Thursday, November 30, 2006

Clifford Chance Outsources Legal Support to India

London's Legal Week reported on October 2 that Clifford Chance expects to transfer 300 support staff jobs to India - at a savings of close to US$60 million. This is in addition to the outsourcing of document production which is run by Integreon in India.

Why do we care? Major law firms are feeling ever-greater pressure to meet the budget needs of corporate clients. Our practice offers a sophisticated cross-border legal capability at costs far below our large-firm competitors. I can tell you that we will not be able to find $60 million of savings in our overhead no matter how hard we look!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

India - A Day Out of China's Shadow

There seems to be some convergence of India developments this week in our office and in the press.

Our office is closing this week on an acquisition of convertible prefered shares on behalf of an Indian publicly-listed company. Congratulations to the parties!

Already this week, the Wall Street Journal has reported on Wal-Mart's plans to expand in India through a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises Ltd. Plans call for "several hundred" stores within the next 5 years.

Here in the Chicago area, Crain's reported that Salton Inc. is in talks to acquire a majority interest in Softel Machines Ltd., an Indian home appliance make. Softel manufactures water purifiers, ice cream makers and popcorn maker, and the venture could expand into the manufacture and distribution of other appliances.

We are all seeing endless China conferences, and China's opportunites are just too massive to treat lightly. Work for US companies entering China is important to our practice. Yet, while everyone knows India as a great location for outsourced call centers and business services, India is also an important consumer market and manufacturing base.