Clients back New Law model as LOD posts post-merger revenue surge

Berwin Leighton Paisner‘s (BLP) freelance spin-off Lawyers on Demand(LOD) has posted 15% turnover growth in its first full-year results since it merged with Australia’s AdventBalance in March 2016, in what was the largest New Law merger to date.

As the global flexible lawyering business saw its turnover grow to £35m for 2016/17, LOD co-founder and managing director Simon Harper (pictured) said the satisfying results – which came ahead of LOD’s tenth anniversary last month – were down to ‘new service lines’.

‘The success is down to our secondment business and On Call model and managed teams. We’re finding that clients are using us in areas where they might previously have assumed that they needed a traditional law firm.’

According to its latest filings with Companies House, LOD’s UK business also recorded an 18% upsurge in turnover for the 2015/16 financial year, as revenues rose from £12.3m to £14.6m, accounting for nearly half of the year’s revenue.

However, despite rising turnover, LOD’s UK operating profit tumbled from £987,000 to £200,000 over the year, with the accounts stating this was due to ‘one-off exceptional items’. £255,000 was spent on new technology during 2016.

Directors at the company also saw their salaries increase, with the highest-paid director pocketing £495,000 over 2015/16, a 46% jump from the previous figure of £269,000.

Founded in 2007 with 10 lawyers as one of BLP’s separate businesses, LOD had doubled its turnover by 2010. In 2012, LOD spun out from BLP to become an independent entity.

AdventBalance was formed from a merger between Sydney’s Advent Lawyers and Perth’s Balance Legal. The Advent Balance merger secured LOD a presence in Singapore and Hong Kong and the business now counts over 600 lawyers in eight offices: London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney.

As reported by Legal Business last month, LOD is due to launch in the Middle East with a new Dubai office this autumn. The launch will be overseen by Brett Menadue, new managing director for the Middle East.

georgiana.tudor@legalease.co.uk