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BLP joins Northern trek, with plans to open a Manchester outsourcing hub

There’s a race to the North going on, with the latest entrant taking its place on the starting line last week.

This time it’s Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), which unveiled plans to launch what it described as a four-pronged process-mapping and outsourcing programme aimed at increasing service flexibility.

At its core is a cost-cutting hub in Manchester, described by BLP’s managing partner Neville Eisenberg as an attempt to provide  clients with better value for money on transactions, particularly with more process-oriented work.

The move follows “several years” of discussions with clients about how their needs have changed and what their priorities are, Eisenberg says.

“We’re trying to come up with something flexible,” he adds. “Clients need greater flexibility in solutions for different assignments and the traditional legal model doesn’t have that. It works well in delivering high-value, bespoke legal advice, but there has been value for money pressure from clients for years and all major law firms are experimenting with
ways of addressing this.”

BLP’s move mirrors similar initiatives at the likes of Hogan Lovells, Addleshaw Goddard and Ashurst, which have all opened offices in the north of the UK.

In addition to BLP’s Manchester office the firm will be outsourcing work, extending its Lawyers On Demand service to include virtual transaction teams and rolling out a process-mapping initiative.

“We’ve been working on how we bring those strands together in an integrated way,” Eisenberg says.