Clifford Chance has again hired a legal "consultant" from its Gurgaon-based captive legal process outsourcing (LPO) centre OSC Export Services as a lawyer into the main firm.
"The role of a consultant at OSC is very different from that of a practising lawyer and the transition is not easy. However, in exceptional circumstances, it has been possible to offer opportunities for OSC employees to move into a career at Clifford Chance," said a Clifford Chance spokesperson.
In November 2009, Clifford Chance hired two OSC lawyers into the main firm as newly qualified lawyers.
At the time Clifford Chance knowledge centre director Mark Ford told The Lawyer magazine that despite lawyers' individual success the Indian offshore centre was totally separate from the firm and should not be seen as "a conveyor belt into Clifford Chance - it's a separate function".
This year OSC, which is a wholly owned India-based subsidiary of Clifford Chance, recruited four students from NLU Jodhpur this financial year and one student from NLIU Bhopal.
OSC handles back-office work for Clifford Chance's international office as well as legal support work, having billed around 12,000 hours of work in the 2008-09 financial year, which is rougly the equivalent of the hours billed by seven London associates.