Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has ended months of speculation over a pending office opening by announcing it will open a second legal services hub in Sydney next year.

The new office will house the alternative legal services team, alongside a majority of business services staff from the firm’s other Sydney base.

HSF was the first law firm in Australia to build its own business hub, expanding on initiatives it has launched elsewhere including in London, South Africa, Shanghai, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Belfast.

Belfast is the firm’s base for all document review, regulatory claims assessment, funds work, due diligence and asset management and used by all HSF lawyers globally.

HSF chief executive officer Mark Rigotti said: “This initiative supports our vision to be the leading firm in the region and globally, in how we innovate and adapt to a changing world and how we deliver services to our clients.

“It also supports our commitment to creating a workplace – and a workforce – for the future, empowering our staff to work how they want to work.”

This launch will mean the 230 staff members working at HSF’s office at 161 Castlereagh Street will will transition over to the innovative business hub next year, saving the amount of space leased at the main office, Rigotti said.

Chief operating officer Nicole Bamforth, who will be one of the business’s senior leaders relocating to the Talavera Road premises next year, added: “The way we work is changing – for us and for our clients, and we need to continue to stay ahead of the market and to adapt so we remain positioned for ongoing success.

“This is more than just a new building; it’s a big step forward in modernising our business for the future.”

HSF is not the only firm to climb the alternative legal services boom. In October, Fieldfisher revealed that it had launched a managed legal services centre in South Africa through a new partnership with legal services provider Cognia Law. This deal follows a similar launch earlier this year with Indian business process outsourcer eClerx.

Fieldfisher launched Condor in January 2017 as a way of offering clients a flexible and customisable range of price- and process-efficient services. It is the brain-child of derivatives partner Luke Whitmore and utilises resources both in India and Belfast to produce the documentation.