Exclusive: Radiant co-founders Giverin and McQuillen join PwC in major “new law” hire

In a major double hire by PwC, two of Radiant Law’s co-founders, Andrew Giverin and Jason McQuillen, have joined the Big Four accountant to build out its “new law” capability, after a difference of opinion over direction at Radiant last year led to the departure of three members of its senior team.

Giverin and McQuillen started at PwC’s Embankment Place office on 19 April and sit within the legal function, which as of 1 October moved from being a separate arm to becoming subsumed within the body of the accounting giant, now a fully-fledged multi-disciplinary partnership.

The pair are partners within the technology and sourcing team headed by Juan Crosby, who joined in October 2015 from CMS Cameron McKenna.

Giverin was formerly head of sales at Radiant and McQuillen head of the boutique’s managed legal services team, with both having previously worked for Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, which in 2011 merged with Clyde & Co. At PwC, they will be developing a tech-enabled, end-to-end managed legal service, helping large in-house legal teams to manage their volume contract work.

The compelling offering will leverage Giverin and McQuillen’s background in technology and outsourcing, PwC’s consulting and M&A capability and reach, and the accountant’s circa 3,500-strong legal advisory team formerly known as PwC Legal.

Giverin told Legal IT Insider: “PwC already has significant capability in terms of driving forward technology-enabled solutions to help large in-house teams work in a smarter way. We’re here to help develop that, drawing on the pioneering work we did at Radiant Law.

“Working with our consulting and M&A colleagues, we’re here to help large corporate in-house legal teams optimise and handle large volumes of contracting work.” Giverin and McQuillen will be drawing together and growing PwC’s managed legal services capability, including looking towards Belfast and other jurisdictions where PwC has offices and “pockets of resource exist.”

It was the depth of PwC’s experience, firepower and brand that attracted Giverin and McQuillen, who said: “PwC offers an end-to-end solution, it’s not a law firm trying to reinvent itself but a multidisciplinary body that can already do all of those things.”

Giverin added: “PwC has a clear, laser-like focus on innovation, which is another attraction for us. Law firms traditionally are not willing to disrupt themselves but here there is a willingness to deliver legal services in a different way.”

The departures follow a fallout among the founders and senior members of Radiant Law, with Justin Cornish, formerly head of Radiant Services in South Africa now also having left to become CEO of Lighthouse Law.

Radiant is focussing heavily on building and licensing out its proprietary tech products, with COO Serena Wallace-Turner, who co-founded Axiom’s Asia office in 2010, having joined in 2016 to help achieve that objective.

While all of the senior Radiant team see technology as central to the future of legal services, co-founder Alex Hamilton, who continues as CEO, told Legal IT Insider: “There were differences of opinion about the role of technology at the firm. I continue to believe that lawtech is a fundamental part of delivering managed legal services and we are already seeing opportunities to licence out products that we have built such as Remarkable and our new workflow platform as well as partnerships such as one with LexisNexis on contract analytics.  We have a fantastic team, greater clarity around direction and are very excited about where the market is going.”

Giverin said: “Joining PwC represented an opportunity that we couldn’t turn down. That’s not to say we’re not proud of what we achieved at Radiant but this is a natural next step.”

This is not the first time PwC has made a senior private practice managed legal service hire, having in 2012 brought in Berwin Leighton Paisner’s director of innovation and one of the architects of its Managed Legal Service, Stephen Allen, who left in 2014 to join DLA Piper as head of market strategies and is now global head of legal service deliveries at Hogan Lovells.