8.08.2010

A greyer shade of gloomy

Times are getting tougher:
India’s legal outsourcing industry has grown in recent years from an experimental endeavor to a small but mainstream part of the global business of law. Cash-conscious Wall Street banks, mining giants, insurance firms and industrial conglomerates are hiring lawyers in India for document review, due diligence, contract management and more.

...

The number of legal outsourcing companies in India has mushroomed to more than 140 at the end of 2009, from 40 in 2005, according to Valuenotes, a consulting firm in Pune, India. Revenue at India’s legal outsourcing firms is expected to grow to $440 million this year, up 38 percent from 2008, and should surpass $1 billion by 2014, Valuenotes estimates.
I'm not impressed with outsourcing customer service -- I would suggest that the dollar savings are lost in bad customer experience. No matter how well trained, unless these outsourced representatives have spent significant amounts of time in the US, no matter how well they speak English, there are too many cultural queues that they miss, leading to a great deal more frustration on the customer's part. I wonder how that dynamic will work in the legal field. Indian lawyers cannot, by law, give legal advice to their American parent companies, and that's as it should be -- but I would expect that even due diligence would be impacted.