Legal Business

For what they’re worth – Links, 2Birds and Pinsents among law firms disclosing chunky gender pay gaps

For what they’re worth – Links, 2Birds and Pinsents among law firms disclosing chunky gender pay gaps

The UK’s top law firms have begun disclosing figures on gender pay gaps, with an initial round of numbers showing City giant Linklaters has the biggest gulf between male and female earnings.

The Magic Circle firm on Wednesday (7 February) published its figures for gender pay bands, as required under legislation introduced last year, which showed Linklaters paid its male staff members nearly 60% more in bonuses than women. The firm’s female employees were paid on average 23.2% less than male colleagues. The gap widened to 39.1% when the median figure was considered.

Linklaters’ figures were published as three more top 50 law firms today (8 February) unveiled equivalent numbers: Pinsent Masons, Taylor Wessing and Bird & Bird.

Taylor Wessing had the smallest gap, as the average hourly pay was 13.48% higher for men, rising to 32.1% on a median basis. In comparison, female staff at Bird & Bird earned on average 14.5% less per hour than their male counterparts, a figure that grows to 27.6% when earnings are ranked on a median basis.

The average pay gap at Pinsents was significantly higher at 22.4%, which the firm said was due to its regional office network resulting in lower rates for bottom-earners. However, the firm had the lowest median gender pay gap of the group at 22.4%.

CMS has already announced its figures, demonstrating that the average UK hourly earnings rate for women is 17.3% lower than men, while the median average hourly rate was 32.8% lower. CMS had the lowest mean average gap in terms of bonuses at 26.9%, while the firm’s median gap was at 30.4%.

Figures for the group were lower than the mean and median pay gap for the legal sector overall, which the Office for National Statistics estimates at 24% and 25.7% respectively.

The disclosures cover all business support staff and associates and demonstrate the position as of 5 April 2017. All UK companies with more than 250 staff are required to publish such figures by 4 April 2018.

All the law firms profess confidence that they are paying male and female employees the same for equivalent jobs. They gave broadly similar reasons for their gender pay gaps, pointing to the fact that there were more women in less well-paid roles and a higher number of part-time female lawyers.

At Linklaters, women made up 79.2% of staff in the lowest-earning quartile – which includes secretarial and junior business team positions. In this quartile, the pay gap was 5.96% in favour of women. But in the upper quartile of earners at the firm, women accounted for 44.9% and earned 6.5% less than men.

‘We are confident that we pay men and women fairly for equivalent roles,’ stated Linklaters in a formal announcement, adding that there was a ‘more significant gender imbalance within our lower pay quartile’. ‘This also feeds into our bonus figures because the bonus potential for our secretarial and junior business team roles is generally lower than for our legal and more senior business team roles.’

Bird & Bird – where bonuses paid to women were on average 33.5% lower than those paid to men – stressed that the bonus gap also reflected the higher number of part-time female employees. Only two men worked part-time at the firm last year, compared to 60 women. ‘Unlike the pay gap figures, which are based on hourly rates, the bonus figures are the actual sums paid. This means that those who work part-time or have been on maternity leave for part of the bonus year will have lower bonuses than men carrying out an equivalent role,’ said the firm.

Cynics will argue that law firms have ducked the key issue as they are not required to disclose the gap in earnings between male and female partners. And law firms being fond of preaching high standards while taking the low road of pragmatism are collectively taking it upon themselves to report as little as possible. The jaded may also note that years of publishing poor numbers on female partnership ratios has had little discernible impact on the advancement of women.

Marco.cillario@legalbusiness.co.uk

Legal Business

LLP latest: Taylor Wessing tightens its belt as Pinsent Masons gets expansive

LLP latest: Taylor Wessing tightens its belt as Pinsent Masons gets expansive

The latest round of LLP accounts show profit, management pay and remuneration for the highest earning member all fell at Taylor Wessing, while Pinsent Masons delivered strong growth across the board, pushing its top earner past the £1m mark.

Taylor Wessing’s accounts for the year to 30 April 2017 show that despite a small 2% increase in turnover to £129.3m, profit available for division among LLP members fell to $46.9m from $49.9m. Similarly, the sum awarded to the highest-paid member dropped 11% to £1,039,000 in the same period while pay for key management personnel fell to $5.8m from $6.1m.

Costs rose 6% to £81.6m over the period, offsetting the increase to turnover, and included an increase in staff costs to £45.9m from $44.3m. The number of members rose to 102 from 100, while fee earners increased by four to 292. The firm’s cash pile also fell 36% to £12.3m.

