Alternative legal services provider Lawyers On Demand (LOD) has launched a Manchester ‘hub’, its first outside of London, in a bid to expand its ‘on site’ model of placing freelance lawyers into companies.
The service will initially be a pilot to test the appetite in the region for its secondment-style offering, which follows the decision of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) – of whose group it is part – to open in Manchester.
LOD’s practice development director, Tim Bratton, said the move into the north-west was likely to have occurred anyway, but BLP’s new office was “a catalyst to making it happen a bit quicker”.
The business – which has more than 200 lawyers on its books – will also use the opportunity to recruit more lawyers to its ‘on call’ service, which gives clients access to remote workers.
LOD’s pitch is that its model gives companies, and other law firms, access to a flexible and cost-effective resource without having to take on full-time staff. Its lawyers have access to BLP’s know-how, professional support and training.
Clients include Google, BBC and Barclays as well as “several international law firms”, and LOD turned over £9m in its first year since spinning out from BLP, completing over 400 assignments.
As part of BLP’s ‘integrated client service model’, LOD has also begun bringing its ‘on call’ lawyers together in ‘virtual transaction teams’.
LOD co-founder Simon Harper said: “Twenty years ago, when I was looking for a legal training contract, local options in the north-west were very different. But over recent years, the legal market has fundamentally changed. Manchester is the UK’s second largest legal market and now seems poised for further growth.”