainee I'd be counting my lucky stars that I wouldn't have to do that kind of mindless stuff anymore and can instead get on to doing interesting work and learning about the law.

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  • Vote wth your cheque books

    I share the view expressed very eloquently on here. Dreadful greed and short sightedness from CC. If I instruct a law firm, I expect to be able to (a) meet the people I use, so that I can make a judgement as to how happy I am with them and form a working relationship with them, and (b) I expect my work to be done to a high standard by someone who has an interest in doing it PROPERLY for their own future benefit as well as their firm's. Would I go to a third world hospital for surgery because it's cheap as chips? No. Would I go a third world partially qualified lawyer for legal advice on the business I spent a lifetime building? Not in a million years.

    Employing rows of poorly paid battery chickens to perform due diligence on behalf of my business is not something that I am prepared to countenance.

    For a start, my collegues in Compliance and Regulatory Risk will have something to say about our legal work being done by rows of said battery chickens earning a few rupees an hour.

    I want UK-based people, and I want to have RELATIONSHIPS with my lawyers (remember those, CC? Obviously not......)

    I hope CC are insured for this, and I wonder if they will be dropping their charge out rates following this reduction in their cost base? Is the Pope a Skih........?

    Shame on you CC, shame on you.

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  • It's still business

    Some of the concerns expressed about a potential drop in quality or succession issues are perfectly legitimate concerns, regardless of whether or not they are well founded.

    However the idea that there is some sort of moral dimension to them is wrong-headed. If there is a decline in quality or anything else, firms may find themselves losing business as a result. If there is not, they won't.

    This is still all just a case of market dynamics, and as a poster earlier recommends, clients can and will simply vote with their feet if they don't feel they are getting good value for money.

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  • Still business?

    Indeed I will vote with my feet. I doubt very much whether my bills will get smaller, despite the cut in cost base for the CC equity! What a rip off!

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  • I'm with you GC

    In most industries, if the cost base goes down, at least some of the savings are passed on to the customer. Let's see if CC's charge out rates go down...

    To "recently trained" below, maybe one day, when you have more experience and a more educated view, you will realise that there is value in learning a trade from the basics, even if some of it is "menial" or tedious.

    You will also come to see that once these types of things start to happen, they creep, and never stop. That's why, as I said below, the profession (or at least the big firms) will end up eating itself (themselves).

    There will ALWAYS be savings to be made by offshoring the least profitable work in order to keep expensive employees working on higher value work.

    Within a firm, there is ALWAYS something more valuable/profitable than something else. That's why private client departments disappear, for example. And it is why more and more work will be sent offshore.

    Just to complicate things, over time jurisdictions like India will actually become expensive compared to other jurisdictions, so work will be moved to a new cheap jurisdiction and this pattern will repeat itself over and over, ensuring no continuity.

    Fewer trainees will be needed and those that are accepted into the wonderful club will be expected to perform like associates from day one.

    Fewer equity partners will be made up, too. Ultimately, the model will break down entirely. And many would say that it won't be before time.

    I'm just so sad that so many people going into the law nowadays do so without any commitment to and understanding of the legal profession.

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