Entries and exits: ‘Tesco Law’ licences hit 200 mark but a few early movers stumble

Entries and exits: ‘Tesco Law’ licences hit 200 mark but a few early movers stumble

Despite a handful of well-publicised problems at alternative business structures (ABS), there are no shortage of entrants looking to pursue the ‘Tesco Law’ model. Just how many was confirmed this week when it emerged that that Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has now awarded more than 200 ABS licences.

The move is a startling figure coming less than two years since the regime to consider ABS applications went live. City media boutique Wiggin became ABS number 200, and will operate as an ABS from the start of next month, while corporate boutique firm Gunnercooke came in at number 201 and is to become effective as an ABS structure in mid-November.

Continue reading “Entries and exits: ‘Tesco Law’ licences hit 200 mark but a few early movers stumble”

‘I could walk away but I don’t want to’: Mansfield QC explains launch of virtual chambers following Tooks closure

‘I could walk away but I don’t want to’: Mansfield QC explains launch of virtual chambers following Tooks closure

The recent dissolution of Tooks Chambers was widely regarded as a sign of the times, as legal aid cuts coupled with a turbulent economy have hit publicly funded sets at the Bar harder than most. Now, however, former chief Michael Mansfield QC has embarked on plans to reinvent a low-cost, virtual version of the civil liberties set.

While Tooks closed its doors in Farringdon Street last Friday (11 Oct), 15 of the 55-strong set are expected to join Mansfield Chambers, as it will be known. Although the official launch is expected to take place in February next year, the new set began operating out of serviced offices at 5 Chancery Lane on Monday (14 Oct).
Continue reading “‘I could walk away but I don’t want to’: Mansfield QC explains launch of virtual chambers following Tooks closure”

BPO – Wragges transfers 65 support staff to Intelligent Office as 26 staff take redundancy

BPO – Wragges transfers 65 support staff to Intelligent Office as 26 staff take redundancy

Following an extensive review of its legal support services in May, Wragge & Co has made 26 full time equivalent (FTE) staff redundant with a further 65 roles transferred across to business process outsourcing (BPO) group Intelligent Office.

The BPO arrangement sees staff from across all four of the 502-lawyer firm’s legal groups – corporate, commercial, finance and projects; real estate; human resources; and dispute resolution – transfer to form a new document production centre, concierge hubs and a ‘docucentre’ for reprographics, post and archiving, all managed on site by Intelligent Office. Continue reading “BPO – Wragges transfers 65 support staff to Intelligent Office as 26 staff take redundancy”

Vodafone develops Indian LPO as former Linklaters lawyer takes over as UK external affairs director

Vodafone develops Indian LPO as former Linklaters lawyer takes over as UK external affairs director

As Vodafone replaces outgoing UK corporate and external affairs director Justine Campbell with group legal director for corporate and commercial, Helen Lamprell, the telecoms giant has been focusing on developing a new relationship with the legal process outsourcing (LPO) arm of Indian law firm Qui Prior Law Associates (QP).

Vodafone in March signed up with QP, which is run by senior in-house lawyer of 20 years Rajiv Sarin, who has worked in senior positions in companies such as Coca-Cola, Unilever and HCL-Hewlett Packard, to initially take on work including basic contract review. Continue reading “Vodafone develops Indian LPO as former Linklaters lawyer takes over as UK external affairs director”

Guest blog – Innovation in law: are you one of us?

Debates about innovation in law can be a bit tribal. The Creative Destroyers decry the billable hour. They mock Big Law as a broken model and see law as a dusty rule book in need of big data and a scientific reinvention. Law is vastly complex and inefficient. More traditional folk point to the resilience of law, and law firms. They snigger, not always unfairly, at the self-serving evangelism of the new model insurgents. And they comfort themselves, unwisely I suspect, with any signs that the current crop of innovators are failing. The singularity may not be near, but that does not mean that it is far. Continue reading “Guest blog – Innovation in law: are you one of us?”

That bright shiny idea – the in-house teams trying to move from costs to business driver

That bright shiny idea – the in-house teams trying to move from costs to business driver

With mounting pressure on legal teams to up productivity, a handful of pioneering GCs have attempted the fundamental shift towards becoming a commercial centre

‘A lot of people like to be seen to be innovative,’ says Richard Susskind, author of Tomorrow’s Lawyers, ‘but one shouldn’t pursue innovation in and of itself, it’s got to be relevant.’

While this means different things to different industries at different times, within the context of the in-house legal community in the grip of an enduring economic malaise, there can be little more relevant than the innovations of departments that have turned themselves from traditional cost centres into profit-generating or business development limbs of the overall enterprise.

Continue reading “That bright shiny idea – the in-house teams trying to move from costs to business driver”

Vision of the future? Former eBay dispute resolution team heads to Europe

Vision of the future? Former eBay dispute resolution team heads to Europe

An online dispute resolution (ODR) technology business spun out of eBay is setting up in the UK after receiving a $5m investment from venture capitalists.

Silicon Valley-based Modria, which provides technical solutions for the resolution of around 60 million disputes a year, will be launching its European arm following investment led by early-stage IT venture capital firm Foundry Group. Continue reading “Vision of the future? Former eBay dispute resolution team heads to Europe”

Pioneering Lawyers On Demand business secures high profile ex FT general counsel to plot growth

Pioneering Lawyers On Demand business secures high profile ex FT general counsel to plot growth

Former Financial Times general counsel Tim Bratton is set to join the Berwin Leighton Paisner-backed Lawyers on Demand (LOD) in September as practice development director. Jonathan Brenner (pictured), co-founder of LOD, told Legal Business he was ‘delighted’ to get the high profile Bratton on board.

Bratton joins in a newly-created role to help drive the growth of the legal service provider with in-house teams and law firms.

Continue reading “Pioneering Lawyers On Demand business secures high profile ex FT general counsel to plot growth”

Wragges to cut up to 30 jobs in BPO venture

In a move that stands out against the recent backlash towards business process outsourcing, Wragge & Co is to cut up to 30 full-time equivalent support roles following an agreement with Intelligent Office.

A consultation has been launched with affected PAs, secretaries and other administrative staff following a comprehensive review of the firm’s back office functions, which was launched at the start of the year.

Continue reading “Wragges to cut up to 30 jobs in BPO venture”