A&O takes Peerpoint to Asia

Just three months after hiring Deloitte’s managing partner of growth and markets Richard Punt as chief executive officer of Peerpoint, Allen & Overy is rolling out the flexible resourcing initiative to Hong Kong.

Punt has a remit for business development, freeing up chief operations officer Ben Williams to focus on the operations side of Peerpoint, which already has a team of around 50 people including five in Hong Kong and two in Australia.

The bulk-up of contract lawyers in Asia, which began with what Punt terms “a gentle launch” before Christmas, is expected to be the first stage in a wider international roll-out of Peerpoint.

A&O launched Peerpoint in November 2013 to meet spikes in demand for lawyers at peak periods. It followed the 2010 launch of Berwin Leighton Paisner’s Lawyers On Demand, which spun out into a separate company in 2012.

A number of firms have launched similar initiatives. Pinsents has Vario, Eversheds has Agile and most recently Simmons & Simmons joined the bandwagon with the launch of its consultant lawyer offering, Adaptive.

The shift in power from service provider to general counsel seems ever-more apparent as law firms scrabble to meet client demands and remain profitable, in every jurisdiction.

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