Olswang is expanding its back office financial analysis team in an effort to meet a growing demand from its lawyers for pricing-related data and market intelligence.
In particular the firm is targeting analytics, including the level of discounts on rates, that could give it an advantage when pitching for new instructions or panel appointments.
Olswang chief operating officer Simon Glynn said the move to hire more financial analysts was a response to increased demand for data from the firm’s lawyers.
That increased demand was itself the result of the rollout of new training programmes aimed at educating all fee-earners about the importance of market data and pricing, added Glynn.
“Obviously we’ve been running training sessions for years but we decided we wanted to refresh it,” said Glynn. “Last year we held 15 three-hour sessions for partners and associates. The key now is turning the information we generate into data the lawyers can use. And now that we’ve built up the demand for information, including on pricing, we realised that what we had in terms of internal resource was not enough.”
Last year Olswang is thought to have invested around £3m in Thomson Reuters’ Elite 3E practice management system, the implementation of which has since been rolled out across the firm’s entire partnership and senior associate ranks.
The firm has also introduced around 15 so-called ‘pricing champions’ across its office network and practice groups. These are partners nominated by practice group leaders to promote the importance of appropriate pricing on a range of matters.
In total Olswang has a five-person team generating market analysis data, two of which focus specifically on financial information. The team reports to Olswang finance director Alison Ripley.
Earlier this week Olswang reported a 3 per cent rise in total revenue to £111.3m and a 4 per cent fall in profit to £510,000 (4 June 2013).