Anjali Prayag

BangaloreJune 15It's not just law firms or individual attorneys that are outsourcing their legal processes to hundreds of lawyers engaged in LPO in the country.

In fact, when large US corporates are fighting a case in the US, the company's legal department at its headquarters would need just one lawyer to appear in court while its entire legal department is stationed in India.

Mr Russell Smith, President and Chairman of SDD Global Solutions, said: "That's because most of the research and paperwork for large American corporates are being done in India."

SDD Global, a Mysore-based LPO employing close to 40 lawyers and on the verge of ramping up to 200, is doing high-end legal document work for companies such as Calvin Klein, Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, HBO and John Wiley and Sons.

Similarly JuriMatrix, a Bangalore-based LPO, is servicing the legal needs of large MNCs including global investment bank JP Morgan.

LPO is a $61-million business with work coming from several sources into the country: law firms, of course, are still the leading source the business (49 per cent), but catching up fast are corporates who form a significant chunk (36 per cent) of the sourcing pie, while the rest is shared by individual attorneys and legal publishers.

"But the $61-million business this is just about two per cent of actual potential," says Mr Abhi Shah, CEO of JuriMatrix.

Though India churns out close to 200,000 law graduates every year, only about 79,000 of them are English-speaking and hardly 850 get into jobs into top law firms in the country.

India, the US and the UK share similar legal systems and Indian Universities educate lawyers to work only in the local legal system.

"This can be overcome with a short training programme," says Mr Bhanin Patel, Vice-President, Training, Rainmaker T&R Pvt Ltd, a training school for orienting lawyers for an LPO job.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 16, 2007)
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