Herbert Smith Freehills has expanded its global alternative legal services offering with the launch of a 'pop up' project in Perth, which will see clients gain access to a unique 24-hour document review service.
Herbert Smith Freehills has expanded its global alternative legal services offering with the launch of a ‘pop up’ project in Perth, which will see clients gain access to a unique 24-hour document review service.
This agile new pop-up offering is an integrated part of the pioneering client service capabilities of Herbert Smith Freehills' global alternative legal services business, which includes its Belfast office, the Information Logistics team and its London-based Disputes Data Management service. This opening is significant for the firm because it demonstrates the agility, versatility and client responsiveness of Herbert Smith Freehills' innovative alternative legal services model.
For the pilot, more than 30 alternative legal services staff will ‘pop up’ in the firm’s Perth office, initially focusing on reviewing documents for litigation, arbitration and investigations. They will work seamlessly with their alternative legal services colleagues around the world to offer clients a quality around-the-clock, cost-efficient service. The pop-up team brings the alternative legal services business to a global team of around 300 people, and immediately follows additional recent growth in the firm's Belfast office to meet client demand.
The global alternative legal services business offers all clients a range of services in addition to document review, including regulatory claims assessment, due diligence, verification, commercial contracts, repapering, specialist funds work, asset management for real estate clients, and eDiscovery and client data technology services (including advisory and document review software).
The pop-up, which is understood to be an Australian first, will initially service overflow document review work from the Belfast office. It is expected to remain operational for at least six months, however this could be expanded and extended, or even made permanent, depending upon client demand.
Global Head of Alternative Legal Services, Libby Jackson, who has spearheaded the project, said:
"The provision of global alternative legal products and services, aligned with legal technology solutions, has always been at the very heart of the innovation agenda for us – and this pop-up is a real example of this. It is evidence of how fast we respond to clients' needs in an agile, innovative and cost-effective way – while maintaining the Herbert Smith Freehills quality experience.
“To be able to provide this service under one umbrella - on a truly global basis with no gaps in process, timing or quality - really highlights Herbert Smith Freehills’ steadfast focus on delivering client-focused service solutions.
“We’re reducing costs, we’re reducing risks, and we’re increasing the quality of the traditional ALS offering for clients,” she went on to say.
Herbert Smith Freehills' Managing Partner for Strategic Implementation Patrick St John said:
"Globalising our alternative legal services offering is an important strategic step for the firm. Perth is an attractive location to launch our new offering as its time zone has good overlap with the East coast of Australia, Asia, the Middle East and Europe enabling easy interaction with our instructing teams and seamless co-ordination of work with our other main ALS hub in Belfast. The project team for the pop-up have done a great job to turn the idea of a global ALS business into a reality."
In June 2015, Herbert Smith Freehills launched a new global alternative legal services business, which brought together the firm's Belfast office with its Information Logistics team and its London-based Disputes Data Management service to create a global team of lawyers, legal assistants and technologists - all dedicated to providing alternative legal services. The combined team provides a global range of services including document review, regulatory claims assessment, due diligence, verification, commercial contracts, repapering, specialist funds work, client technology services (including advisory and document review software) and asset management for real estate clients.
Herbert Smith Freehills announced plans to set up an office in Belfast focused on large scale document-intensive aspects of litigation, arbitration and regulatory investigations in November 2010. It was the first leading international law firm to establish a UK-based near-shore operation to conduct this type of work, announcing and then opening in Northern Ireland before any other law firm. The office opened in April 2011.