In a surprising move, Microsoft Inc. has inked a contract with a legal outsourcing provider to outsource to India. The provider CPA Global will employ lawyers in India to get the legal work done.

News of the agreement comes on the heels of a budget cut that will reduce Microsoft’s legal budget by 15% in the next two years. This translates into a 5% decrease in headcount as well. Before the cuts, Microsoft’s legal wing functioned with an annual budget of $900 million and included more than a thousand staff and 450 attorneys.

Software giant, Microsoft has outsourced intellectual property and patent renewal work to CPA for about five years. This operation was carried out with 70 CPA staff. However, the arrangement laid out in the new deal is expected to run separately.

Anand Sharma, CFO for CPA India was quoted as saying by LegalWeek, “The arrangement principally involves legal research work with a flexible shared service team varying according to transactions handling matters for the company.” Meanwhile, Marty Shively, Microsoft’s associate general counsel and director or worldwide IP operations, was a crucial figure in putting the deal together, say reports.

CPA has also said it will unveil and outsourcing site in the U.K. in order to undertake low-level legal work. This site will complement CPA’s onshore outsourcing in U.S. Initially, the center will open with 10-20 attorneys and paralegal and then the number is expected to move up to several hundred employees. The company is considering a site north of England as the venue for its center.

Neil Mirchandani, Lovells financial services litigation associate said in a comment, Onshoring has proved popular in the US and will doubtless appeal to clients who do not want certain information leaving the jurisdiction,” legalweek.com.

Jacob Cherian writes for SourcingLine, a leading provider of directories on top web design companies and software development firms.

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