A&O gives global integration an EPiC boost

Allen & Overy is preparing to launch a new approach to business development (BD) in an attempt to optimise its rapidly expanding international network.

Two-thirds of the work handled by the magic circle firm now features two or more offices, while 20 per cent features five.

But the firm’s aggressive international growth strategy, which has seen it add 11 offices over the past three years, has outpaced its BD capabilities.

Consequently, A&O is now looking to roll out a strategy that has been developed over the past two years and is aimed at capitalising on the knowledge base across its 36 offices in 26 countries.
From early next year the firm will pilot the ’EPiC’ system (which stands for ’Experience, Pitches and Contacts’) in its New York and German offices.

Spearheaded by associate BD director Michael Michaelides and London partner Jonathan Brayne, EPiC is intended to provide lawyers with a database that will allow them to identify relevant experts and experience around the network much more quickly than at present, increasing the firm’s odds of winning work.

The objective is to ensure that, where possible, the firm services key clients in as many jurisdictions as possible.

Michaelides said that EPiC was unlikely to result in BD job losses.

“If anything, since the financial crisis has meant there is less work around, the global demand for business development has increased,” he added.

Michaelides refused to comment on the cost of implementing the new data system, but said the fact that it was a ready-made package that A&O had customised cut the cost.