Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP’s) spin-off lawyer contracting service Lawyers on Demand (LoD) is set to launch its first hub outside of London in Manchester, after BLP in March announced it will open an office in the UK’s second largest legal market.
LoD, which was launched by Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) in 2007 but hived off into a separate company in 2012, is recruiting local legal talent ahead of the Manchester launch in the autumn of 2014. LoD will initially launch the service as a pilot, offering organisations across the North-West access to local, qualified freelance lawyers on ‘secondment style’ arrangements.
LoD has more than 200 lawyers on its books and has carried out assignments for Google, Barclays Bank and the BBC, which relocated to Salford in 2011. The firm turned over £9m in its first year after spinning out from BLP, which retains an 80% stake in the company.
The expansion is being spearheaded by Tim Bratton, who joined LoD in September 2013 after more than a decade at the Financial Times. Operations in the North West will be managed out of BLP’s new Manchester office, scheduled to open in September. LoD lawyers will have access to BLP professional support and training.
Bratton, who used LoD lawyers during his time at the Financial Times, told Legal Business: ‘The success of LoD when we launched in London came from developing a small pool of quality lawyers and placing the emphasis on getting the right quality of lawyers. We went from five or six lawyers to nearly 200 in London and we see ourselves replicating that model in the North West.’
LoD is also looking to expand its remote working service, LoD On Call, by recruiting local lawyers to work remotely with its clients.
LoD co-founder, Simon Harper, said: ‘Twenty years ago, when I was looking for a legal training contract, local options in the North-West were very different. But over recent years, the legal market has fundamentally changed. Manchester is the UK’s second largest legal market and now seems poised for further growth. We want to hear from talented lawyers in the area who have a desire to practise law on their own terms but without compromising on quality and interest in the work they do.’