Clifford Chance has acquired Carillion Advice Services (CAS), the paralegal and managed legal services arm of the troubled contractor.

Nearly 100 in-housers were left in the lurch after Carillion’s collapse last month, including a team of around 60 paralegal-level advisers in CAS’s office in Newcastle.

The staff in CAS’s Newcastle office will be fully integrated with Clifford Chance and will continue to be led by Lucy Nixon.

She will report to new London managing partner Michael Bates and Oliver Campbell, the firm’s head of client services solutions. Campbell also leads Clifford Chance’s legal support centre in India, which launched in 2007.

The team of 60 supported Carillion’s in-house legal department so that its lawyers could focus on complex issues.

They specialise in large projects, as well as routine work such as document review, due diligence, e-disclosure and litigation support.

The use of CAS also became a requirement for Carillion’s panel firms in the 2012 review; a panel that Clifford Chance is not understood to have been part.

The firm’s current panel included firms such as Slaughter and May, Linklaters and DLA Piper. Slaughters announced it had begun offering the services of CAS to Vodafone in 2013, following a successful trial by general counsel Richard Tapp with panel employment advisers Clarkslegal.

Clifford Chance London head Bates said: “By working with the CAS team, we will enhance our ability to provide extremely cost-effective, efficient and high-quality service on a range of low complexity legal tasks as an integral part of our overall client offer.

“To date, we have delivered this work either through our legal support centre in India, or through working with other third parties including legal outsourcers.

“The addition of the team in Newcastle, with their well-recognised expertise in unbundling, developing processes and applying the latest in legal tech, will enable us to provide clients with another option from within the firm.”

CAS has enabled Carillion to keep legal costs down since its inception in 2011. It was also in the process of applying for an ABS, according to its website.

Carillion went into liquidation in mid-January, with Dentons and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer acting for the official receiver, or High Court, as the liquidator of the company.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was appointed as special managers on the deal to support the official receiver on the liquidation.

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