Wavelength Law will tomorrow (13 March) welcome Royal Mail legal adviser Chris Simkins as its latest recruit, only shortly following the arrival of new head of client operations Barbara Hamilton-Bruce, as the legal engineering company hits the circa 30-staff mark.
Simkins, who joins as a senior commercial lawyer and legal engineer, is being brought in to help boost Wavelength’s growing corporate counsel portfolio. In the past financial year Wavelength’s revenue was divided almost exactly 50/50 between law firms and corporates, but speaking to Legal IT Insider, founder and CEO Peter Lee said: “We’ve seen our work with in-house teams grow and it is a bigger addressable market. In-house teams are becoming generally more sophisticated and aware of what they can do with data.” He adds: “The rise of the legal operations role is helping with that.”
At Royal Mail, Simkins was a senior legal adviser, strategic transactions, advising on large-scale IT programmes. Before that, between 2014-2017, he was a senior legal counsel at Plusnet, having trained and qualified at DLA Piper between 2009 and 2014.
Simkins’ arrival only shortly follows that of Barbara Hamilton-Bruce, who joins as head of client operations. Hamilton-Bruce held that same role at Slater and Gordon until 2017, when she founded legal business change company BHB Consulting.
Lee told Legal IT Insider: “Barbara’s focus is going to be both on supporting client legal operations projects but also on our data-as-a-service offering, where we design solutions for customers that they run as a service using our data techniques.”
That service offering, which is something Wavelength has focussed on over the past year and is a growing limb of its business, sees it enter a proof of concept around analysing legal data that it then builds and runs as a service for the customer.
Hamilton-Bruce’s hire follows the recent recruitment by Wavelength of its first ever trainee solicitor. Lara Gibson from Wavelength’s legal operations paralegal team has started her training contract with the company.
Commenting on the news at the time, Lee said: “This is a great milestone for Lara and for Wavelength. Lara’s a talented scientist turned lawyer, and a real natural in our legal engineering environment.” Not bad going for a company which at the start of 2019 celebrated its third birthday.