Meanwhile, Pinsent Mason’s first international LLP accounts since its overarching entity was created on 1 June 2016 show the highest-paid member took home 34% more last year, as turnover and profit both improved. Management also got a pay bump following what senior partner Richard Foley described a year of ‘sustained profitability, coupled with strategic investment into our business’.

Turnover at the firm rose 11% to £423.1m, helping profit rise to £134.9m from £117.5m despite an 9% increase in costs. Of the $287.2m in costs over the period, £182.9m related to staff, up 10%, and included a £14.6m increase to salaries over the year. The firm’s cash position also strengthened by nearly 42%, to £64.8m.

The accounts show the highest remuneration of a member was £1,086,951, up from £810,490, while pay for key management personnel rose 16% to £5.95m. The number of fee earners at the firm rose slightly to 1,368 from 1,357, while the total number of members – including equity and non-equity – rose to 357 from 349.

In a report accompanying the accounts, Pinsent Masons said Brexit has ‘increased uncertainty’ for the LLP, but that potential opportunities and risks are being considered and evaluated, which members believe the firm is well equipped to deal with.

Foley said highlights for the year included new offices in Düsseldorf and Johannesburg, as well as taking a minority stake in legal resourcing business Yuzu. ‘Since then we have continued to take steps to grow our business in-line with our vision to be recognised as international market leader in the global sectors in which we operate, as evidenced through further office openings in Madrid, Dublin and Perth.’

Hamish.mcnicol@legalbusiness.co.uk

Legal Business

Taylor Wessing elects new senior partner as season of change for firm continues

Taylor Wessing elects new senior partner as season of change for firm continues

Days after veteran managing partner Tim Eyles announced he is stepping down next year, Taylor Wessing has elected Dominic FitzPatrick as its new senior partner, effective immediately.

Private equity specialist and a former head of the firm’s energy group, FitzPatrick replaces Adam Marks after six years.

A partner at the firm for 27 years, he will be chairing the supervisory council, crucially overseeing partners’ remuneration annually. One of his first tasks will be supervising the new managing partner contest, taking place next summer.

Speaking to Legal Business, FitzPatrick described his new role as having two aspects: ‘An ambassadorial role – representing the firm to clients and helping strengthen our relationship with them. And a more internal role – providing support to individual partners and make sure they work effectively as a team.’

He added that while being senior partner will have an impact on client work, ‘one of the attractions of this role for me personally, as opposed to the managing partner role, is the ability to carry on doing fee earning’. He expects the role to take up about a third of his time.

FitzPatrick’s predecessor Marks was first elected as senior partner in 2011 and re-appointed three years later following an uncontested election.

‘A lot of what senior partners do is behind the scenes,’ said FitzPatrick. ‘Adam [Marks] was very effective in keeping the partnership on track.’

News of FitzPatrick’s appointment comes a few days after Eyles confirmed he will not run in the for another term as managing partner in 2018, stepping down after nine years at the helm of the firm .

marco.cillario@legalbusiness.co.uk

Legal Business

Focus: A confident handover for its veteran MP but Taylor Wessing still faces some big decisions post-Eyles

Focus: A confident handover for its veteran MP but Taylor Wessing still faces some big decisions post-Eyles

With an three terms under his belt it was not a shock that Taylor Wessing’s UK managing partner Tim Eyles has ruled himself out of another run but the impending handover will still be a significant changing of the guard.

‘This is a firm where nine years is a very long time,’ says one partner. ‘Tim thought it was time for a new pair of hands on the job.’ Another adds: ‘Tim broke the mould in doing a third term. He has done a transformational job on the firm.’

The 61-year old confirmed the decision in an email to staff yesterday morning (6 December): ‘When standing for re-election in 2015 I explained to the partners that I would wish this to be my third and final term so it will not surprise you when I confirm now that I will indeed end my role as your MP when the current term expires.’

The corporate veteran took the firm’s helm in 2009 in the middle of a recession, taking charge in the wake of a 7% fall in revenues in its 2008/09 financial year. He was credited with hugely expanding the firm’s international network and giving it a (somewhat) clearer brand than was evident in the hesitant years after the 2002 union of Taylor Joynson Garrett and Germany’s Wessing & Berenberg-Gossler. Eyles also presided over the expansion of its non-IP disputes business and private client offering at home and abroad.

