Ben Frumin charts the development of India’s legal process outsourcing industry and assesses the opportunities and risks it poses to global businesses and law firms

In early 2006, a medium-sized US law firm sent a digital audio file to an Indian company for transcribing. The project was completed successfully and the law firm was happy with the work.

Almost a year later, the same Indian company – a legal process outsourcing (LPO) firm called LawScribe – was contacted again by the US law firm, this time in relation to a document review project. LawScribe won the contract, which entailed the review of more than half a million documents. A team of about 15 Indian lawyers, working from the company’s office in Gurgaon, a satellite city of New Delhi, finished the project in just three months.

“The law firm estimated that up against using contract attorneys in the US, or potentially doing the project in house, they saved US$250,000,” says Mark Ross, LawScribe’s director of business development and a former partner at Underwoods Solicitors. “That’s a conservative estimate.”

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