US firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is planning a new outsourcing services company for other law firms.
The West Coast firm has made huge savings by basing a global operations centre in West Virginia, which provides all accounting, finance, technology, payroll and benefit administration services to Orrick’s offices around the globe.
Orrick chairman Ralph Baxter told The Lawyer: “We’re going to go into the outsourcing business. We’re going to start offering our services to other law firms. It’s a gigantic untapped market.”
Orrick is going to create a separate company and launch within a year. The firm is currently deciding on the organisation’s structure and how to finance the operation. Possibilities are to go into partnership with a professional services company such as Capgemini or EDS, or to go into partnership with another law firm to establish some neutrality.
“The truth is that the global 100 are competing with each other, but most lawyers aren’t in those firms. There’s a whole universe of lawyers who are spending inordinate amounts of money doing their own finances and supporting their technology and we can do it for a fraction of the cost,” said Baxter.
Baxter believes that Orrick’s advantage over specialist service providers is the firm’s market-specific knowledge and the fact that it has already proved the model by doing it for itself.