Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) announced today (25 April) that it is extending its alternative legal services (ALT) business to Johannesburg later this year.
The South African hub will run from the firm’s existing Johannesburg base, led by office managing partner Ed Baring. The service will be led by Lisa McLaughlin, director of ALT for the UK, US & EMEA.
The hub will combine a mix of legal expertise, process efficiency and technology to handle high-volume or document-intensive work more efficiently and cost effectively. The new team will be staffed by around five lawyers and 20 legal analysts initially.
‘We believe the introduction of an ALT team in South Africa will change the face of the local industry. Our clients will benefit enormously, not only through the realisation of value and savings but also because it frees up our core teams to focus on delivering support for more strategic high-value priorities,’ McLaughlin said.
Libby Jackson (pictured) HSF’s global head of alternative legal services, added: ‘ALT has developed rapidly over recent years from a successful nearshore “start-up” to an increasingly mature, complementary and seamless global part of the HSF offering for clients as a whole.’
The new hub will join the existing ALT hubs in Belfast, London, Shanghai, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. Shanghai and Melbourne were launched last year, while London and Belfast were launched first in 2011.
The move marks a further expansion of HSF’s ALT business, which currently comprises of over 400 lawyers, legal analysts and technologists globally and became the sixth practice group of the firm on 1 May 2016.