That quote comes from Don Liu, general counsel of Xerox, in David Galbenski, Unbound: How Entrepreneurship is Dramatically Transforming Legal Services Today (2009) at 37. His estimate seems high, but perhaps spending from the UK is included (See my post of Feb. 7, 2009: maybe 2% of companies send legal work offshore.). Perhaps Liu uses the term “outsourcing” more broadly than I understand it.
Test Liu’s claim against one scenario. If 10,000 offshore workers log an average of 1,000 hours each at $30 an hour, the annual total reaches only $3 billion, a billion less than Liu’s figure. Yet I think the LPO headcount of the largest players – UnitedLex, Pangea3, Integreon, CPA Global, to name a few of the largest groups – number more in the hundreds than the thousands, so the 10,000-person scenario is likely much too high. One thousand hours each of legal process work during the year as well as thirty dollar charges are also likely to be high. In sum, Liu’s sum may be wrong.