Pinsents appoints David Halliwell to head client engagement for managed legal services division

Pinsent Masons has appointed client solutions partner David Halliwell to lead client engagement for the firm’s managed legal services division in Vario Group. Vario was last year expanded from offering flexible resourcing to also incorporating the UK-headquartered, international law firm’s technology and consulting group; legal project management team; and managed legal services group.

As part of Halliwell’s role, he will collaborate with clients and the firm’s legal and professional services teams to develop targeted and bespoke legal solutions for clients, comprising of, technology consulting, legal project management, and traditional legal support.

Pinsent Masons says Halliwell’s move comes as the pandemic has accelerated a cultural and behavioural shift towards the provision of legal services in which businesses increasingly opt for broad skill sets delivered by a combination of legal and a range of other professional services experts.

Commenting on his move, Halliwell, said: “Clients realise that you don’t necessarily need boots on the ground and lawyers working in a physical office to find solutions to legal and commercial challenges. As the drive towards agile working accelerated due to the pandemic there is a recognition that flexibility of approach is paramount and can facilitate a far more effective and commercially viable way of working.

“Managed legal services is at the forefront of this transformation in the legal sector because the focus is on nimble, fast paced delivery of services that needn’t focus purely on legal acumen. Clients often require a blended solution that gives them the best of both worlds – law firm expertise with flexible and scalable delivery.  We can combine any aspect of our business to create a service for a specific client need, including  contract lifecycle management, document review or disclosure, a regulatory review or repapering exercise, as well as day-to-day property and disputes management.”

Having joined the firm in 2012, David has been instrumental in spearheading innovation at the firm leading to the launch of numerous professional services and legal client facing services and platforms. Under his leadership the firm launched its SmartDelivery approach to legal services which focused providing legal services ‘faster, better and cheaper’ through optimal combinations of people process and technology. Having been promoted to partner in 2020 David was one of the first individuals working outside of the traditional legal skill set to be made up.

Vario was founded in 2013 and its managed legal services division was augmented by the acquisition of German business Xenia alongside flexible resourcing business Xenion in 2019. In recent years Pinsent Masons Vario has expanded in Australia, Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Partner and managing director of Vario, Matthew Kay, said: “David has been instrumental in driving forward the innovation agenda at Pinsent Masons and we’re excited to have him dedicate his time to further developing our managed legal services solutions. We’re confident that with his experience of collaborating with clients and his approach to innovative legal services our managed legal services division will grow from strength-to-strength.”