Legal Business

Former Ashurst securities head emerges at Fieldfisher to launch alternative legal business

Fieldfisher has formed a new business focused on offering alternative legal services aided by document-reading software. The new business unit, called Condor, is being overseen by former Ashurst head of securities and derivatives Christopher Georgiou.

Georgiou (pictured) is chief executive of the new business and is working alongside derivatives partners Guy Usher and Luke Whitmore in conjunction with third-party software providers.

Condor is designed for the financial services market and according to the firm combines document data management and technology solutions with low-cost legal expertise.

Georgiou told Legal Business: ‘Technology is certainly part of it. But it’s more about delivering services and customised solutions to our clients in a way that’s more efficient from a price point of view and more efficient from a process point of view.

He added:’Data extraction is providing clients with the means to understand and organise what’s in their contracts. If you have hundreds of contracts and you want to interrogate them, data extraction and analytics is a way of doing that.

‘It’s a combination of technology and low-cost human resourcing in order to achieve that result.’

Georgiou revealed that Condor is already being implemented with three large banks and that there are two ‘very significant’ projects in place for two global investment banks. However, Georgiou was coy on assigning a monetary value to the new investment.

The fresh focus on technology-assisted solutions for the financial market follows an overarching Fieldfisher strategy to concentrate on financial services. In June last year managing partner Michael Chissick indicated that financial services formed part of three ‘accelerated’ focuses alongside technology and energy & natural resources.

Usher added: ‘In these changing times, with endless amounts of regulatory change, clients are looking for ever faster and cheaper solutions.

‘Some technology platforms already in the market can capture data from standardised industry documents – but Condor has additional value by also providing legal input.’

While working for Ashurst, Georgiou was singled out for praise for his role in securing the firm a place on Credit Suisse’s UK legal panel in March 2016.

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