Lovells lures KLegal director in shake-up

Lovells is making a headstart on multidisciplinary partnerships by shaking up its financial services division.

The firm has lured a director from the legal arm of accountancy giant KLegal, Deborah Sabalot, as part of the programme. She joins in an of counsel capacity.

Richard Stones, head of financial services, says the shift will see lawyers developing process management skills.

Although there are no plans to employ non-lawyers, he does not rule it out for the future.

Stone says the firm’s workload demands the approach.

“What clients want is something more of a seamless service in helping with the regulatory side of start-ups and new products and when dealing with the terrors of the new regulatory regime.”

While at pains to point out that the firm is not becoming an MDP, he concedes the concept could be “extended to other areas of practice”.

US and UK qualified Sabalot is still negotiating when she will join the firm.

She says: “We are trying to take a multidisciplinary approach. We need a lot of different people with a lot of different skills.

“I feel that for me at the moment it is an opportunity to be back in a law firm with and extremely good financial services practice.”

Part of her role will be to increase the range of services available for clients in regulatory advice and e-commerce law.

Sabalot specialises in wholesale financial markets an investment banking.

She joined KLegal in October last year after transferring from KPMG, where she worked in the financial services regulatory group for five years.

Financial services and banking regulation lawyer Clive Cunningham will replace Sabalot at KLegal. He joined the legal arm earlier this year from Linklaters & Alliance.

The Lawyer reveals difficult times at Davies Arnold Cooper