I have written several posts about the potential of outsourcing legal work overseas: Power Outages and Outsourcing , 15 Aug 03; Technology Outsourcing Example – Document Management , 18 Jun 03; More on Off-Shore Outsourcing, 14 Jun 03; Central Back Offices and Outsourcing; 30 May 03.

Now, Legal Week, in its September 2nd issue, reports that Allen & Overy may transfer some of its document processing to India. A&O set for radical India staff transfer reports that the firm has recently completed a six-week pilot test and will soon decide if it will permanently move some of its document intensive work to India.

Assuming quality control can be maintained – and the experience of many other industries suggests it can – this appears to be an excellent way for law firms to reduce client expenses. With the Internet allowing instant transfer of information, easy collaboration, and controlled workflows, it frequently makes little difference where work is performed. Large law departments concerned about reducing costs and improving turnaround times (remember – the work day in India is virtually offset from the US and UK) should engage their outside counsel in a discussion of outsourcing aspects of legal work offshore.