Baker McKenzie says it estimates over $20m is being generated in annual revenue by its alternative legal services centre in Belfast, its e-discovery platforms and its use of legal project management, as the global firm also flagged the launch of its new, wide ranging innovation programme in unveiling its latest financial results yesterday (2 August).

Bakers, which in July appointed Change Harbour co-founder and technology consultant Simon Thompson as its London chief operating officer, saw global revenue increase by 2% to $2.67bn, although ignoring currency fluctuation, gross income was up by 5% on last year. Profits per partner were up by 0.2% to $1.3m, or 1.2% on a constant currency basis.

In its results Bakers prominently flagged some of its recent innovations and tech initiatives, including its decision in May to roll out eDiscovery tool Relativity (being used in conjunction with Nuix) on a global scale. Relativity is now used in almost 50 offices, utilising Bakers’ data centres in Chicago, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo. The firm, which has also been conducting pilots for applying AI in due diligence involving Luminance, Kira Systems and eBrevia, – with eBrevia  emerging as successful* – said yesterday “…in May, we highlighted how we became the first law firm to roll out machine learning technology on a global scale.”

Bakers at the start of February said that it will look to ‘design thinking’ – working with DC-based consultancy Peer Insight – to create and deploy a global innovation operating model.

At the start of the year the top 10 global firm also announced the opening of its Toronto-based Whitespace Collab as a major hub for driving collaboration between the firm and clients.

“Not only are these initiatives benefiting all of our clients and people, but they are also already beginning to make a direct financial impact on our financial performance. We estimate that our use of alternative legal services in Belfast, our e-discovery platforms and our use of legal project management are already bringing in more than $20 million in annual revenue,” a statement said.

Bakers’ chair Paul Rawlinson (pictured) said, aside from reporting growth within an environment of ongoing geo-political uncertainty: “We have plenty else to be proud of this year – record client demand for our services, a great crop of new lateral hires, the successful launch of our market-leading innovation initiative, and our long-term strategic investments in New York, London and China paying off. The market is increasingly seeing Baker McKenzie not only as the No. 1 legal brand in the world but also as a truly innovative and integrated organization with a clear vision and purpose, as well as its own unique culture.”

This year Bakers announced it is to support Northern Ireland-based Ulster University’s Legal Innovation Centre.  The facility and the partnership will train “the lawyers of the future” and is the first of its kind in the UK.

*This story was updated at 13.00 on 3 August to reflect the fact that Baker McKenzie has today announced its selection of eBrevia: