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Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) partners last night voted to spin off the firm’s interim lawyer service, Lawyers on Demand (LoD).
Following the vote, LoD will transfer into a separate company on 1 June 2012. BLP will retain an 80 per cent stake in the new company, with co-founders Jonathan Brenner and Simon Harper sharing the remaining 20 per cent and continuing to run the business.
Following the transfer, Harper will leave BLP’s partnership to focus on running the devovled business.
The firm says it decided to spin off the business to give it a more independent and accountable platform as it develops.
In a statement, Harper said: “BLP’s support has played a huge part in LoD’s success to date and will continue to do so going forward. It’s a fascinating time of disruptive changes in the way legal services are delivered and, by offering lawyers and clients a different way to work, we’re enjoying being right at the heart of those changes.”
The Lawyer reported in February that BLP was discussing whether to spin off LoD (17 February 2012) as the business reached its “adolescence phase”, as Harper put it.
LoD, which provides freelance lawyers to companies who need extra bodies to cope with spikes in work, was launched in 2008. It began with a pilot of eight lawyers and has since grown to over 100, with revenue exceeding £7m.
According to the firm, Orange, BSkyB, Cisco and the Financial Times, as well as a number of banks, have all used the service. BLP added that private practice law firms have also asked about using the service.