Computing companies are outsourcing to cut legal costs

Microsoft Corporation and Hewlett-Packard Company have saved millions of dollars in legal fees by outsourcing work to India, according to the Daily Business Review. HP reported that it has reduced its legal budget by 25 percent in four years, and Microsoft has decreased its $130 million budget by 4 percent annually.

"In the old days, legal costs were what they were," said Gabriel Buigas, deputy general counsel for HP, who recently spoke on the challenges facing in-house lawyers at a conference of the South Florida Group of Regional Counsel. "Now the question is, how can you drive cost savings? What do you use outside and inside counsel for?"

The outsourcing of particular legal tasks to 80 legal vendors in India did not result in any layoffs for Microsoft, but freed up in-house counsel to research patent conflicts.

"Our own people now are able to spend time on higher value work," said Horacio Gutierrez, deputy general counsel for Microsoft.

Outsourcing basic legal work to foreign firms is a continuing trend, according to the Legal Intelligencer.

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