Taylor Wessing’s UK business grew by 41% under Eyles’ watch to £128.9m in 2016/17. There’s certainly worse performances in the top 50, though it is nowhere near the kind of super-charged pace seen at loosely comparable TMT-heavy operators like Osborne Clarke and Fieldfisher, or even more profitable deal machines like Travers Smith and Macfarlanes.

Growth has also slowed lately. UK revenue grew by a modest 2% in 2016/17, while PEP dropped 6% to £481,000. Global has turnover grown by 43% to £269.8m since 2008/09: the firm made an appearance in the Global 100 for a couple of years between 2014/15 and 2015/16 – although Eyles’ role in this is less substantive: internationally, the firm operates with separate profit pools in many jurisdictions.

The firm added eight offices in central and Eastern Europe in 2012 when it combined with Austrian practice enwc. It entered Singapore later that year operating as RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, and in 2014 opened two representative offices in Silicon Valley and New York.

In 2015 it merged in the Netherlands with Deterink, while 2016 saw it establish a presence in Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Globally it fields nearly 1,000 lawyers now across 33 offices.

Eyles was re-appointed as managing partner in 2012 and 2015 after standing unopposed. The clubbable leader remains a hugely popular figure at Taylor Wessing, admired for vision and panache. But it is hard to escape the feeling that his reputation rests as much on modestly brushing up operational rigour and making partners feel more comfortable in their own skin rather than a knock-out performance or bold decisions. You could argue that the firm remains awkwardly pitched between niche player and full-bodied institutional adviser. As such, the next managing partner will face some interesting decisions operating in an area of the market that is rapidly splitting into knockout winners and outright failures.

With partners indicating that the firm’s increasingly influential real estate group will have a name in the contest, department head Keith Barnett is a likely contender. However, another tipped name, well-regarded finance head Rodney Dukes, is now apparently unlikely to enter the contest at this stage of his career. Other influential figures include corporate partner James Robertson and patent veterans Simon Cohen and Nigel Stoate.

Perhaps the most interesting factor will be if talk of a symbolic shift to the next generation actually occurs, with some indications that a young name with fresh ideas might be in play. ‘It is not simply a question of handing over: this is a firm which demands and requires a lot of vision, strategic leadership and thought on how it is led,’ notes one partner. ‘Whoever comes in will require that right balance of strong leadership skills, ability to reflect and preserve what has gone very well and still take the firm to the next level. A fairly unique blend of skills.’

A more detailed list will emerge after Christmas, when the firm has a new senior partner replacing Adam Marks. Voting is under way this week and three candidates from the employment, corporate and restructuring groups are standing, with the winner set to be influential in the MP election.

Comments one Taylor Wessing partner: ‘There are a number of younger generation partners who might take that role. Whether there’s two/three or four/five candidates has not been discussed.’ A colleague concludes: ‘The fact that younger partners feel comfortable in a role like this reflects the fact that this is not a firm based on seniority.’

marco.cillario@legalbusiness.co.uk

For more on Taylor Wessing, see our recent analysis ‘No more Taylor Who?’ (£)

Legal Business

Revolving doors: International firms return to hiring season with multiple City and global recruits

Revolving doors: International firms return to hiring season with multiple City and global recruits

International law firms have returned from the summer break in acquisition mode, with Berwin Leighton Paisner, Bird & Bird, Taylor Wessing, Reed Smith and Pinsent Masons all hiring in London and Asia, while Sidley, Dentons and Osborne Clarke are expanding their continental European footprint.

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has this morning (11 September) announced the appointment of three new international disputes partners to further strengthen its litigation and corporate risk (LCR) practice.

George Burn joins BLP from Vinson & Elkins as head of international arbitration later this month, while Gavin Margetson, formerly of Herbert Smith Freehills, has been hired to lead the firm’s regional arbitration hub in Singapore. Based in London, Richard Chalk is an international disputes and investigations partner, who was previously at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London and Hong Kong.

BLP global head of LCR Nathan Willmott said these appointments are a direct result of a recent LCR strategy review. ‘The strategy review was an important milestone for us as a department. With so many of the team involved, it’s meant our future really is a collective effort. These hires all demonstrate our intent to get on with the job and start delivering on a global scale’.

Bird & Bird has added to its equity capital market capabilities with the hire of Clive Hopewell and Adam Carling from Charles Russell Speechlys (CRS).

Hopewell will lead the practice expansion in London, building on the Middle East contacts made while heading CRS’s operations in Bahrain. Speaking to Legal Business, he said: ‘Bird & Bird has a very substantial presence in Europe, Asia and Australia. The firm has an established office in Abu Dhabi and an established presence in Dubai. I’ll go there two or three times a year to help introduce them to clients.’

Carling has experience in Africa and has advised on mining deals on the continent. Neil Blundell, head of Bird & Bird’s London corporate group, said the hires would ‘further increase our reputation in the mining and oil and gas sectors’.

Meanwhile, Taylor Wessing turned to Paul Hastings to bring Mark Rajbenbach into its real estate team.

Keith Barnett, head of real estate at the firm – which now has more than 60 lawyers in its core London real estate group and more than 100 working on real estate across the London base – said the addition of Rajbenbach was ‘very exciting for our team, particularly in corporate real estate and the hotels area’.

Rajbenbach was at SJ Berwin & Co before joining Paul Hastings, and his clients have included Invesco Real Estate, Starwood Capital, Evans Randall, Hilton, London & Regional, Schroders and RRAM Energy.

Elsewhere, Reed Smith has hired Leith Moghli as a partner in its global private equity and investment funds practice in London. Moghli left Kirkland & Ellis in April, where he had been a salaried partner since October 2014 in the funds practice.

Pinsent Masons has appointed Chris Richardson to lead its new forensic accounting service (FAS). He joins the firm after 16 years in the fraud investigations team at EY.

In Brussels, Sidley Austin has hired Wim Nauwelaerts from Hunton & Williams. Nauwelaerts advises on EU and international data protection and privacy compliance, including preparation for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

He told Legal Business: ‘Sidley Austin is one of the prominent firms in Brussels and I am very excited about the prospect of expanding their global data protection practice.’

Also in Europe, Dentons strengthened its M&A and capital markets practices with the addition of Shaohui Zhang, who joins as head of the China desk in Luxembourg from Allen & Overy, and Antonella Brambilla in the corporate and M&A practice in Milan from local firm Chiomenti.

Dentons Italy managing partner Federico Sutti told Legal Business: ‘In Italy we see signs of recovery in equity capital markets. Antonella has the standing and the experience to allow Dentons to play a role in this in the near future.’

Finally, Osborne Clarke has announced the opening of a new office in Stockholm, led by Fredrik von Baumgarten and Henrik Bergström. Von Baumgarten joins from his own firm Baumgarten Byström Rooth & Partners and was previously a partner at Nordic firms Hannes Snellman and Vinge, while Bergström was previously at Bird & Bird.

Simon Beswick, international chief executive at Osborne Clarke, said: ‘Not only is Sweden the third most active M&A market in Europe and growing faster than most other European economies, it’s a key market for many of our core sector clients.’

The Sweden office means the firm now has 25 international bases in Europe and Asia.

marco.cillario@legalbusiness.co.uk

Legal Business

Financials 2017: Taylor Wessing UK PEP down while global profit approaches £100m

Financials 2017: Taylor Wessing UK PEP down while global profit approaches £100m

Taylor Wessing has released further details of its financial performance in 2016/17, showing the modest 1.8% increase in its UK revenue to £128.9m resulted in a drop in its UK profit per equity partner (PEP) to £481,000, down 6% from last year’s £512,000.

The firm, which changed to an all-equity partner structure in 2015, stressed that the PEP figure did not represent its top 10 bands, so could not be used for a like-to-like comparison with competitors with a different structure. The last time a top 10-band figure was released, in 2015/16, it was £770,000.

Taylor Wessing recorded a stronger global performance, with revenues at £269.8m, up 6% from £254.4m in 2015/16, and PEP at £405,000.

The UK profit for 2016/17 was £49.2m, while global net income stopped just short of the nine-digit figure, at £99.8m.

‘The opening of the year created a lot of political and economic uncertainty,’ UK managing partner Tim Eyles (pictured) told Legal Business, referring to the UK EU referendum vote on 23 June 2016.

The year was split in two halves, he added: ‘In the first half some clients in some sectors were cautious, in the second half there was much more activity, which more than compensated the pause due to Brexit.’

‘Given the circumstances, we are particularly happy with our performance.’

Corporate and disputes accounted for more than half of the firm’s revenue in 2016/17.

Eyles mentioned private wealth and technology as the firm’s most successful sectors within the corporate practice, which brought in 29% of the firm’s revenue.

