Radiant opens South Africa in-sourcing centre as it targets ABS to bring top retailer onboard

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11 March 2014


Hamilton: major growth area

Innovative legal practice Radiant Law has moved to an in-sourcing model for some of its work by opening an office in South Africa last week – while also applying for an alternative business structure (ABS) licence to enable a leading retailer to become its chairman.

The London-based law firm combines high-level legal advice and fixed fees with IT and legal process outsourcing (LPO) to advise on technology, outsourcing and commercial contracts matters.

CEO Alex Hamilton said the South Africa move recognised that its offer of a ‘managed legal service’ for high-volume commercial contract work was a “major growth area” for the firm. The work was previously done in South Africa by LPO provider Exigent, which will continue to work with Radiant on high-value matters.

Mr Hamilton explained that while in high-value matters Radiant’s main contribution is the experience of its seven lawyers, for high-volume retainers “the whole process is where we add the value”.

Radiant works with clients to automate contract creation – meaning the client can do this and send out the first draft – and it then work from ‘playbooks’ containing standard responses and fall-back positions to speed up negotiations, providing partner-level support if required. The aim is to reduce the length and cost of the contract cycle.

The firm has hired Justin Cornish from US firm Latham & Watkins, where he was counsel, to head up the office in Cape Town, along with three other lawyers, with one more joining next month. Mr Hamilton predicted the firm would take a “very aggressive recruitment path” in South Africa.

The ABS licence will enable Greg Tufnell to become non-executive chairman. Mr Tufnell – the brother of former cricketer Phil – is a former managing director of Mothercare and Burton, and is currently chairman of three other companies, including Paragon Sports Management, which represents a host of leading sportspeople.

Mr Hamilton said: “Greg brings a way of thinking that’s alien to the legal world, and the legal world needs more of that.”

Radiant has also recruited its seventh lawyer in London, with Andy Sutherland joining from Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, where he was a legal director, to head up the outsourcing team.



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Legal Futures Blog

Joint (ad)ventures in the legal sector

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We all know that nothing in life is certain. As the actor, director and philosopher Clint Eastwood once said: “If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” He also said he’d tried being reasonable and didn’t like it. They should teach this kind of philosophy in law school. One thing in life is reasonably certain though. If you’re a law firm worth your salt, at some point you will be approached by another entity (most probably a work introducer) with a whizzy idea to ‘partner’ with you to ‘help you accelerate your growth’. In commercial speak this means, ‘we’d like to keep feeding you work but we’d also like to share in your profits’. The arrangement may be pitched to you as a joint venture – a win-win no less.

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