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Cold winds blowing through the world of litigation?
Thread poster: Tim Drayton

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 12:41
Turkish to English
+ ...
Nov 7, 2008

This morning's BBC radio news carried a story about a new trend in the legal world. In a bid to cut costs as the global downturn begins to bite, litigation work is being outsourced from high-cost countries like the UK to law firms in India. Legal translation has been a niche area in which translators have been able to position themselves in terms of quality rather than cost and buck the global trend towards thrid-world rates. I wonder if translators in this field will now start to feel a chill wind blowing. Will Indian legal firms pay the kind of rates for translation that European legal translators are accustomed to?

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Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 12:41
Italian to Danish
+ ...
They will have to adapt, won't they? Nov 7, 2008

Since they cannot compromize quality, even the Indian agencies will have to look for their translators on the same market where the US/UK law firms were getting theirs. And why on earth should I lower my rates just because the request comes from India instead of UK?

And then, of course, I just hope that everybody else doing legal translations will reason in the same way.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:41
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
What's the problem? Nov 7, 2008

Good Indian translators of Western languages charge rates that are similar to and occasionally higher than some decent translators I know in Germany and the UK. If these people have a bit of an advantage working the local market, good for them - given some of the condescending BS they get to deal with occasionally with European and US clients, I think it would be nice for the game to play differently once in a while. But their numbers are limited, and the excess (if there really is a large volume of work) will end up back with the usual translators or the Indian firms will endanger their outsourcing contracts. I can't see that they will have much leverage on prices at all.

[Edited at 2008-11-07 13:06]


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 11:41
English to Hungarian
+ ...
litigation... outsourced? Nov 7, 2008

How is that even possible?
A lawsuit in the US, say, is done based on US law and a foreign lawyer would have to basically start law school all over again to have anything meaningful to say about a case.

I really don't see how this could take off.
I don't know the Indian legal system, it may be based on UK law from the colonial times and that may make it easier for Indians to deal with UK cases but still...


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:41
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
From a US perspective Nov 8, 2008

FarkasAndras wrote:

How is that even possible?
A lawsuit in the US, say, is done based on US law and a foreign lawyer would have to basically start law school all over again to have anything meaningful to say about a case.

I really don't see how this could take off.
I don't know the Indian legal system, it may be based on UK law from the colonial times and that may make it easier for Indians to deal with UK cases but still...

The actual litigation would probably not be outsourced, but some of the litigation support could definitely be outsourced (and possibly is). Some of those would be data entry, doing statistical analysis of the input data, and perhaps screening potential clients in a class action suit.


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:11
German to English
Legal translation in European languages has been around for a long time Nov 8, 2008

Although outsourcing of actual litigation work to Indian law firms may be just starting, the translation of legal documents from European languages to English is not new to the Indian market. I've been translating legal documents from German to English for Indian companies doing business with Germany since the nineties. If they can find translators locally to do the job, they would obviously prefer that to outsourcing it elsewhere.

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 12:41
Turkish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Link Nov 8, 2008

Here is a link to this story:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7713814.stm


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