The Talent

June 6, 2011 3:44 PM

Legal Outsourcing Wave Comes Ashore

Posted by Brian Baxter

Pangea3, the Indian legal process outsourcer (LPO) bought by Thomson Reuters last year, opened its first U.S.-based service delivery office in Dallas. It's the latest expansion effort by a major LPO as U.S. and international law firms seek to slash their costs through outsourcing arrangements.

Legally India reported Monday on Pangea3's decision to open an office in a former Thomson Reuters facility that can house up to 400 employees in suburban Dallas. 

Pangea3 co-CEO Sanjay Kamlani told Legally India that the quality of available legal talent in Dallas, coupled with its proximity to a major international airport and central U.S. location for international travel, were the main factors in the company's decision to set up shop in Texas.

The New York Times reported last week that some LPOs, including Pangea3, were ramping up the hiring of American lawyers to handle more sensitive client matters--such as military contracts, export control work, and some patent matters--here in the U.S.

LPOs have traditionally functioned in low-cost centers like India, which has long sought to corner the outsourcing market through its army of young law school graduates well-versed in English and American legal systems. (Click here and here for previous posts looking inside India's legal outsourcing machine.)

Last year The American Lawyer's chief Asia correspondent, Anthony Lin, looked at the growing LPO sector by focusing on leading Indian players like Pangea3, which was bought by Thomson Reuters last November for between $35 million to $40 million.

It's not just in the U.S. where large law firms are seeking savings by outsourcing functions once considered central to their own business.

British firm Field Fisher Waterhouse inked a five-year, $30 million deal last month to outsource its European facilities department to Rollright Facilities, according to Legal Week. Fellow British firm Eversheds recently completed a round of layoffs after completing its own outsourcing program, Legal Week reports, while competitors like CMS Cameron McKenna and Travers Smith are pursuing their own outsourcing initiatives.

Legal Week reported in March that the U.K.'s Solicitors Regulation Authority had for the first time sought to regulate contracts for legal outsourcing, which the American Bar Association gave its blessing to three years ago.



From New York to Bangalore: An Outsourcing Tale
The Am Law Daily, 10/1/09

Inside India's Legal Outsourcing Machine
The Am Law Daily, 1/15/10

Inside the Revolution: India's Legal Outsourcing Industry Keeps Growing
The American Lawyer, 10/1/10

Outsourced: LPOs Challenging Big Firms for Work
The Am Law Daily, 10/26/10

Allen & Over, Kramer Levin Advise on Thomson Reuters's Indian LPO Buy
The Am Law Daily, 11/19/10

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Wow, Pangea3 is sure singing a different tune than they were 3 years ago. Check out the unambiguous insults that their CEO leveled at American document review attorneys. Suddenly, these same workers are now considered quality resources. Hopefully, other viable employment alternatives exist in this market.


The only lawyers who work for staffing agencies, said Perla, "are the ones who couldn't make it as real lawyers."

In his view, the temporary lawyers typically hired to perform document review on major litigation have minimal skills and zero motivation.


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