Homegrown BPO – Hogan Lovells puts South Africa at centre of new business support initiative

Homegrown BPO – Hogan Lovells puts South Africa at centre of new business support initiative

Transatlantic firm Hogan Lovells has put South Africa at the centre of its cost savings plans for clients, setting up a business support services function that will see new vacancies from Europe and Asia evaluated in terms of whether they could as easily be done from the lower cost site.

Announced today (3 February), the centre, which has been set up in the same building as recent South African merger partner Routledge Modise, follows a strategic view of how the firm provides business services support, and will initially provide a reasonably low-level range of services including conflict checking, client due diligence and research. Continue reading “Homegrown BPO – Hogan Lovells puts South Africa at centre of new business support initiative”

Game changer: PwC receives approval from regulator to become an ABS

Game changer: PwC receives approval from regulator to become an ABS

In a potentially game-changing move for the legal market PwC has today (31 January) received approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority to become an Alternative Business Structure, meaning that it can directly own limited liability partnership, PwC Legal, bringing together its circa 2,000 global lawyer network.

The only one of the Big Four accountants to maintain a serious legal offering since the withdrawal of the likes of KPMG shortly after the turn of the century, PwC said last year that it was looking at a number of different options in the legal sector including conversion to an ABS, which will allow it to offer a more joined up service with its, until now, entirely separate legal arm. Continue reading “Game changer: PwC receives approval from regulator to become an ABS”

Here be monsters – will LPOs help clients find the threats in the data jungle?

Here be monsters – will LPOs help clients find the threats in the data jungle?

From disclosure to global investigations, companies are being forced to search an expanding jungle of data for threats. Legal Business teamed up with Clutch Group to find out if clients believe LPOs will aid the hunt

Disaggregation. If someone wanted to identify a keyword to describe what legal process outsourcers (LPOs) do (and identifying keywords and clauses is part of what they do), this word would have to be top of the list. It’s a buzzword that forms a big part of the dialogue used by proponents of legal process outsourcing, be they industry insiders or the clients themselves, and its meaning applies not only to the work they do, but to the effect that LPOs, and other alternative sources of legal work, could have on the legal sector as a whole.

Continue reading “Here be monsters – will LPOs help clients find the threats in the data jungle?”

Comment: Almost meeting minds – a select band of CIOs and MPs plot a big, big breakthrough

Comment: Almost meeting minds – a select band of CIOs and MPs plot a big, big breakthrough

During the original dot-com boom, there was a brief period – oh so brief – when legal technologists and managing partners were almost on the same page. With both camps dreaming of dramatic use of IT projects to revolutionise the legal business – the era of Blue Flag – there were big sums signed off, in many cases with poor results when it came to the hard grind of implementation. Dot-com boom turned to bust and IT professionals were once again from Venus and fee-earners from Mars. Continue reading “Comment: Almost meeting minds – a select band of CIOs and MPs plot a big, big breakthrough”

Guest post: West Coast, left field and progressive – a conversation with Facebook’s law firm

Guest post: West Coast, left field and progressive – a conversation with Facebook’s law firm

One of the more unusual reactions I’ve gotten to my book Growth Is Dead came from Kate Fritz, managing partner of Fenwick & West, who I had the chance to talk to recently.

Few lawyers will need an introduction to Fenwick, one of most respected practices in the West Coast of America and a leading adviser in California’s technology scene thanks for work for clients like Facebook, Apple and eBay.

Continue reading “Guest post: West Coast, left field and progressive – a conversation with Facebook’s law firm”

Game changers – the AA enters legal services market via Lyons Davidson tie-up

Game changers – the AA enters legal services market via Lyons Davidson tie-up

Touted as one of the potential game changers likely to enter the post Legal Services Act arena, the AA has fulfilled market expectation – albeit a little later than its closest rivals – by securing alternative business structure (ABS) status and entering into a joint venture with Bristol-based Lyons Davidson.

AA Law, which will initially handle personal injury (PI) work and other litigation associated with car accidents suffered by AA members and customers, will start trading on 1 December, with employment and contract services likely to be added in the future. Continue reading “Game changers – the AA enters legal services market via Lyons Davidson tie-up”

Slaughters teams up with Carillion law venture to cut costs for bluechip clients

Slaughters teams up with Carillion law venture to cut costs for bluechip clients

As general counsel (GCs) push their advisers to think more innovatively about costs savings, Slaughter and May has begun offering the services of Carillion’s new low-cost legal arm to its own clients, including a recent transaction for key client Vodafone.

The Magic Circle firm, which is one of Carillion’s lead corporate panel advisers, offered Vodafone the option to use Newcastle-based Carillion Advice Services (CAS) on an undisclosed deal, which included a customer contract exercise.

Continue reading “Slaughters teams up with Carillion law venture to cut costs for bluechip clients”

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”