AllianceBernstein gets Axiom help

Axiom Legal, the US-based firm that pioneered a new model of seconding lawyers to clients, has placed a new recruit as interim UK legal director in asset management company AllianceBernstein.

Penny Froggatt, who joined Axiom two months ago, is caretaking the UK legal team of AllianceBernstein’s broker-dealer arm. Froggatt, who came to Axiom from Lloyd Law, was previously Legal & General Asset Management’s head of legal.

Froggatt fits the typical Axiom lawyer profile in that she possesses significant in-house experience, said co-founder of the London office and former Linklaters corporate finance associate Al Giles.

Axiom opened in London in August, as first revealed by The Lawyer (24 September ). It has abandoned the traditional management and charge-out structure by seconding all of its lawyers into organisations requiring legal support on a project-by-project basis.

Although it defines itself as a law firm, Axiom has no partners. It believes this renders it a more economical business model, meaning it can offer cheaper bills to clients.

Giles told The Lawyer: “With traditional billing, a third goes directly to partners. As we have no partners at Axiom, we can afford to be a third cheaper.”

This discount of a third applies to lawyers of all experience levels.

Last year Axiom, which has offices in New York, San Francisco and London, turned over $32m (£17.39m).

Pegasystem’s legal director for the Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa regions Nils Breidenstein said: “They’re cutting out the costs that normally make firms so expensive: they don’t need £1m profit per equity partner or a tower in Canary Wharf, and these are things that clients end up paying for.”