Legal Research And Back-Office Work To Go Offshore Next - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Business & Finance

Legal Research And Back-Office Work To Go Offshore Next

India-based vendors are setting up business-process outsourcing arms to service the legal industry.

Legal research and other back-office work carried out at law firms may be among the next set of white-collar jobs to move offshore in big numbers. According to a recent study by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, legal assistants and paralegals working in India on behalf of U.S. law firms earn, on average, between $6 and $8 per hour. That's about one-third of what their counterparts in the United States are paid.

Some of the largest law firms in the country are looking to take advantage of that discrepancy. John Halvey, who heads the technology finance and outsourcing group at New York-based Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCoy, says the 137-year-old firm is considering moving some back-office functions to India. In doing so, Halvey said at an offshore-outsourcing conference Monday in New York, the firm would simply be mirroring the behavior of its international business clients. "I can't think of a recent deal we did that didn't have an offshore component," Halvey said.

Vendors are taking notice. Mohamed Sathak, president of Chennai, India-based IT outsourcing company OpenWave Computing LLC, says his firm is setting up a business-process outsourcing arm to serve the legal industry. "It's a big growth opportunity," Sathak says.

Sathak says OpenWave is in pilot discussions to provide paralegal services for two or three major U.S. law firms, which he declined to identify. It would be relatively easy for Indian-based researchers to access U.S. case law, he says, "because most of that now sits in digital databases" as opposed to musty old law libraries. Halvey, however, cautions that some sensitive legal work probably can't be moved overseas because of concerns about maintaining attorney-client confidentiality.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
AI Regulation: Has the Time Arrived?
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  2/24/2020
Fighting the Coronavirus with Analytics and GIS
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/3/2020
IT Careers: 10 Job Skills in High Demand This Year
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  2/3/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll