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Let’s be friends – Hogan Lovells hooks up with NewLaw darling Elevate for flexi-lawyer service

Hogan Lovells is the latest firm to venture into flexible lawyering after agreeing a partnership with New Law pioneer Elevate.

The deal announced today (15 February) will give the transatlantic giant access to a pool of 1,500 self-employed professionals worldwide to support its UK business. Elevate will provide a group of pre-vetted lawyers to choose from for specific projects, with Hogan Lovells’ paying Elevate for the cover. Hogan Lovells expects to use between 30 and 50 lawyers from the pool every year and will be looking at four to ten-year qualified lawyers across all practice areas.

The deal also gives Elevate access to the Anglo-American law firm’s alumni network and the arrangement will be used to offer a different working model to those who decide to leave the 2,600-lawyer practice.

Hogan Lovells’ head of legal service delivery Stephen Allen told Legal Business: ‘The size of the transactions and matters any law firm is working on are getting bigger. It’s important that we have sufficient skills to meet the clients’ demands, so we feel we needed to expand our capability in particularly busy periods.’ He added that although the deal will initially only involve the firm’s UK operations, the collaborations could be extended globally in future.

Founded in 2011, Elevate provides legal technology, consulting and flexible lawyering to legal departments and law firms. Hogan Lovells is the first major firm to go public with a collaboration with the Los Angeles-based company, which last year generated $40m in revenues.

Elevate, which entered the UK market five years ago, also collaborates with regional law firm asb law and with the in-house departments of BT and HSBC. The much-touted business is unusual among NewLaw competitors in offering a broad range of services, spanning consulting and legal service provision.

Elevate president John Croft told Legal Business: ‘Hogan Lovells realised they needed to offer their clients a flexible service, they realised we already had that, we know how to do it and we do it at scale.’

The move will be seen as further evidence of law firms’ drive to bolster low cost operations coming in the same week that Clifford Chance acquired Carillion’s volume law arm. Changes in the industry have also seen law firms collaborate with other providers with DLA Piper in 2016 signing a deal with Lawyers On Demand to provide flexible cover while Allen & Overy the same year launched the MarginMatrix derivatives business with Deloitte.