Legal Business

Fieldfisher extends global reach as it launches alternative service Condor in South Africa

Fieldfisher’s unrelenting international growth this year shows no sign of slowing, as the firm takes its alternative legal services platform Condor to South Africa through a partnership with Cognia Law.

Condor, headed by former Ashurst securities and derivatives chief Christopher Georgiou alongside derivatives partners Guy Usher and Luke Whitmore, is the firm’s platform combining document data management and technology solutions with low-cost legal expertise. The partnership with legal service outsourcing provider Cognia Law will see the launch of Condor South Africa, which will integrate into the wider Condor platform.

Usher told Legal Business that Condor has been so successful since its launch in January that it had turned a profit within the first three months. He added: ‘Cognia is really pleased to be one of our partners. We absolutely needed additional partners as it gives us a different kind of capacity at a different price point.’

Cognia Law chief executive Janet Taylor-Hall commented: ‘Clients have long been asking for an integrated solution that offers the benefits of a leading law firm and the efficiencies of an alternative legal service provider.’

Senior figures at the firm have talked up Condor since its introduction, with managing partner Michael Chissick telling Legal Business in September that client interest in the division has been ‘phenomenal’. He added: ‘We’ve got something special there.’

According to the firm, Condor has already attracted ‘several banking clients’ since its launch, and the platform has already been used to work on issues related to MiFID II, GDPR and Brexit. Usher confirmed the platform’s client base consists of global investment banks, some business-as-usual clients of the firm, and ‘a couple of Condor-only relationships.’

The focus on technology-assisted solutions for the financial market is in line with Fieldfisher’s overarching strategy. In June 2016, Chissick said the firm had identified three areas on which to focus its growth plans: finance, technology and energy and natural resources.

Since the start of the year, Fieldfisher has opened new offices in Shanghai, Amsterdam and Italy and intends to open in Barcelona and Madrid before the end of the financial year.