Outsourcing Firms Hiring as More Complex Legal Work Goes to India

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Three years ago when Ankita Mullick joined the legal outsourcer Pangea3 from a Mumbai firm, she mostly spent time doing research on U.S. laws involving drug labeling.

But this year, Mullick and her colleagues are working for banks on auction-rate securities. The Wall Street Journal reports in a careers section article that the sophistication of outsourced legal work is increasing.

And while technology outsourcing companies aren’t growing much in India, legal outsourcing firms are beefing up their ranks. The trend is bolstered by a lagging U.S. economy, where law firms are being pressured by clients to trim fees wherever possible.

Pangea3 tells the WSJ that it has doubled revenue in the past six months, though it won’t reveal actual figures. And its rival, Computer Patent Annuities Ltd., with offices outside New Delhi, is expecting to have 1,200 Indian lawyers on staff by next September and 2,000 by 2010.

Talat Ansari, a partner at New York’s Kelley Drye & Warren, tells the WSJ that the outsourcing industry is now equipped “with cheap Indian lawyers who are pretty smart doing the sort of work done here by paralegals.” His firm uses Indian lawyers for document review and to standardize contracts.

Reed Smith also reports feeling the pressure to outsource.

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