US law firm Axiom has launched its unusual legal model in London, which sees all of the firm’s lawyers seconded to clients.
Axiom will be focusing on building a banking client base, drawing on mandates won in the US with banks such as Morgan Stanley and Citigroup.
Former Linklaters corporate lawyer Al Giles, who has been recruited to head Axiom’s London office, said: “The firm’s been very successful in the States.
“Our clients have been asking when we were going to launch our London practice so we can serve them internationally.” Axiom 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.
From its New York and San Francisco offices, Axiom has placed lawyers in global banks and corporates, including Goldman Sachs and Reuters.
Giles said: “We’ve already recruited two lawyers into Morgan Stanley in London. We have a very different way of working and it does take time to explain to potential clients how we work.
“We don’t have billable hours and it’s done project by project, so it’s cheaper than instructing a firm.” Axiom has embarked on a recruitment drive to ramp up its capabilities in the City and is currently meeting potential clients to build up its London client base.
“There isn’t the complex management that exists in UK and US firms,” explained Giles. “In the States it’s worked very well and we already have some smaller boutique firms launching with a very similar model.”
Giles added that the firm will move on to developing a corporate client base later this year.