Connect2Law – the largest network of law firms in England and Wales – is planning to raise its profile and make itself the “UK’s leading response for law firms” to the post-Legal Services Act market.
As a sign of intent it has recruited David Jabbari – until recently chief operating officer of City law firm Clyde & Co – as its new chief executive. He is also now an equity partner at Manchester firm Pannone, which created Connect2Law in 2001.
In a statement, Pannone said the development of Connect2Law is “a very important strategic priority for Pannone and we have been looking for some time at how we can enhance the network. David’s appointment marks the seriousness of our ambition for Connect2Law”.
It continued: “Our aim is for Connect2Law to become the UK’s leading response for law firms to the challenges and opportunities presented by the post-LSA market. This will involve a significant improvement in the products and services to members, together with a much higher visibility for the Connect2Law brand as a way of bringing new work into the network.”
With over 2,500 law firm members and plans to grow it to more than 3,000, Connect2Law was originally launched to help law firms offer their clients a full service proposition by referring to Pannone work they could not undertake themselves. Referring firms usually receive an upfront payment as well as a share of the fees at the end of the matter.
There are written non-poaching agreements, as well as a range of group benefits, including pooled professional indemnity insurance and bulk buying of office requirements, ranging from stationery to car leasing.
Since 2001, 20 leading regional firms have bought a Connect2Law franchise to create and manage their own hub-and-spoke models. Connect2Law members are generally firms of 10 partners or fewer.
Mr Jabbari was previously a senior equity partner and the CEO of City firm Barlow Lyde & Gilbert during which time he handled both the acquisition of Halliwells’ insurance practice and the merger with Clyde & Co. Before that he was a global director at Allen & Overy, a member of the board of management at the College of Law, and a director at Bird & Bird.
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