Talking of the private wealth sector, which cuts across private client and corporate, he said that the firm acted for more than 50 families with assets worth more than $1bn and more than 300 individuals and families worth over $50m.

For the technology sector, in 2016 Taylor Wessing advised Outfit7, developer of the Talking Tom digital games, on the $1bn sale of the business to a consortium of Asian investors, United Luck.

‘A combination of sector expertise and geographic coverage was what distinguished this deal, which involved a number of different jurisdictions,’ said Eyles.

He added that the firm had invested considerably in tech during the year. This included developing IT and AI products to improve efficiency in the analysis of client exposure, due diligence and document automation as part of the TW:EXCEL programme, as well as tools for clients such as the TW:Cyber Response app, the interactive Global Data Protection Guide and Patent Litigation Map.

‘These products will make us more attractive and we hope they will transfer in greater revenue over time,’ Eyles concluded.

marco.cillario@legalbusiness.co.uk

Legal Business

Financials 2017: Taylor Wessing UK revenue up 2% amid brighter global £270m result

Financials 2017: Taylor Wessing UK revenue up 2% amid brighter global £270m result

Taylor Wessing has posted a modest 1.8% increase in its UK revenue to £128.9m in 2016/2017, in contrast to a 4.4% rise the previous year. It was brighter news, however, for the firm’s global revenues which rose 6% to £269.8m, up from £254.5m in 2015.

Taylor Wessing accounted for the continued growth by highlighting its focus on the firm’s key technology media and communications practices, as well as its private wealth and life sciences teams.

The firm also counted its continued investment in technology as a basis for the rise, resulting from a number of products it launched in 2016. These included TW:EXCEL, driving IT and artificial intelligence products, and TW:Cyber Response, which helps companies effectively prepare for and respond to data breaches.

UK managing partner Tim Eyles (pictured) said that although this year’s UK result was slower than the previous year, and ‘not a headline grabber’, it remained strong: ‘Our priority remains preparing for the challenges and opportunities of the next decade.’

‘Investment in our people is central to our strategy and ongoing success. Ultimately, it’s a connection with great people that our clients care about,’ Eyles emphasised.

The results related to an international expansion spree last year, when Taylor Wessing opened four new offices spanning Riyadh and Jeddah, Hong Kong and Vietnam. The first three were formed through local firm associations.

Last May, the firm announced its local association with Alsulaim Alawaji & Partners Law in Saudi Arabia, and in July it launched in Hong Kong with an official association between a newly-established branch of Taylor Wessing and local firm HM Chan & Co.

In 2016, the firm advised Outfit7, the entertainment company behind the global phenomenon ‘Talking Tom and Friends’, on its $1bn sale of United Luck to a consortium of investors from Asia.

The firm also advised News Corporation on its recommended cash offer for talkSPORT for £220m last June.

Georgiana.tudor@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Travers Smith announces first ever all-female partner promotion round

Travers Smith announces first ever all-female partner promotion round

Travers Smith has unveiled its partner promotions for 2017, with four female associates making the cut. The number is slightly less than last year, when six associates (two of whom were women) were made up.

The new partners will assume their roles on July 1 2017, and all offer a different expertise. Heather Gagen has been made up in dispute resolution, possessing extensive experience as a commercial litigator. Gagen’s practice is broad and includes acting on shareholder claims and fraud cases.

Hannah Manning has been promoted to Travers’ tax department, specialising in tax on private equity transactions. Manning recently advised the management team of Source Holdings on its sale to investment managers Invesco UK.

Emma Havas will become a partner in the firm’s private equity practice. Havas advises clients such as Treehouse Group and Camden Ventures on matters such as group simplifications, management incentive plans and bolt-ons.

Travers’ real estate team has been broadened with the promotion of Emma Pereira. Pereira advises real estate funds on high-value investments and carries experience in the retail, student accommodation and logistics sectors.

Travers’ senior partner Chris Hale (pictured) commented: ‘We are excited not just to be able to promote these talented lawyers to the partnership, but to have our first ever female cohort of new partners. Each individual has demonstrated a strong track record of delivering an outstanding service to clients and we are confident they will each play an important part in the future success of both the teams in which they work and the firm as a whole.’

Elsewhere, Taylor Wessing also posted a slightly reduced promotion round as the firm made up ten partners, down on last year’s 15. RPC has promoted one more than last year, making up four partners to the firm’s London office.

