The considerable savings is perhaps one reason Forrester Research, based in Cambridge, Mass., has projected the offshoring of 29,000 legal jobs by the end of the year and as many as 79,000 by 2015. It's part of India's inevitable move up the corporate food chain, from lower-value business process outsourcing--like call centers--to knowledge process outsourcing (KPO). The latter category encompasses higher-skilled jobs, such as engineering and medicine, and relies on the KPOs to behave more like branch offices of U.S. companies.
ValueNotes, a business-research firm based in Pune, India, says a subset of KPO called legal process outsourcing (LPO) has grown revenues 49% from 2006, to $218 million last year. The figure will nearly triple, to $640 million, by 2010, it says. ValueNotes counts more than 100 legal-services providers in India, ranging from a handful of overseas corporate legal offices, such as Oracle's and General Electric's, to companies that contract to provide low-cost legal services to U.S. and British businesses. Leaders include Integreon and LawScribe, both in Los Angeles, and New York--based Pangea3.
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