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U.K. Lawyers Long for Offices in India

Posted Nov 21, 2007 3:39 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Attorneys at major law firms in the United Kingdom are notably unhappy about their inability to open offices in India, and will continue to press for permission to establish a presence there, a London newspaper says.

Eager to work on cross-border deals, London lawyers at big firms long for offices in India, reports the London Times. But, although India is known as a center for outsourcing legal work from other countries, the organized bar there opposes a plan by foreign lawyers to put on a fast track efforts to liberalize the country's rules on practice by non-Indian attorneys, as discussed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post.

"In their quest to grow revenues and profits, European firms are disappointed to be missing out on an increasing amount of lucrative work coming out of India," the Times writes. "With estimates of annual growth ranging between 7 and 9 percent, its economy is one of the fastest-growing in the world. Even more importantly, the type of economic activity that European law firms are likely to profit from is growing even faster."

Although legal work outsourced to India has historically been less-skilled, lower-end tasks, that may be starting to change. Hollywood reportedly has recently begun sending more challenging legal work there, as noted in another ABAJournal.com post.

Without local law offices in India, outsourcing legal work there potentially poses ethical issues for U.S. lawyers who do so, as discussed in a recent Professional Lawyer article.

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