Pinsent Masons has appointed a new head and expanded its contract lawyer arm Vario, saying that the venture has been an even greater success than anticipated.

matthew kay varioMatthew Kay (pictured), Vario’s first appointment from outside Pinsent Masons, joins from recruitment, communications, advertising and resourcing company TMP Worldwide, where he was business development director. Prior to TMP, Kay led the European service delivery for HR Outsourcing at Accenture.

Kay replaces Vario’s co-founders, Pinsents partner Alison Bond and former head of marketing Katherine Thomas.

Vario, which was launched in 2013, is a flexible legal resourcing service, providing a hub of technically skilled freelance legal professionals for a wide variety of assignments.

Kay’s hire follows what Pinsent Masons says is the exponential growth of the business, leading to the further appointment this month of Lyndsey Meredith as account manager, with further growth expected this year.

A statement today said that Kay’s “appointment marks a significant shift in management structure for Vario as the business moves into its next stage of maturity.”

Pinsent Masons Senior Partner Richard Foley said: “Vario has been an even greater success than we originally anticipated. With over 200 lawyers in our team combining a range of skillset expertise, sector knohow and PQE, we feel ready to take the next step. We wanted to create a more corporate-style management structure that compliments the strength of our existing team, and Matthew stood out as the right person to lead that change. He has the right blend of recruitment and strategic experience to help us review and pursue a long-term growth strategy.”

The news follows the announcement in November that DLA Piper has entered into partnership with Berwin Leighton Paisner’s flexible resource arm Lawyers on Demand. A number of other major international firms have established their own contract law offering in the past three years, including Allen & Overy with its Peerpoint offering, Eversheds with Agile and Addleshaw Goddard with AG Integrate.