Top-level changes at Pinsents’ Vario as Bond exits

Pinsent Masons has overhauled the senior management of its flexible resource service, appointing former TMP Worldwide director of business development Matthew Kay as the new head of Vario.

Kay replaces Pinsents partner Alison Bond, who along with Katherine Thomas, was the co-founder of the contract lawyer service. Both Bond and Thomas have left the firm.

TMP Worldwide is a recruitment communications, advertising and resourcing company. Prior to his role at TMP Kay led the European service delivery for HR outsourcing at Accenture.

The appointment of Kay, the firm’s first appointment to the service from outside Pinsents, follows what it described as the “exponential growth” of Vario, which provides a hub of technically skilled freelance legal professionals for a wide variety of assignments, since its launch in 2013.

Kay’s appointment also marks a significant shift in management structure for Vario as the business moves into its next stage of maturity, Pinsents said.

Increasing demand has also led to a further appointment to the Vario team, with account manager Lyndsey Meredith appointed in January and further additions to the team expected later this year.

Pinsent Masons senior partner Richard Foley said Vario had been an even greater success than the firm had originally anticipated.

“With over 200 lawyers in our team combining a range of skillset expertise, sector knowhow and PQE, we feel ready to take the next step,” added Foley. “We wanted to create a more corporate-style management structure that compliments the strength of our existing team, and Matthew stood out as the right person to lead that change. He has the right blend of recruitment and strategic experience to help us review and pursue a long-term growth strategy.”

Foley added that both Bond and Thomas had done a “fantastic” job in launching Vario.

Over the past year the UK contract lawyer market has continued to expand, with DLA Piper announced last November that it will offer its clients a flexible resourcing capability through a bespoke agreement with one of the original agile working providers, LOD.

The agreement was described by the parties as the first of its kind, although LOD does also work with around 20 other law firms on a more ad hoc basis.

A number of other firms have launched contract lawyer services under separate brands in recent years, including Addleshaw Goddard’s Integrate, Allen & Overy’s Peerpoint, and Eversheds’ Agile.