Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has sought to be raise the bar for innovation in the City with the launch of a four-pronged ‘Integrated Client Service Model’.
It combines process mapping, outsourcing, an extension of its Lawyers on Demand (LOD) service to create ‘virtual transaction teams’, and the opening of a ‘legal services delivery team’ in Manchester.
Though on their own none of the initiatives are especially novel – just last week Hogan Lovells announced it is establishing a 20-strong ‘legal services centre’ in Birmingham – it is the first time that a firm has sought to bring them together in a coherent package.
The aim, the firm said, is to offer clients “a flexible menu of options”. The fully integrated service will be launched formally when the Manchester office opens in early summer.
In more detail, the four elements are:
- Legal process improvement (LPI): The in-house LPI team has applied “unique processes” to more than 60 work flows on existing client work streams, BLP said. “The LPI team is now expanding to provide more consultancy services for clients helping them to improve processes and analyse which balance of the options within the Integrated Service Model best addresses their needs.”
- LOD virtual transaction teams: LOD is embarking on the next phase of its development by rolling out virtual transaction teams, making available more senior lawyers for routine and stand-alone parts of complex client matters. BLP said: “This approach is an evolution of its ‘On Call’ service and harnesses the ability of lawyers to work in virtual teams rather than individually. These teams utilise high-quality LOD lawyers working remotely through pioneering technology and project management processes.”
- Third parties sourcing: BLP said it intends to apply the outsourcing and project management skills it has developed in working with its global preferred firm network and its Managed Legal Services model – which saw Thames Water essentially outsource its entire in-house legal team to BLP – to use third parties to provide low-cost solutions where required.
- BLP Manchester: BLP said Manchester provides access to a large pool of high-quality legal staff. “Manchester has also over last decade emerged as one of Europe’s leading shared service hubs resulting in a highly developed industry infrastructure. Having a legal services delivery team in Manchester will support BLP in delivering integrated services to clients.”
BLP managing partner Neville Eisenberg said: “This is an important step forward in offering our clients a unique model which directly addresses their requirements for high-quality and efficient legal services. We have been working on this model in consultation with clients for the last 18 months and I believe it draws on the best of the firm’s reputation for, and experience in, developing innovative client solutions.”