The future of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s volume legal delivery and legal operations arm BCLP Cubed appears uncertain after the firm announced internally and to clients that it is conducting a review of the stand-alone unit, Legal IT Insider can reveal.
Led by CEO Neville Eisenberg, BCLP launched Cubed in September 2019 as a new transatlantic service for high volume business-as-usual legal work from the firm, with dedicated teams working in the Manchester and St Louis offices. CTO Jody Jansen joined from UK top 50 law firm Gowling WLG in October 2019 at the launch, and the focus has been on giving clients a one-stop-shop for high volume work but in an integrated and tech-led way, working on the likes of real estate asset management; delivering commercial contract services; streamlining the generation and management of loan agreements; and responding to European data access requests.
However, the firm is reviewing the future of Cubed following a year-long, firmwide strategic review that led to the official launch of its new growth program ‘Project Advance’ in October 2020.
Project Advance saw BCLP establish a transformation office, with corporate partner Sean Odendahl becoming the firm’s first-ever chief transformation officer to lead ‘reorganisation and growth efforts.’ That reorganisation has included combining the corporate and finance practice and appointing new leaders for BCLP’s now three primary businesses: corporate and finance transactions; real estate; and litigation and investigations.
Perhaps most significantly, BCLP in March this year brought in Jason Marty as chief operating officer. Marty joined from Baker McKenzie, where he was the global director of operations and led the development of Baker’s Belfast service centre and alternative legal services platform.
Asked whether BCLP Cubed is to be shut down, a spokesperson for the firm said: “Innovation is part of the DNA at BCLP, where we are increasing our investments in innovation for our growth engines and major clients. As part of this, we are reviewing the direction of Cubed, BCLP’s volume legal services and legal operations support group launched as a stand-alone unit in 2019. We’ll be continuing to support our great Cubed clients and products during this review.
“We’ve had many successes with Cubed that will help us continue to lead the industry in this space. Revisiting priorities in this area is important to both our clients and our Advance strategy, and exciting opportunities exist for us to collaborate and grow together.”
Cubed was highly commended in the FT’s 2020 Innovative Lawyers: Europe report, which stated that the tech arm had generated over $1m in revenue since 2019.
Other firms that have recently made changes to their external tech-led captives include Clifford Chance, which recently brought the R&D side of Applied Solutions back within the body of the firm.
You can read our analysis of the launch of BCLP Cubed and the growth of the law firm ALSP market here:
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner announces BCLP Cubed, but it’s not an ALSP – Legal IT Insider