East Midlands firm Nelsons has launched Fusion Legal, a new regional support network, following West Midlands firm FBC Manby Bowdler, which launched Hub.Legal  this summer.
Both firms were hubs in Pannone’s former Connect2Law network. Slater & Gordon revealed in June that its referral network would be called Linked to Law and Connect2Law would operate as a separate new business.
Marie Walls, partner at Nelsons and head of Fusion Legal, said it aimed to offer its 176 member firms support and assistance similar to being an “on-call partner”.
Like Hub.Legal, the East Midlands network is free to join, and combines referrals of work which member firms cannot undertake to Nelsons with a wide range of practice support.
“Many smaller firms do not have access to the practice support readily available within larger law firms, and Fusion Legal aims to provide this,” Ms Walls said.
“The referral aspect of the network means that our member firms can refer work they can’t deal with, while at the same time retaining their clients because of the strict non-poaching agreement we have in place.
“We support our members on so many different levels, from free CPD seminars and exclusive access to insurers for PII cover, right through to a free advice line which enables them to contact our lawyers for a second opinion and advice on regulatory and compliance issues.
“Whether the law firm is a one partner firm or larger, these services will be tailored to the particular firms’ needs and the good news is that most of these services can be grant-subsidised.”
A spokesman for Nelsons said Fusion’s member firms would benefit from a “new arrangement with an external partner” to provide business consultancy and training services.
This would include advice on business development and marketing, quality, compliance and accreditation, accountancy, tax and auditing, ICT and software.
The spokesman said savings could also be made by members on stationery, telecoms archiving and utilities through the Fusion Legal buying group.
Member firms are based in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Peterborough, Northampton, South Lincolnshire and Warwickshire.