Simmons set to vote on moving legal jobs offshore

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  • so, after nike and adidas in India, it is time for cc and S&S......
    value for money? don't make me laugh!

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  • This move is not going to shake up the market - outsourcing low level legal work isn't going to help clients when e.g Lehmans goes belly-up - they will all need top notch English lawyers, not call centres. In fact one magic circle has been outsourcing certain types of due diligence for a while, it is not scary or groundbreaking.

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  • Provided there are no issues with malpractice coverage, and provided that the outsourcing results in substantial cost savings for the clients (and not just increased profits for the law firms), moving due diligence offshore makes all kinds of sense.

    Of course, the clients must be fully aware of where the work is being done, and how rates compare, so they are fully equipped to check those bills.

    It'll also make setting up hard copy data rooms more interesting.

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  • One of the most interesting and obviously controversial threads I've seen for a while. I can't personally offer informed comment on Indian or SA legal communities, but as a NZ lawyer who spent 5 years in the City with Silver Circle firms before returning home dual-qualifed in E&W also, here are some realities of modern global legal practice:
    - NZ & Aus lawyers are very well-trained and highly sought after by top London firms for their skills and versatility
    - hourly rates and forex rates mean the same work can in many cases be done 'down under' as efficiently and competently at 20-25% of London costs
    - the favourable time zone means work and communication can be done overnight - an instruction sent at the end of a London day can have 10-12 hours work done on it and be back by email by the time the London firm opens again the next morning
    - the recession is going to mean savvy clients will force firms to find more efficient delivery mechanisms, at least for the types of work that can be outsourced
    - not everything can be outsourced - clients still need local 'on the ground' advice and legal judgement to front a matter, so don't panic or get protectionist about jobs in the UK just yet.

    It is already happening - so may be better to embrace it and seek to grow market share, as S+S are doing?

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  • To the original poster, I find it funny/arrogant that people will think that the standards will slip by outsourcing to India. Within the top law firms (Linklaters/CC) there are many Indian partners who are Indian/SA qualifed lawyers, and I wonder if you believe these people are below standard?

    Also, I thought Simmons & Simmons was an international law firm, so surely Indian/SA clients would not mind these lawyers.

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  • I have never found work coming out of India to be anything but perfect. This is not call centre work - do not be confused by this spurious association.
    If some firms take advantage of cost savings and others do not I wonder who will survive and thrive. London legal costs are not exactly inexpensive.

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