Magic circle firm Allen & Overy has expanded the online legal service it provides to financial institutions as part of its “strategic vision to integrate a range of new service capabilities and delivery models with its core high-end legal practice”.
It has relaunched its Derivative Services business as aosphere, with a wider range of services for clients.
The firm said this was a “crucial time” for financial institution clients, who are facing a combination of increasing compliance requirements, reduced budgets and significant financial consequences should they be found to be in breach of regulatory obligations.
Derivatives Services was established in 2001 focusing on the over-the-counter derivatives market with products such as netalytics and CSAnalytics. Since then, and in light of the spate of new regulation in the financial institutions space such as MiFID II, the Transparency Directive and AIFMD, it has expanded to offer a wider range of online compliance and legal risk products which provide detailed cross-border legal information.
Each product turns these complex areas of the law into colour-coded guides to the myriad rules that apply in different jurisdictions.
New product areas created by the aosphere group of around 25 senior lawyers and support staff cover shareholding disclosure, marketing restrictions and cross border data transfer. Prototypes for new services to cover G20 reporting requirements and derivatives clearing are currently in development.
“We’re seeing increasing demand from clients all over the world for reliable compliance and risk management solutions that are cost effective and which present information in ways that can be easily understood, by lawyers and non-lawyers alike,” explains Marc-Henri Chamay, managing director of e- business at Allen & Overy and chief executive of aosphere.
“The average lawyer in our team has been qualified for 15 years and understands the practical requirements of new regulatory requirements for financial institutions of all shapes and sizes. It’s this high-quality advice and expertise in compliance issues made accessible at a low cost which has enabled our significant growth over the past few years.
“We’ve gone from a subscription base of 40 institutions at the start of the financial crisis in 2008 to over 200 today, and around 9500 individual user accounts, with an average subscription renewal rate of 97%.”
The firm said aosphere was a key element of its range of alternative delivery models, which also include its legal services centre in Belfast and contract lawyer business Peerpoint.