Magic Circle law firm Clifford Chance has announced it will move 300 staff positions to India. 

CC to transfer 300 jobs to India in bid to save £30m in (10/2/06) reports the firm is “set to move about 300 support staff jobs from the UK to India over the next four years, in a cost-cutting move that will save it in the region of £30m.” The initial focus is finance and IT staff but other departments are not immune. The firm will operate the support center itself, not outsource it.

With Orrick moving staff jobs to W. Va., Clifford Chance moving jobs to India, Milbank outsourcing functions to OfficeTiger, and DuPont offshoring document review, among other examples, where is the line on who does what?

These offshoring, near-shoring, and outsourcing arrangements demonstrate that that law firms should view as on open question who performs particular functions (employees or outsourcers) and where they are performed (onsite, offsite, near-shore, or offshore).

And as I noted in my prior post, working virtually is a growing trend. It is getting harder to argue that lawyers must show up daily at expensive downtown locations. Telecommuting anyone?