Law Practice Management

As Rio Tinto Saves Millions, Other Corps. Will Outsource, Too, Counsel Says

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By outsourcing document production in one Federal Trade Commission matter to a team of Indian attorneys, an international mining company saved $1.5 million over what it would have paid to have its usual BigLaw antitrust firm in Washington, D.C., contract out the same work.

And that’s just the beginning of the savings Rio Tinto expects to make in its legal expenses because of such outsourcing, the company’s managing attorney, Leah Cooper, tells American Lawyer.

She estimates Indian staff attorneys cost the company about a third of what in-house counsel cost, and about one-seventh the price tag for outside counsel, to do some of the same work.

“My phone has been ringing off the hook,” she says of Rio Tinto’s bellwether move to contract directly with Indian legal services providers. “I think other corporates are going to follow.”

Earlier coverage: “BigLaw Firms Shudder as Rio Tinto Retains Legal Team in India”

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