The O-word

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  • How shortsighted are the people who make the decision to send work out of country? Do they not realise that in this race to the bottom that their job can be done more cheaply abroad as well? How do we convince these overpaid partners to give those of us who are where they were 30 years ago the same chance that they had and to not pull the rug from underneath us now that they're earning all that they need. Outsourcing is not inevitable. The issue is reducing billable hours and charging a fair and fixed rate for services. Clients do not want to hear that work being done for them is being done in India. What they want to see is intelligent and reasonable billing. Fixed fee billing is the solution - not sending work overseas. That is simply the product of a short-sighted mentality.

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  • Outsourcing is useful in the context of a company attempting to alleviate its over-burdensome work load. However, in this cost-cutting context it evokes an uneasy no frills feel which could cause more harm than good in the long term.
    I would much rather see firms offering fixed price deals to clients for low-level work in order to keep the work in this country. As a client, you obviously do not want to pay over the odds but equally you do not want quality compromised. Pit an Indian law graduate versus a UK red brick graduate and, in most circumstances, the end result should be a no-brainer. The latter should have received a better education and ought to have a better grasp of the English language. The end product should be markedly better.
    At least when the car making industry epicentre shifted from these shores it was because UK manufacturers such as British Leyland were crap. The legal industry still purports to be the best and we should try and preserve that status. Although outsourcing abroad is perhaps an easier and obvious immediate solution, which preserves profit margin and reduces clients’ costs, there has to be a better way. Otherwise, as the poster above alludes to, we could be embarking upon a long slippery slope…

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  • Austin Marina
    How presumptuous that a UK legal education is better than say an Indian legal education or any other country's education for that matter. This is just pure snobbery. Get off your high horse and accept the fact that most lawyers in private practice are grossly overpaid for their glorified clerical skills! It is inevitable that where employees are costing more than employers will shift to hiring employees in other geographical locations (particularly when the quality is the same).....expect England to dwindle you snob!

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  • Re "English are snobs"
    Repetitive exclamation marks do not enhance your arguments in any way shape or form.
    Having standards and seeking to retain those standards is not snobby. This country houses some of the world's best law firms and its courts take in many international disputes due to the strong reputation of the system. Deviating work from the junior end of the profession and starving them of work undermines the continued development and maintenance of such lofty standards.
    I also did not say that the UK legal education system is the best in the world, although I implore you to provide statistics proving that it is worse than or indeed at the same level as India's.
    I don't believe that the quality of legal service is the same at these legal sweatshops in SA, India, or wherever else they operate from. The clients will soon notice this so I don't expect "England to dwindle". If the employees were as good then they would be paid more wouldn't they? The move is designed to temporarily appease clients and keep profit margins up during these testing economic times.

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