CASE - 3 Outsourcing to India: Way to Fast Track By almost any measure, David Galbenski's company Contract Counsel was a success.
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CASE - 3 Outsourcing to India: Way to Fast Track

By almost any measure, David Galbenski's

company Contract Counsel was a success. It was a

company Galbenski and a law school buddy, Mark Adams, started in 1993; it helps companies find

lawyers on a temporary contract basis. The growth over the past five years had been furious.

Revenue went from less than $200,000 to some $6.5 million at the end of 2003, and the company

was placing thousands of lawyers a year.

At then the revenue growth began to flatten; the company grew just 8% in 2004 despite a robust

market for legal services estimated at about $250 billion in the United States alone. Frustrated and

concerned, Galbenski stepped back and began taking a hard look at his business. Could he get it

back on the fast track? "Most business books say that the hardest threshold to cross is that $10

million sales mark," he says. "I knew we couldn't afford to grow only 10% a year. We needed to blow

right through that number."

For that to happen, Galbenski knew he had to expand his customer base beyond the Midwest

into large legal supermarkets such as Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. He also knew that in

doing so, he could run into stiff competition from larger publicly traded rivals. Contract Counsel's

edge has always been its low price, Clients called when dealing with large-scale litigation or

complicated merger and acquisition deals, either of which can require as many as 100 lawyers to

manage the discovery process and the piles of documents associated with it. Contract Counsel's

temps cost about $75 an hour, roughly half of what a law firm would charge, which allowed the

company to be competitive despite its relatively small size. Galbenski was counting on using the

same strategy as he expanded into new cities. But would that be enough to spur the hyper growth

that he craved for?

At that time, Galbenski had been reading quite a bit about the growing use of offshore

employees. He knew companies like General Electric, Microsoft and Cisco were saving bundles by

setting up call and data centers in India. Could law firms offshore their work? Galbenski's mind raced

with possibilities. He imagined tapping into an army of discount-priced legal minds that would mesh

with his existing talent pool in the U.S. The two work forces could collaborate over the Web and be

productive on a 24-7 basis. And the cost could be massive.

Using offshore workers was a risk, but the payoff was potentially huge. Incidentally Galbenski

and his eight-person management team were preparing to meet for their semiannual review meeting.

The purpose of the two-day event was to decide the company's goals for the coming year. Driving to

the meeting, Galbenski struggled to figure out exactly what he was going to say. He was still

undecided about whether to pursue an incremental and conservative national expansion or take a big

gamble on overseas contractors.

The Decision

The next morning Galbenski kicked off the management meeting. Galbenski laid out the facts as he saw

them. Rather than look at just the next five years of growth, look at the next 20, he said. He cited a

Forrester Research prediction that some 79,000 legal jobs, totaling $5.8 billion in wages, would be

sent offshore by 2015. He challenged his team to be pioneers in creating a new industry, rather than

stragglers racing to catch up. His team applauded. Returning to the office after the meeting,

Galbenski announced the change in strategy to his 20 full-timers.

Then he and his team began plotting a global action plan. The first step was to hire a company

out of Indianapolis, Analysts International, to start compiling a list of the best legal services providers

in countries where people had comparatively strong English skills. The next phase was vetting the

companies in person. In February 2005, just three months after the meeting in Port Huron, Galbenski

found himself jetting off on a three months trip to scout potential contractors in India, Dubai, and Sri

Lanka. Traveling to cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, he interviewed executives from

more than a dozen companies, investigating their day-to-day operations firsthand.

India seemed like the best bet. With more than 500 law schools and about 200,000 law students

graduating each year, it had no shortage or attorneys. What amazed Galbenski, however, was that

thanks to the Web, lawyers in India had access to the same research tools and case summaries as

any associate in the U.S. Sure, they didn't speak American English. "But they were highly motivated,

highly intelligent, and extremely process-oriented," he says. "They were also eager to tackle the

kinds of tasks that most new associated at law firms look down upon" such as poring over and coding

thousands of documents in advance of a trial. In other words, they were perfect for the kind of

document-review work he had in mind.

After a return visit to India in August 2005, Galbenski signed a contract with two legal services

companies: QuisLex, in Hyderabad, and Manthan Services in Bangalore. Using their lawyers and

paralegals, Galbenski figured he could cut his document-review rates to $50 an hour. He also

outsourced the maintenance of the database used to store the contact information for his thousands

of contractors. In all, he spent about 12 months and $250,000 readying his newly global company.

Convincing U.S. based clients to take a chance on the new service hasn't been easy. In November,

Galbenski lined up pilot programs with four clients (none of which are ready to publicise their use of

offshore resources). To help get the word out, he launched a website (,

which includes a cache of white papers and case studies to serve as a resource guide for companies

interested in outsourcing.


1. As money costs will decrease due to decision to outsource human resource, some real costs and opportunity

costs may surface. What could these be?

2. Elaborate the external and internal economies of scale as occurring to Contract Counsel.

3. Can you see some possibility of economies of scope from the information given in the case? Discuss.

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