Exclusively in the Orange Rag, out this morning (27 June)…
LexisNexis’ director of solutions Nigel Rea has joined LOD (Lawyers on Demand) we can reveal, helping the flexible legal services adviser to develop its growing projects-based managed solutions business.
Rea started on Monday 25 June with the title of service development director. His hire follows the news in May that Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner had sold off its entire stake in LOD, which in 2016-17 generated around £35m in revenue, to private equity firm Bowmark Capital
Speaking to Legal IT Insider in advance of the move, LOD co-founder and head Simon Harper said: “Nigel has a deep understanding of the legal services spectrum and environment but also has a consulting background. He was a consultant at Accenture in the early part of his career and has a strategy background, and he has been involved in legal technology. That’s a mix that really helps us with the wrapper that we are giving to our managed solutions business.
“In the middle of managed solutions are, unsurprisingly, people, who are the core of our business. But around that is a wrapper of project management, consulting, technology and data, and having Nigel with a mixture of knowledge of all of those will be really useful.”
LOD is becoming increasingly global in reach, having opened recently in Dubai and Germany and in 2016 merging with Asia Pacific contract lawyer business AdventBalance, which gives the combined company offices in Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
However, Rea will sit within the London team and work predominantly with LOD’s UK clients.
Harper added: “One of the slightly unusual things about us is that although we’re a business of 230 people, our management team in the UK is around 30 people in one big space so it’s easy for us to collaborate.”
In-house teams are thinking increasingly strategically about how they run the department and lawyers in the LOD managed solutions space are increasingly helping clients with their own internal project management and legal technology needs, in a form of outsourced legal operations role.
Harper said: “For us ‘managed services’ means teams of LOD lawyers doing either a particular workstream, slice of work or large project, wrapped by our project management, consultancy and or technology and management information to provide a whole service.”
Rea will be working closely with Gervais Carlton- Blake, who joined LOD as its first chief information officer in 2017.
However, Harper adds: “This is not about LOD becoming a tech business but about partnering with the right people to support what our clients want to do.”
Speaking to Legal IT Insider Rea said: “I’ve got the utmost time and respect for Lexis and the team – they have an amazing batch of things planned and it’s a good year for them.
“For me, I really like what the LOD team are doing here. They are working with their clients to deliver solutions in new ways and working with landmark clients joining up people, process and technology to deliver new ways of working. It felt like a great opportunity to join and help them to evolve some of the work they are doing really well and open up new opportunities.”
Much of the emphasis going forward will be on partnerships that deliver mutually beneficial competitive advantage and Rea said: “What we’ll be looking to do is ask what are the right partnerships for us and what are the right organisations that are really collaborative and what can we put together to tackle the problems our clients are facing.”
He adds: “If you look at the legal market there is a huge amount of change. I’ve worked with a lot of technology and it is ripe for a human layer wrapped around it.
“Technology isn’t just about buying the box and dropping it off; it’s a more nuanced problem solved by applying people and process and that’s what LOD are about.”