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Herbert Smith Freehills’ Alternate Legal Services (ALT) team is today celebrating the second anniversary of its operations in Australia.

The Australian arm of ALT began operating from its Melbourne office on St Kilda Road in November 2016, and has since more than doubled in both size and revenue, boasting a national team of over 120 lawyers, analysts and technologists.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Australian ALT Director Hilary Goodier said the strong growth of ALT over the past two years demonstrates how important the service has become to meeting clients’ legal challenges.

“ALT has been in Australia for two years now, and it’s been two years of exciting progress and evolution, for us and our clients,” Ms Goodier said.  

“Our key differentiator is in the combination of Herbert Smith Freehills market-leading legal services and the innovative technology-driven approach of the ALT team – that partnership is changing the game for Herbert Smith Freehills clients.”

“We have really listened to our clients in how we provide high-volume, data intensive legal services.”

“Our clients want to access the best legal services in the market; we’re providing that, but changing the way we deliver it so it’s more efficient and cost effective.”

In a demonstration of the growth of ALT and its impact on the industry, earlier this year the firm announced the ALT Graduate Program.

“The ALT Graduate Program has been established to create career progression and development for our high performing Legal Analysts, learning more about the work of the firm and our clients and giving them a pathway to become exceptional lawyers,” Ms Goodier said.

“We now also offer ALT as a rotation for all Herbert Smith Freehills Graduates, offering valuable exposure to innovative technologies and legal practice methods.”

Ms Goodier pointed to ALT’s use of e-discovery platform Relativity Analytics as an example of its burgeoning success.

“Herbert Smith Freehill's ALT team is by far the largest user of Relativity’s analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities of any law firm in Australia,” she said.

“In fact, 32% of all data run through Relativity in Australia has been by Herbert Smith Freehills, and so far this year we have run an average of 1.5 million documents through Relativity each month.”

Ms Goodier said that further growth and expansion was planned for ALT in 2019.

“We are expanding the nature of our offering from core disputes-focussed, e-discovery and corporate and transactional services, to working more closely with clients’ in-house teams,” she said.

“We’re also making big investments in technology to drive even greater efficiencies in our core services and expand the nature of the products and services we provide to clients.

”2019 is certainly shaping up to be an exciting year for ALT.”