Many US law firms are opening up to outsourcing their office tasks and functions to countries, like the Philippines whose large talent pool comprises of professionals familiar and proficient with Western administrative, legal and accounting practices in the pursuit to provide large corporate clients around the world the legal advice, assistance and attention they require.

Take for example, Baker & McKenzie, one of the first US law films to reach a global scale in providing legal assistance and catering to clients such as Nike, L’Oreal and Unilever.

The law firm’s satellite offices are small, do not 24-hour word processing support, as well as personnel capable to prepare high quality PowerPoint presentations.

In 2000, Baker & McKenzie opened an office in the Philippines to perform word processing work for the firm’s 14 satellite offices in the Asia Pacific.

Currently the office in the Philippines prepares spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations; monitors and maintains the satellite offices’ entire computer network; performs business research and marketing; and performs around 40 percent of the financial tasks for the Pacific region, including client billing. This offshore operation was profiled by BusinessWeek magazine in January 2006.

This efficient outsourcing service model adopted by the law firm for its overseas operations has been emulated, even by the law firm’s competitors.

In October 2006 rival law firm Clifford Chance; with offices in 20 countries, announced plans of merging and moving major sections of its administrative operations such as accounting and technological support off-shore. This corporate move was estimated to save the large law firm USD18 million a year.

In 2007, another law firm White & Case outsourced their word processing activities and marketing functions and have been satisfied with the results.

According to BTI Consulting Group’s 2008 Client Service 30 (a list of 30 law firms surveyed out from the interviews of more than two hundred “Fortune 1000” corporate counsel and chief executives to determine which law firms provide superior client service), Baker & McKenzie ranks a high third. [4] This can be the result of outsourcing their labor-intensive operations thus being able to focus solely on their core business processes and relationships with their clients in the US and worldwide.

The costs of operating in today’s economic environment can be stifling, these law firms are turning to the solution where they centralize their back-office functions but relocate them out of high-cost regions and into lower-cost locales abroad, like the Philippines. These law firms’ successes show that they made the right move.


  1. Arndt, Michael. “The Cost-Killer in Manila” 30 January 2006. BusinessWeek: Online Extra. 24 June 2008
    Link here
  2. Creswell, Julie. “Law Firms Are Starting To Adopt Outsourcing.” 27 October 2006. The New York Times. 24 June 2008. Link here
  3. “Baker & MacKenzie.” 26 April 2004.  Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia. 25 June 2008. Link here
  4. “The BTI Client Service A-Team 2008”. 06 March 2008. BTI Consulting Group, Inc. 25 June 2008. Link here


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