Simmons set to vote on moving legal jobs offshore

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  • I would seriously question whether lawyers in India or S Africa would be able to meet the kind of standards that clients expect.

    Good luck selling shoddy due diligence to clients in the UK, whatever the reduction in cost.

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  • I think it's a very bright move if it is done transparently. For those that remain, hopefully it will mean better work.

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  • This is all part of the trend of the incredible shrinking law firms. At last they've realized that their clients don't want to pay for enormous bloated ranks of salaried lawyers.

    There are so many elements of legal work which can be done cheaper and more efficiently by contracting out.

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  • Fascinating....

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  • ...and I would seriously question whether Anonymous @ 27-Apr-2009 11:39 am, really believes that the vast majority of our work can not be done by and half intelligent hard worker to and above 'client standards'. I would say that at least 50% of the work that younger associates do can be outsourced without a problem.

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  • Anonymous - why do you immediately assume that lawyers in poorer countries than you are lucky enough to live in, produce "shoddy" inferior work. Shame on you

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  • Firms like Simmons & Simmons will inevitably be feeling the pinch. A lot of the firm's growth in recent years has been off the back of its Financial Markets Practice. Counter-cyclical and non-cyclical practices are unlikely to have grown at the same pace over this time.

    So there is nothing like a severe downturn to focus the mind on achieving cost efficiencies. Speaking as a Simmons alumnus, my concern is less about the quality of lawyers in overseas markets than the ability of the firm to manage them effectively.

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  • Dear Anonymous

    You question, whether South African lawyers can meet the expectations of clients in the UK.

    Well, the UK firms definitely think so. At last count, aproximately 12 of the 75 graduates from UCT Law School (2002) work in the UK or US. They work at all the big firms, ranging from Herbert Smith to Sullivan & Cromwell. This statistic should be seen in perspective, because not all 75 graduates are qualified lawyers today.

    Please tell Giles White, ex head of Linklaters Asia, Eversheds, DWS, White & Case (all who have offices or alliances with South African firms) that South African lawyers are not competent, or Eversheds or DWS.

    It should not be forgotten, that some major South African businesses, like Investec, Old Mutual, Liberty, SAB Miller etc are listed on the LSE and they are happy to use South African law firms.

    On the eve of attending QLTT classes, I cannot help but smile and think that in an increasingly globalised world, that the competition is hotting up.

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  • Anon @11.39am is just wrong. As an English qualified lawyer who sweated in the City for 14 years at Freshfields and Weils before escaping to the good life in Cape Town I can tell you the quality of lawyering here is excellent and more than adequate to tackle most aspects of large scale litigation and corporate due diligence.

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  • Very smart move, recognising that clients are increasingly wanting cost reductions and that much of the work does not need rolls royce treatment to be done well. They'll do well out of this, it makes them look cutting edge, commercial and innovative.

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