Law firm outsourcing to Manila

Business Week notes that Baker & McKenzie, the worlwide law firm is outsourcing some work to Manila.

The challenges of the global economy are nothing new to Baker & McKenzie. The law firm opened its first foreign office —— in Caracas —— in 1955, just six years after Russell Baker teamed up with John McKenzie to form a partnership in Chicago. Today, the firm has grown into a $1.35 billion enterprise, with 8,900 attorneys in 69 offices in the U.S. and 37 other countries. Its 200—person office in Manila shows where the pioneering outfit is headed next —— and where other law firms probably will be, too. The firm also has learned some lessons that may help others following it.

Baker & McKenzie's Manila outpost, first opened in 1963, now provides frontline IT support and computer maintenance for personnel worldwide. It also provides marketing support for the firm around the world, using desktop publishing to create high—quality sales materials and other documents. The office does a lot of word—processing, as well as clerical tasks and some translation work.

In addition, Manila provides business research for the firm globally, pulling together analysis on its biggest 200 clients and their markets and industries.

The outsourced functions are support staff, not core legal work. But it makes perfect sense that certain legal functions, as well as administrative ones as in the case of Baker & McKenzie, can be outsourced.

I am fairly certain that I have previously read of certain types of legal research being outsourced to India. I don't recall the details, but it makes perfect sense to send lower—end functions to trained personnel overseas. Unless regulatory barriers are errected, this should become a trend.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson   1 26 06

Business Week notes that Baker & McKenzie, the worlwide law firm is outsourcing some work to Manila.

The challenges of the global economy are nothing new to Baker & McKenzie. The law firm opened its first foreign office —— in Caracas —— in 1955, just six years after Russell Baker teamed up with John McKenzie to form a partnership in Chicago. Today, the firm has grown into a $1.35 billion enterprise, with 8,900 attorneys in 69 offices in the U.S. and 37 other countries. Its 200—person office in Manila shows where the pioneering outfit is headed next —— and where other law firms probably will be, too. The firm also has learned some lessons that may help others following it.

Baker & McKenzie's Manila outpost, first opened in 1963, now provides frontline IT support and computer maintenance for personnel worldwide. It also provides marketing support for the firm around the world, using desktop publishing to create high—quality sales materials and other documents. The office does a lot of word—processing, as well as clerical tasks and some translation work.

In addition, Manila provides business research for the firm globally, pulling together analysis on its biggest 200 clients and their markets and industries.

The outsourced functions are support staff, not core legal work. But it makes perfect sense that certain legal functions, as well as administrative ones as in the case of Baker & McKenzie, can be outsourced.

I am fairly certain that I have previously read of certain types of legal research being outsourced to India. I don't recall the details, but it makes perfect sense to send lower—end functions to trained personnel overseas. Unless regulatory barriers are errected, this should become a trend.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson   1 26 06