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Taylor Wessing launches data breach app in latest tech push

Taylor Wessing launches data breach app in latest tech push

In its latest push to provide clients with new technology, Taylor Wessing has launched a data breach mobile app TW:Cyber Response ahead of regulation changes next year.

The app provides practical assistance to help clients prepare for and manage breaches as effectively as possible, to minimise their exposure to regulatory action, litigation risk, and reputational damage. Taylor Wessing has released the product one year before General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into effect.

The project is part of the firm’s Global Data Hub which includes in-depth analysis, news updates and events to help clients deal with global data protection law. The GDPR creates EU wide rules for businesses and aims to give EU citizens to better control over their personal data.

Disputes and investigations partner and TW:Cyber Response creator Paul Glass said: ‘It hasn’t been created exclusively because of the GDPR. The genesis of it came from a number of breaches that I worked on last year and seeing the differing reactions of clients to what is effectively a crisis management situation.

Glass (pictured) added: ‘The GDPR is a push on that because you’ve got two primary issues which is potentially much larger fines coming in – 4% of global revenues or up to €20m, whichever is the greater – but you’ve also got much more stringent breech notification obligations and what that means is a lot more breaches will be in the public domain.’

This is not the first piece of technology Taylor Wessing has made available for its clients. The firm created TW:navigate, an AI solution using Rainbird technology for automated analysis of exposure to legislation, and TW:diligence, a proprietary software tool and Intapp for legal workflow automation.

In March it emerged the firm had started working with legal tech provider Brainspace for UK litigation analysis. Taylor Wessing has also made a series of launches using eDiscovery platforms such as Relativity alongside trials of RAVN, Kira, Leverton and Luminance.

The firm has a long established presence in UK innovation hubs such as Cambridge, and in 2011 also opened up a small office to service the UK’s ‘Tech City’ near Shoreditch.

Taylor Wessing has also added several leading practitioners to bulk out its technology offering, hiring Latham & Watkins TMC partner Martin Cotterill last year as well as Bird & Bird corporate technology partner Angus Miln.

While the new ventures show Taylor Wessing pushing forward its New Law efforts, the firm previously shelved its document review business New Street Solutions, bringing the project back in-house after a mooted £5m funding round in 2012.

madeleine.farman@legalease.co.uk

Read more: ‘No more Taylor Who? Flair and a bit of vision take Taylor Wessing to next step but what now?’

Legal Business

Taylor Wessing engages machine learning provider Brainspace for UK disputes

Taylor Wessing engages machine learning provider Brainspace for UK disputes

In a push into disputes innovation, Taylor Wessing has started working with legal tech provider Brainspace for UK litigation analysis.

The firm has been using the Brainspace Discovery platform that uses machine learning to analyse unstructured data and provides visualisations to provide insight into analysed documents, with the tech currently being trialled on a live matter.

The work with Brainspace is the latest legal tech venture by Taylor Wessing, which also been developing its own in-house products through its TW: navigate initiative, such as working with AI provider Rainbird. Rainbird’s tech has been used in close of 2016 for legislation analysis, performing the first pieces of analysis on the Modern Slavery Act.

The firm has also been trialling other leading legal AI tools, including working with Neota Logic to create a client app to analyse Persons with Significant Control Rules changes in April last year.

Taylor Wessing chief operating officer Rachel Reid told Legal Business: ‘Our clients have been hugely engaged with both of these products, they can take control of the actions and really understand what they need to do within their business. It demystifies it to a large extent.’

Taylor Wessing is the second firm to confirm it has been working with Brainspace, with CMS Cameron McKenna launching a new litigation technology business, CMS Evidence, and adopting the technology under disputes head Guy Pendell.

The firm is also currently trialling artificial intelligence due diligence tools such as RAVN, Kira and Luminance as well as real estate tool Leverton.

Taylor Wessing has a long established presence in UK innovation hubs such as Cambridge, and in 2011 also opened up a small office to service the UK’s ‘Tech City’ near Shoreditch.

The firm has also added several leading practitioners to bulk out its technology offering, hiring Latham & Watkins TMC partner Martin Cotterill last year as well as Bird & Bird corporate technology partner Angus Miln.

While the new ventures show Taylor Wessing pushing forward its New Law efforts, the firm previously shelved its document review business New Street Solutions, bringing the project back in-house after a mooted £5m funding round in 2012.

For more on the latest legal AI developments, see ‘The arms race’

Read more: ‘No more Taylor Who? Flair and a bit of vision take Taylor Wessing to next step but what now?’