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LPO provider Exigent’s acquisition of mLegal this week gave me the chance to speak to CEO David Holme. It’s fair to say he had some seriously pithy comments to make about law firm process and re-engineering. Simply put, there isn’t any.
Holme describes his company’s deal as “the next step to aligning the delivery of legal services with how clients need to operate commercially”, adding that until now the debate has been “dominated by the ‘where’ and not the ‘how’.
“For me it will be ‘how and how much better’ that will be the next phase in this space”, added Holme. Informally he was considerably more caustic, claiming that the moves several firms have made to set up lower cost centres were little more than “window dressing”.
“Law firms have tinkered with the delivery model because they’re not as busy as they were so they have some spare bodies,” argues Holme. “There’s also a fear that we’re trying to eat their lunch. And to an extent we are. So that logic has led some of them to have a centre in Scotland or Belfast or a few lawyers in an office in somewhere like Preston, but there’s been no real downsizing of their London offices. So this is window dressing, not wholesale change.”