Addleshaws fights back as TST turns three

Following on from our recent story about LPO provider Exigent’s expansion, here’s an update on the efforts by Addleshaw Goddard to remodel its service offering. Reading between the lines in the interview with Exigent’s CEO David Holmes, it’s hard not to see a thinly veiled dig at Addleshaws when he says firms have barely scratched the surface of re-engineering the way they deliver legal services.  

There’s been the hiring of, “a few lawyers in an office in somewhere like Preston, but there’s been no real downsizing of their London offices,” said Holmes. “So this is window dressing, not wholesale change.”

Addleshaws would disagree. In fact, the firm argues that it is seeing LPO fail in many quarters while its own offering is “going from strength to strength”. Well, it would say that, wouldn’t it?

Still, it can back up its claim with a meaty stat attack. Last week Addleshaws’ Transaction Services Team (TST) celebrated its third anniversary. In that time, as today’s story reveals, it has completed more than 3,000 matters; spent 500 hours mapping its processes; worked for 300 clients across 20 countries; and seen headcount growth from five to 100 people. The firm says it is ahead of target for delivering 10 per cent of its work through the TST by 2015. Impressive.

Elsewhere in this week’s The Lawyer Management, check out the opinion article from Andy Ellis, a costs lawyer and the managing director of costs management consultancy Practico, on US firm Dechert being sued by ENRC over its £16m legal bill. Ellis asks whether these types of challenges will become more common and what firms should be doing to protect themselves against them.

On top of that in today’s bumper issue, in the wake of the collapse of Manches, City accountant Fiona Hotston Moore of Reeves puts the blame on the Legal Services Act and partnership structures for law firm collapses such as Manches and asks why those who advise others are so bad at advising themselves.

To read all about what auditors think of this issue, see next week’s main feature in The Lawyer on who audits the UK 200.