Allen & Overy to pilot India move

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Allen & Overy is piloting the outsourcing of its documentation activities to India and Sri Lanka.

The company, one of London's largest law firms, which employs around 4,500 employees worldwide including 2,500 lawyers, expects the outsourcing project to lead to up to 200 redundancies in the UK if it is accepted by the group's board in the next few weeks.

Allen & Overy is the latest in a series of top UK companies, including BT, Goldman Sachs and Tesco, that have experimented with or chosen to outsource some of their operations to India and other developing countries in an effort to make use of their large pool of skilled and lower cost labour forces.

One worker from Allen & Overy told The Independent yesterday that an announcement from the law firm as to whether the project had been a success was expected within the next two weeks.

One issue that Allen & Overy needs to evaluate is whether its standards of security can be met if its documentation is produced electronically overseas. As with most of the City's top law firms, the group is involved in a number of complex and financially sensitive deals such as the restructuring of the finances at the telecoms group Marconi.