Addleshaws in plan to up business nous

Partners from five practice areas worked with the legal heads from eight FTSE100 companies, including Barclays, HSBC and BT, to develop a business simulation computer program which will be used to educate both Addleshaws lawyers and in-house counsel.

The computer package is designed to demonstrate the impact of hypothetical business decisions on an organisation’s bottom line. Addleshaws lawyers and their in-house peers will work in teams over a day to make strategic decisions, from which the computer will simulate the consequences of those decisions.

The simulation will pit teams of lawyers against each other, with the objective of combining commercial business and legal decisions to make the most money for the hypothetical company.

Addleshaws client development head Jim Hever said the firm was hoping to enhance the commerciality of its lawyers by giving them the types of problems and challenges that they would face in the business world.

Managing partner Mark Jones said the plan was to have lawyers understand clients “as a business more than a legal issue”.

Jones added: “If you think about the principal plank of our strategy with FTSE350 and equivalent businesses, very much the majority of those businesses now have an in-house legal department and counsel.

“They’re all increasingly running their legal spend on a panel basis, and if firms don’t understand the nature of the business then the firms carry the risk of not getting on the panel.”