As senior private practice and in-house lawyers increasingly turn to flexible staffing options to manage their costs, Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) Lawyers on Demand (LoD) has extended its offering in the marketplace by adding a pay-as-you go, remote services model.
The new service, LoD on Call, will operate alongside the firm’s existing secondment model, now rebranded LoD on Site, which launched in 2007 and spun out from BLP in June 2012. Both are aimed at helping corporates and law firms to cost effectively manage the inevitable peaks and troughs in workflow.
Under the LoD On Call model, lawyers, who typically have between five and fifteen years’ experience, will work on short term projects via the telephone or email on a pay-as-you-go basis. ‘There is a need for senior associates and that is where law firms have trimmed resources,’ said Jonathan Brenner, co-founder and director of LoD.
The group’s USP is the quality of the lawyers it offers, claiming in its online marketing that the pool of lawyers available to work in private practice on an interim or project basis has historically been of variable standard and quality.
Of the 120 lawyers working for LoD, Brenner said that they received ten times that amount of applications and have ‘very high standards’ for those who are chosen. ‘All the lawyers have big law firm backgrounds. We are right at the top of the quality chain,’ he commented.
There has been a marked increase in contract lawyers over the past few years as providers such as Axiom and Obelisk have seen an opportunity in marrying the needs of law firms to meet client demands to cut costs with the desire of a large number of highly qualified and experienced lawyers, including women who have left to have children, to work flexibly.
Other law firms to have rolled out similar services to LoD include Pinsent Masons and Eversheds, through their brands Vario and Agile, although most services currently offered by private practice are aimed exclusively at corporates, not other law firms.
LoD revenues reached around £9m last year and Brenner is keen to capitalise on its first mover advantage and push the business forward, commenting: ‘The rebranding shows we are still innovative. We’re developing a whole suite of services to cope with the demand.’